“Warming oceans bleach world’s coral” read the headline of the recent Associated Press article. The sub-heading you ask? “Sickly white reefs reveal a crisis hitting Hawaii especially hard.”
According to said article, the bleaching of formerly colorful coral is “spreading into a worldwide, devastating crisis, scientists say, and they predict it will likely get worse.” Imagine that. They claim that global warming and El Nino (George W. Bush) are causing record hot ocean water, which in turn is causing fragile coral to go white and often die. The article continued, “The spread of sickly white started more than a year ago in Guam, then devastated Hawaii, infected the rest of the tropical Pacific and the Indian oceans and has now infested Florida and the Caribbean.” The Atlantic Ocean will be wiped out by next week, I’m guessing, and who knows how this affects the Arctic Ocean. Come to think of it, better check your aquariums.
At any rate, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and ‘international reef scientists’ pronounced it a “‘global coral bleaching event,’ only the third in recorded history.”
First off, what is with the multiple usage of the term, ‘sickly white?’ I mean, we have incessant use of ‘ghastly pale’ and ‘sickly white’ in our society, which is- or should be- extremely offensive to caucasians of every stripe. We never hear ‘ghastly dark’ or ‘sickly black.’
Secondly, the article never explained why warmer (it stated ‘hot’) water causes coral to go white. I’m not saying that this is untrue, just that an expert explanation of exactly how this comes about would have been helpful.
Third, how long do we have before this devastating worldwide crisis leads to our demise?
Or, put another way, the scientists claim that this is the third ‘global coral bleaching event.’ If that is true, and these events are, in fact, devastating worldwide crises, why are there now more humans, living longer than ever before, after two of these crises have come and gone??!
Science isn’t what it used to be.
Maybe it never was.