Utne Reader names Carl Safina as one of the "25 People Who Are Changing the World."
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Carl takes you
on his latest journey.
Thursday 10/19/21, and Days 2 and 3, Friday and Saturday: We left Buenos Aires late in the day and steamed southeast downriver overnight. It took hours for us to reach the mouth of the Rio de la Plata. This is the world's widest rivermouth, more than 100 miles across. I woke numerous times during the darkness to see ship lights and lit shores. But eventually I could feel the slight rocking of Atlantic swells. Read More
New Merger to Stabilize Nature Proposed at Blue Ocean Benefit
Time to fuse science and devotion
At Blue Ocean's annual benefit gala on October 4th, Carl Safina asked a rapt audience to merge knowledge and commitment to stabilize a rapidly overheating planet and a changing ocean.
"If science can't make biodiversity sufficiently sexy, and religion won't step up to love this blue planet, what's left? I propose a merger, but we can't expect scientists or religious people to do the merging...It is up to all of us, as usual, to carry this water. In our private and civic lives, our religious places, and our business dealings we must all merge a scientific love of knowledge with a devotion as consistent and values-based as any religion." Read More
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Are Cod Recovering?
For centuries, cod were a major economic driver in New England and Atlantic Canada. They spurred settling of the New World and sent food everywhere from Europe to the Caribbean. They began to falter way back in the 1800s, but it wasn't until the 1980s that they really crashed.But recently, we've been hearing that cod are doing better in southern New England, up to about the mid-coast of Maine. So we went for a look.
Bringing Salmon Back
Salmon have lots of problems in many places. But some places have solutions. One is the Nisqually River in Washington State. There, wild Chinook Salmon were eliminated decades ago by overfishing and habitat loss. Now, an unusual coalition of politicians, civic planners, wildlife managers, farmers, fishing folks, and the Nisqually Indians are engaged in a visionary, long-term campaign to restore salmon habitats that had been degraded, and to work specifically toward recovery of the now-endangered Chinook.
They're incredible animals, magnificent, specialized predators. Yet most of what we know about them is how to kill them. We value them almost entirely only after we've turned them into meat. As a fisherman, it's exciting; as a wildlife lover, it's sad to see such a magnificent animal killed. As a conservationist, this type of fishing is OK, because this fishery depends on abundance, doesn't catch immature fish, and-unlike virtually every other fishery-there is no other incidental kill.
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Learn About Climate Change
and Our Future
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The View From Lazy Point
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Learning how to start and control fire changed human evolution. But humanity did not change fire until the Industrial Revolution. For hundreds of thousands of years, using fire always meant an open flame. Much later, someone realized that the steam from boiling water-if confined-had power to make things move. With steam engines we harnessed fire's power to work for us. Then, when we placed the combustion directly inside an engine, we almost literally set the world on fire.
Warming Air, Rising Seas
Twenty thousand years ago when the Ice Age froze an enormous quantity of Earth's water, sea level was nearly 400 feet (about 120 m) lower than today. Vast areas that are now seafloor were plains grazed by herds of animals. But the rise has been slow-literally a glacial pace. But now "glacial pace" is faster than it used to be, since nearly all the world's glaciers- about 90 percent-are melting, faster.
The End of Reefs?
Hot water can kill corals. But even if corals could adapt to the heat of global warming, they'll still run into the pH problem: carbon dioxide is not just warming the world; it's also changing the ocean's chemistry, making the water more acidic.A seaweed-seeking parrotfish is grinding into a coral with its fused, beak-like teeth. Each time it hits the coral, I can hear it from ten feet (3 m) away. Any coral a parrotfish ingests returns as fine sand. Enough parrotfish, over centuries, largely built the tropics' coral-sand beaches. Yes, those lovely beaches: parrotfish poop.