Are The Oceans Really Dying?

coral reefWhenever environmental doomsayers run out of arguments, they turn to the sea for hope – or rather, fear. Fish stocks are collapsing, and if climate change doesn’t get us, ocean acidification will. But how true are these claims? The panic of popular science writers (and some scientists) notwithstanding, it appears many of the scares related to the oceans have been overblown. –Ivo Vegter, Daily Maverick, 16 February 2015

The scientific community plays an important role in identifying threats to human welfare and the environment, and in researching remedial actions. However, overstating threats or misattributing their causes leads to unwarranted public fear and to the misallocation of the scarce resources dedicated to mitigating these supposed dangers. If that isn’t enough of a deterrent to alarmism, there is the risk that scientists, and the media through which they often communicate, lose credibility, and become seen as the boy who cried wolf. –Ivo Vegter, Daily Maverick, 16 February 2015

Record-breaking cold has gripped the eastern United States while an icy winter storm crippled the nation’s central states. Federal offices in Washington, DC are closed today because of the poor weather. States of emergency have been  declared in North Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, as well as in Washington, DC. —Reuters, 17 February 2015

Boston is having the second-coldest February in its history, according to the National Weather Service. The temperature has averaged 19.6 degrees Fahrenheit, colder than any year since 1934. Since it is so cold and miserable outside, I’ve been spending some time indoors, curled up in front of the computer watching comedy. No, not the 40th anniversary program of Saturday Night Live, but The New York Times newspaper coverage of climate change, which in this context is bitterly humorous. –Ira Stoll, Reason Online, 16 February 2015

Climate change enthusiast Bill Nye appeared on MSNBC, Monday, to lobby the network for more global warming cheerleading and the importance of linking all weather events to the phenomena. Talking to Joy Reid about the cold and snow hitting much of the country, he implored, “…Just say the word climate change. Just, like, ‘It could be climate change. It’s a possible connection to climate change. Is this evidence of climate change?'” Nye demanded, “Could you just toss that in now and then?” A compliant Reid agreed: “Absolutely. I would like to toss that in every single time.” –Scott Whitlock, Newsbusters, 16 February 2015

Dylan Evans, the author of The Utopia Experiment, was one of those oddballs who rather looked forward to the apocalypse, because it promised ‘challenging times ahead’. What Evans calls ‘preparing for the end of the world’ was in actuality deadly boring — getting fires going, keeping dry, trying to prevent small cuts from becoming infected and eating nothing save thick lentil soup. It soon became apparent that ‘the whole experiment had been a huge mistake’. Jittery, with a permanently wide-eyed expression and wanting only to kill himself, Evans was eventually detained under the Mental Health Act in a maximum security psychiatric hospital. Here the students of the mind explained to him that his project had been bonkers from the beginning. –Roger Lewis, The Spectator, 14 February 2015

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