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De-Carbonizing Society Will Help Save the Ocean

De-Carbonizing Society Will Help Save the Ocean


July 13, 2012

Aquarium President and CEO Jerry Schubel wrote this response to an article the appeared in the New York Times on April 30, 2012.

Life in the Sea Found Its Fate in a Paroxysm of Extinction (4/30/12)” points out that changes in ocean chemistry caused by human activity will have significant effects on marine life. It may take hundreds of thousands of years for the ocean to recover from the effects of warming, low oxygen and particularly, acidification.

It is time to stop debating whether our reliance on fossil fuels is impacting the ocean and focus on innovative strategies and technologies we can develop and deploy to begin to systematically de-carbonize society. This will take many decades. The longer we wait, the longer the time scale for recovery and the greater the uncertainty of the outcome. It is critical to understand that this is an example of a “wicked problem”, one that has no solution, but with creativity, innovation, and commitment, one that can be managed with a diverse portfolio of strategies.

Jerry R. Schubel, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Aquarium of the Pacific