|By Christian Nelson
that you say? You don't believe in global
warming? That's OK ... the planet still
needs your help.
Whether or not you believe in man-made
global warming (or climate change as it’s
now being called), if you’re a regular
reader of the Journal, you’re
most likely aware of the fact that planet
Earth has been in trouble for a long time
Even if you can ignore all the bad
news about climate change, you can’t
just forget about the mass extinctions
caused by our encroachment into the wild,
the threats posed by all sorts of invasive
species (plant and animal), and the man-made
pollution that has ruined so many rivers
and caused so much illness and other problems.
loss of biodiversity is a real problem
that affects every person on Earth – even
you. Our non-stop habit of pumping carbon
dioxide and other pollutants out of the
tailpipes of our cars will eventually poison
us all, even without the added possibility
of global warming. And once all our fresh
water becomes polluted, what will we drink?
if you’re turned off (as many of
us are) by the current hysteria, this doesn’t
give any of us a free pass on helping our
favorite planet stay alive.
Stay involved. Stick with Wild Ones. Share
your ideas for making things better.
is not the time to withdraw. Do everything
you can think of to improve the health
of our planet. Future generations will
The revenge of the worm
In the last issue
of the Journal, there was an article
describing the damage being done to our
forests by exotic, non-native earthworms.
What a surprise. Who would have guessed that
those squiggly wigglers impaled on our fishing
hooks could be such nasty creatures?
news from Germany that the worms may be
implicated in global warming. The German
government has mandated big increases in the
composting of organic waste, and they’re
putting worms to work to speed the process.
a problem though. A recent study has shown
that these worms produce greenhouse gases
that are “290 times more potent
than carbon dioxide.” What’s next?
A ban on composting?
Smoke on the water
It was 1972 when the British
rock group Deep Purple released an album
with the soon-to-be iconic “Smoke on
the Water.” That
was a good thing.
But there’s a another
smoke on the
water that’s not so good. The International
Council on Clean Transportation recently
announced results of a study, saying that
there are now more than 90,000 commercial
ships crisscrossing the oceans, and that
these ships belch out more carbon dioxide
than all but 10 of the 39 industrial nations
originally included in the Kyoto Protocol.
it gets worse. In addition to all that
carbon dioxide, this worldwide armada emits
more sulfur dioxide than all the land vehicles
on the planet – and a sixth of all the
nitrogen oxides pumped into the atmosphere.
standards for ships are much looser than
standards for land-based emissions. Diesel
fuel sold in the U.S. cannot exceed more
than 15 parts per million of sulfur on
average, while some fuel used by ships contains
27,000 parts per million.
If only we could
talk them into growing native plants on
the decks of these
ships as partial offsets for these pollutants.
SS Hoary Puccoon, anyone?
Nelson is Associate Editor and Creative Director
of the Wild Ones Journal.
Return to the Grapevine page.