True
The Wilderness Society

This is Lil' Dipper, and he's scared to swim in soda.

Hey there, lil buddy!


If things keep going the way they are, we're going to make Lil' Dipper's worst fear come true.

It sounds like a joke, but it's not. As we focus on combating climate change, there's a question we need to ask ourselves: Would we like for our oceans to be sparkling or still?

We've got a big problem called ocean acidification.

The huge amount of CO2 we produce is polluting the air and affecting our planet's climate. Most of us have heard that the oceans are getting warmer, but there's more to it than that, and it's called ocean acidification.

A video by Grist explains that what's happening to our oceans is a lot like one of those homemade soda machines. It works by squirting a cartridge of CO2 into the water, adding the acidity needed to make soda.

Deliciously terrifying. All GIFs and images via Grist/YouTube.

We're basically doing this to the ocean — only on a much larger scale.

Over the couple of centuries we've spent filling the air with CO2, the oceans have absorbed a quarter of those emissions. As a result, their average pH has dropped from 8.2 to 8.1.

That doesn't seem that serious, but the pH scale is logarithmic, not linear.

So that means even this one-tenth drop in pH is a nearly 30% increase in acidity. Yikes.

What about the ocean life?

This has consequences for the ocean's plants and creatures. Ocean acidification is stressing out some species of fish, causing them to get lost easily and have more trouble finding food.

It also makes it difficult for certain ocean lifeforms to grow their shells. So instead of doing this:

They do this:

Coral reefs, the backbones of many ocean ecosystems, are particularly in danger from this effect. As coral polyps struggle to grow their exoskeletons, reefs stop growing or even begin to shrink, depleting a source of food and shelter for the numerous species that depend on them.

So what can we do about it?

There's one particularly promising solution to stop ocean acidification: pump less CO2 into the air.

Yep. Whether we like it or not, we don't have a better alternative than cutting the CO2 emissions causing the problem in the first place. Our next best ideas are planting seagrass meadows or straight up dropping Alka-Seltzer in the ocean.


I'm not even joking.

If we're going to stop this, we also need to keep Big Oil from drilling in fragile environments for more fossil fuels.

The Wilderness Society is fighting to keep BP out of the Great Australian Bight, a rich underwater ecosystem that has greater diversity of marine life than the Great Barrier Reef.

They have a petition you can sign to save this habitat from more damage.

(Lil' Dipper would sign, but he only has fins.)

Watch the full video on ocean acidification by Grist:

True
Firefox

This slideshow shows how you can protect your information.

View Slideshow

This week, viral photos from the first day of school in various Georgia counties showed students crowded together with few masks in sight. Schools in the same area had to shut down entire classrooms due to positive tests after the first day back, quarantining students and teachers for two weeks.

In these counties, students are "encouraged" to wear a mask at school, but they are not required. Mask-wearing is referred to as a "personal choice."

This week, a private Christian college in a town near where I live announced that is planning to resume in-person classes this fall. The school has decided that students will not be required to wear masks, despite the fact that the town itself has a mask mandate for all public spaces. "No riots. No masks. In person. This fall," the college wrote in a Facebook post advertising the school last month.

The supposed justification for not requiring students to wear masks is that it's a "personal choice," and that students have the freedom to choose whether to wear one or not.

That's a neat story. Except it is totally hypocritical coming from schools and school districts that have no problem placing limits on personal choice and freedom by mandating stringent dress codes for students.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo from Dole
True

As you sit down to eat your breakfast in the morning or grab an afternoon snack, take a minute to consider your food, how it was made, and how it got to your plate.

The fruit on your plate were grown and picked on farms, then processed, packaged and sent to the grocery store where you bought them.

Sounds simple, right?

The truth is, that process is anything but simple and at every step in the journey to your plate, harm can be caused to the people who grow it, the communities that need it, and the planet we all call home.

For example, thousands of kids live in food deserts and areas where access to affordable and nutritious food is limited. Around the world, one in three children suffer from some form of malnutrition, and yet, up to 40% of food in the United States is never eaten.

Keep Reading Show less

I saw this poster today and I was going to just let it go, but then I kept feeling tugged to say something.

Melanie Cholish/Facebook

While this poster is great to bring attention to the issue of child trafficking, it is a "shocking" picture of a young girl tied up. It has that dark gritty feeling. I picture her in a basement tied to a dripping pipe.

While that sounds awful, it's important to know that trafficking children in the US is not all of that. I can't say it never is—I don't know. What I do know is most young trafficked children aren't sitting in a basement tied up. They have families, and someone—usually in their family—is trafficking them.

Keep Reading Show less
via The Hubble Telescope

Over the past few years, there has been a growing movement to fight back against some of the everyday racism that exists in America.

The Washington Redskins of the NFL have temporarily changed their name to the Washington Football Team until a more suitable, and less racist, name is determined.

The Dixie Chicks, a country band from Texas has decided to change their name to The Chicks to avoid any connotation with slavery, as has Lady Antebellum who now just go by Lady A.

(Although they stole the name form a Black woman who has been using it for over 20 years.)

Keep Reading Show less