A Snail’s Tale

Who likes seafood?   Salmon, halibut, shrimp, crab, etc.   All tasty; all from our coastal waters.   Well, take heed:

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has found that over 50 percent of the small snails they studied off our west coast showed signs of severe shell damage. Their data indicates that corrosive water off the West Coast, where it is most acidic due to high concentrations of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, is dissolving the shells of the snail that is a key species in the coastal food chain. Salmon, herring, and other species rely on a snail-rich diet.

The scientists say the problem is going to only get worse and predict that by 2050, about 70 percent of West Coast snails could have severely damaged shells affecting their viability. The only clear fix would be to reduce carbon emissions.

Yet, the forthcoming Trump Administration claims it will “make America energy independent” by encouraging fossil fuel production and opening onshore and offshore leasing on federal lands and waters to producers. They plan to “streamline” the permitting process for all energy projects; rescind the coal mining lease moratorium; eliminate the “Waters of the US” rule; but assure us it will have “no measurable effect on Earth’s climate.”

In addition they claim to be “firmly committed to conserving our wonderful natural resources and beautiful natural habitats” and that “America’s environmental agenda will be guided by true specialists in conservation, not those with radical political agendas.” And the Tooth Fairy is alive and well.

If the snail goes, the food chain collapses. There is no “over-the-hill” solution. So, I suggest you begin to wean yourself off seafood ASAP if you believe you’ll outlive the collapse of the marine food web.

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