Stasi: Talks on climate change should focus on seaweed, Pope Francis

[Global] Pope Francis the Fearless gathered mayors from all over the world this week to discuss climate change and human trafficking, maintaining that the fossil fuel-based world economy exploits the poorest of the poor.

Mayor De Blasio is there, pledging to reduce NYC emissions 40% by 2030. All good, but why aren’t they discussing the fact that climate change is causing the fouling of hundreds of beaches right now from the Gulf states to the Caribbean and Mexico? They should be talking about how Sargassum seaweed has started carpeting these beaches, and in unprecedented amounts — hundreds of thousands of tons — making swimming miserable. Sitting on the beach is often impossible because as it rots, the Sargassum stinks like sulphur.

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If the massive Sargassum invasion (miles-wide mats of floating brown algae that doesn’t stick to the ocean floor) continues carpeting beaches like it has been doing since 2011, sometimes piling up as high as 3 feet and extending for miles, the economy in those areas will dry up, too.

Speculation about why Sargassum seaweed growth began exploding in 2011 have run the gamut from climate change/global warming to the 2010 BP oil spill, which dumped 205.8 million gallons of light crude oil into the Gulf. But Oak Ridge National Laboratory microbiologist Dr. Terry Hazen believes “the influx from the flooding of the Mississippi in 2011 is more likely.”

Whatever has caused this massive invasion, even in places it hadn’t been seen before, has left scientists and affected governments to scratch their heads about what to do.

The tons of stinky seaweed are too massive to manually remove constantly from beaches. In one 24-hour period alone last year, 8,400 tons of nasty, Sargassum carpeted three miles of Galveston Island beaches.

In many cases, removal may not be allowed, because according to the “GCFI Sargassum Fact Sheet,” the algae is habitat for 120 species of fish and more than 120 species of invertebrates.

So last week, hoteliers in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, brought scientists in to discuss installing barriers to prevent the seaweed from continuing to foul beaches. Other countries are taking other measures, but sometimes you just can’t fight Mother Nature, especially once she’s really pissed off.

The Sargassum has always occurred naturally, yes, but now it’s occurring unnaturally like some horrible Syfy B-movie in which the monster keeps growing to gobble up the entire world. Sharkgasso!

So the Pope and worldwide mayors are worried about global warming’s impact on the poor? If this silent situation continues, the masses of poor people who rely on tourism and fishing, to name just two means of survival, will lose their sources of income.

California Gov. Jerry Brown blasted global warming deniers at the Vatican summit, reminding everyone of St. Paul and how we reap what we sow. OK, so we sowed the Sargassum, but nobody knows how to reap it.

It’s the elephant poop in the room, and people are pretending it just doesn’t stink.

 

Photo: VATICAN POOL/GETTY IMAGES Pope Francis and worldwide mayors should discuss the seaweed washing up on beaches around the Caribbean, which could hurt people who rely on tourism.

View original article at: Stasi: Talks on climate change should focus on seaweed, Pope Francis

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