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WWF: Baltic Sea ecosystem is on the verge of destruction

Isn't one Dead Sea sufficient?

The Dead Sea is a landlocked desert sea but the Baltic Sea is only one fragment of the entire system of oceans of our planet.

How exactly does one part die and not affect the whole?

Nina Kolyako, BC, Riga/Stockholm

The Baltic Sea's ecosystem is on the verge of destruction due to the increasing spread of the so-called marine dead zones, where nothing can survive due to lack of oxygen, says an announcement by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

"In the Baltic Sea, the marine dead zones could cause a total collapse of the entire ecosystem if their spread is permitted to continue," head of the WWF's Swedish branch, Lasse Gustavsson, said in a statement, asking the Baltic Sea region to start an urgent and active fight against the pollution.

The main reason that causes spreading of the marine dead zones is the pollution and excessive amount of phosphorus that comes from agriculture and other runoff.

Nitrogen and phosphorus in the sea water act as fertilizers and enhance the growth of algae...

For the rest, go here.

Meantime fertilizer for crops is in short supply with fast rising prices.  The effect is particularly devastating for farmers in poor countries and consequently for hungry citizens.  Raping - er, mining phosphorus has been unkind to some others.

The mining of phosphate on the island of Nauru, located in a remote corner of the Pacific Ocean, has devastated the island environmentally and has created financial, legal, and cultural problems for the islanders. The phosphate is used as a fertilizer around the world and the majority of it has been exported to Australia. The mineral is located among the ancient coral reefs found underground. Mining the phosphate, however, destroys the vegetation and soil of the island. Phosphate is the primary basis for the economy, and with the depletion of the mineral, Nauru is left with nothing to trade. Thus, the island faces virtual economic collapse. Today, Nauru's problems are becoming increasingly acute, as the phosphate on the island has been exhausted, and mining has virtually ceased. As such, the government of Nauru is looking into the question of responsibility for the ecological disaster raging on the island, and is looking into ways to rehabilitate the island.

Lots 'a luck, people.  Maybe you can become a tourist attraction like my grandmother's Lapland origins as you head towards extinction.

But what's dreary without a bit of cheer?

VANCOUVER, June 23 PRNewswire-FirstCall - Brian Nichols, President of First American Scientific Corp. (FASC) is pleased to announce that we have received an order to deliver the first of 4 KDS systems to Baltica Invest AS of Norway which will be used to a dryer/grinder of sea-bed algae found in remote regions of Northern Europe. Baltica and its partners operate several dredging and reclamation sites where water bound algae is being developed into a high nutrient fertilizer.

Hey, these penny-pitching promoters, who have had worse luck than Wil E. Coyote with innumerable schemes, may again be onto something - or maybe not.

I tried to see what Baltica Invest is really doing but failed miserably.  Lots of Balticas and I don't speak Viking.


My main beef with the gentle organic people, so beloved here, is that not only do they prescribe band-aids for cancer but actively resist therapeutic treatment with sometimes fraudulent propaganda. In this they track the FDA divines who prevent dying patients from getting access to possibly life-saving drugs because they might not cure everyone or, worse, cost them their immortal souls.  See War on Drugs for details.

Die, Baltic Sea, die.  Who needs you?  The Nauruvians can sink beneath the seas as well for all we care.  And so the Saamis have trouble selling radioactive reindeer meat?  So what?  Sandy Claus can always use more reindeer that glow in the dark.

Best,  Terry  


Originally posted to terryhallinan on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 05:55 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ehh? (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats promote the Common good. Republicans promote Corporate greed.

    by murasaki on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 07:20:08 AM PDT

  •  Here's a thought. (0+ / 0-)

    A large source of phosphorus transport from the sea back to the land is, well, birds.

    Bird poop has long been a major source of industrial phosphorus.

    I obliquely referred to this in a diary I wrote called Another Happy Story About Agricultural Resource Depletion:  Phosphate, Nauru, and Your Toilet.

    The Northsea is now chock full of bird grinders, aka "windmills."

    Since we have decided to dispense with birds, maybe seaweed collection isn't a bad idea, assuming one can find the diesel to run the boats.

    •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

      The Northsea is now chock full of bird grinders, aka "windmills."

      There are many wind turbines that claim to be bird safe as well as more efficient but none are owned by people like GE.

      Too bad, birdies.

      I have always thought first of bat guano, including ancient deposits, as a source of phosphate rather than the birds that are windmill food.

      Maybe we should collect all those batshit crazies that people here keep spotting and see if they could be helpful to the planet's ecology in at least that way.

      BTW the same outfit that is now so hoping to make it big processing dredged algae has been pining away for processing sewage sludge with research that has been going on - forever.

      Best,  Terry

      •  Sewage sludge is regularly spread on farmland (0+ / 0-)


        Some important complications include heavy metals.

        Here's an interesting tale, though.

        In the 1970's Los Angeles prohibited the dumping of lots of heavy metals into its sewer pipes and actually began enforcing the law.

        An unexpected result was corrosion, since the heavy metals tended to precipitate as sulfides from the decomposition of the amino acids methionine and cysteine in sewage, which normally occurs through the release of hydrogen sulfide, an evil smelling gas.   When the metals were no longer present, the sulfides got oxidized to sulfuric acid, which decomposed carbonate concrete and metal piping fixtures.

        It happens that there are considerable deposits of copper sulfide at the outfall pipe of the Los Angeles Hyperion sewage plant near Dockweiler Beach in LA.

        •  Sewage Sludge (0+ / 0-)

          Sewage sludge is regularly spread on farmland worldwide.

          Some important complications include heavy metals.

          Not to mention pathogens.

          But gosh, nnadir, that is the point of the research: to find an acceptable fertilizer and other by products, mainly fuel.

          See here for any that doubt it.

          Prince George County, BC, is the one that seems to be doing the most advanced research.

          Best to do things right don't you think?

          Best,  Terry

  •  So a nation has eaten itself out of its only (0+ / 0-)

    natural resource (with significant help from trans-national corps to be sure) and then the diarist fails to understand how fast growing (i.e., renewable) algae can be used as fertilizer (just like the Pilgrims did) so

    the gentle organic people

    are somehow to blame? And the cash starved FDA emasculated by Bush appointees who roll over (bend over) for Big Pharma to get poorly tested drugs onto market gets blamed for the deaths of sick people? Can I have another helping of Non sequiturs with my cold dry cereal?

    Personal Freedoms: Born 1215. Wounded 2001. Died 2006. Resurrected: 2009

    by OHdog on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 08:02:36 AM PDT

    •  Blame (0+ / 0-)

      the gentle organic people are somehow to blame?

      When folks spread false information, neglect real world conditions for an idealized utopia, abjure science and technology, decree that only high-priced food is fit to eat in a hungry world with many near the border of starvation; some might possibly see a problem.

      Shouting out your dispeasure with rapacious practices of giant agribusiness concerns that often are more interested in maintaining subsidies and monopoly is surely not objectionable to me.  Decrying technology that offers a world of lesser use of water, fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides with fresher and more nutritious food as well as less damage to the ecology of the planet and even benefit is.

      Your sympathy for the remaining inhabitants of Nauru is touching indeed.  Did you ever consider that those who did the damage and benefited the most were likely the first to move on?  Have you ever considered the possibility that every West Virginian is not responsible for the damage done by the coal mining in the state?  Or are they all just inferior people, unlike yourself?

      Best,  Terry

      •  You do have anger management issues don't you? (0+ / 0-)

        I said nothing about my feelings about, for , or against the human beings who live (lived) in that country, in West Virginia, or in Kentucky which has worse examples of environmental degradation than W.V.

        Personal Freedoms: Born 1215. Wounded 2001. Died 2006. Resurrected: 2009

        by OHdog on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 06:48:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Listen To Yourself (0+ / 0-)

          and then tell me again who is the intemperate one.

          So a nation has eaten itself out of its only natural resource

          In the first place, that is simply not true.

          What is true is that the tropical island has been ravished by mining.

          Nauru did not take a direct hit by an atomic bomb like the Bikini Atoll.  It still exists.  Nauru still has land and water and people.  What it also has is the wreckage left behind like the radioactivity that remained in what was left of Bikini.

          West Virginia can still come back from coal mining as have parts of California from gold mining where dredging is now strictly controlled though neither will be quite the same.  

          And the same for Kentucky.

          Don't be mad.  Be glad you are still alive and able to change what needs changing if you just will.

          You can first start with your attitude.

          Best,  Terry

        •  You want implacable, unforgiving anger, (0+ / 0-)

          I will give you anger.

          After Obama was "adopted" by the Crows in Montana and I mentioned that my half-sisters were part Crow, a Choctaw Indian told me that the Crows had fought alongside the U.S. Cavalry.

          Man oh man, that is some everlasting anger.

          I had gotten lots of stories of the Choctaw Trail of Tears that was a match for the better known Cherokee Trail of Tears.  A very sad thing for sure but it is the terrible conditions that Indians; Choctaws and Crows and Cherokees and others; find themselves in today that is the shame of this country and would best be addressed.  Nothing to be done about history.

          It is no different with the planet we all share and that needs some help to recover.

          Best,  Terry

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