I understand there are bigger news stories out there. After all, Bev Oda expensed an air purifier – to taxpayers! It’s no 18-dollar orange juice, or $1,000 car ride of course. But it’s big news because it means she’s taking this Roy Orbison impersonator thing to a sad and dangerous new level, determined to chain-smoke herself into an early grave like her hero.
So that’s a pretty big deal…as is the Tom Cruise – Katie Holmes divorce, which allows us all to speculate wildly about Scientology, jackboots, and just how crazy Tom Cruise actually is. The most important thing to come out of that situation, so far, is that Katie Holmes might finally sign on for the Dawson’s Creek reunion something-or-other. How splendid!
And then there’s the Capital Hoedown, another enormous story where today we learn that everything we already learned about this has been confirmed. The Hoedown is, indeed, canceled. This is a great news story, because now we can decide, as the organizer has, where exactly to place the blame. Was it the city shutting down the venue? The high prices? The lack of ticket sales? The media scrutiny? The chupacabra? And we also get to muse about the acts that are (still) not coming! Oh, Taylor Swift, we will miss you!
Then there’s the Kardashian baby with the stupid name, the home run derby complete with the bizarre hatred of Chris Berman, and the breakup of music superstars Chumbawumba, who after 30 years together as a band have now been knocked down, never again to get up.
So it’s understandable that something as insignificant as the continued destruction of our oceans has gone largely unnoticed. After all, most stories about the environment and how bad it really is get relegated to the back pages of newspapers and websites, if they get reported at all. It’s not that these stories aren’t important, it’s that they’re not important to people.
Remember 2006? And 2007? The time of Al Gore and Global Warming and David Suzuki and An Inconvenient Truth? When the world sat up and took notice and started to do stuff about environmental issues? It seemed like that documentary and the environmental groundswell that sprang up as a result were the beginning of an era where global warming and climate change problems and solutions would be the foremost issues of the next decade. But of course, this didn’t happen. And 2007 was not the beginning of all this, but rather the peak.
So now – for those of you who didn’t get this news today – the oceans are screwed. In fact, they have osteoporosis. See, we’ve been putting too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. And that carbon dioxide gets absorbed by the oceans. And that turns into acid. And that acid kills coral reefs. Coral reefs, you might remember from that time you briefly cared in 2007, are those things in the oceans that are necessary for most of the life in the ocean to survive.
Now, because of a lot of nutjobs, this will likely be debated, as has every major discovery that indicated that yes, people are responsible for screwing up the environment. This is why, when the findings were announced, a “consensus statement” was signed by 2,600 scientists. Because they have to prove that they all agree that we’re pooched.
Then again, it’s not just the oceans. Ottawa is in the hottest, dryest stretch in history. Just a coincidence and the natural rhythms of the Earth, I know. We’re messing up in other ways too. Yesterday, we were talking about the pacu, or “ball cutter fish”, which is no longer confined to Papua New Guinea, but has now been discovered in a lake in Illinois. Yes, lakes in Illinois are now so tropical that they can support the same kind of water creatures as Papua New Guinea.
The “ball-cutter” fish is so nicknamed because on at least two separate, documented occasions, it has bitten off and eaten men’s balls. And those men have died. The sad thing is, it didn’t have to be this way. The poor pacu fish was once a peaceable vegetarian before it developed a taste for testes. But with deforestation and the disappearance of its plant food, it became carnivorous and started going after low-hanging scrotums. Let this be a lesson, people. Mess with the environment and this fish will eat your balls.