A Primeval Tide of Toxins

02008-09-06 | Environment | 2 comments

A Primeval Tide of Toxins – Los Angeles Times
For many years, it was assumed that the oceans were too vast for humanity to damage in any lasting way. “Man marks the Earth with ruin,” wrote the 19th century poet Lord Byron. “His control stops with the shore.”

Even in modern times, when oil spills, chemical discharges and other industrial accidents heightened awareness of man’s capacity to injure sea life, the damage was often regarded as temporary.

But over time, the accumulation of environmental pressures has altered the basic chemistry of the seas.

The causes are varied, but collectively they have made the ocean more hospitable to primitive organisms by putting too much food into the water.

Industrial society is overdosing the oceans with basic nutrients — the nitrogen, carbon, iron and phosphorous compounds that curl out of smokestacks and tailpipes, wash into the sea from fertilized lawns and cropland, seep out of septic tanks and gush from sewer pipes.

Read and weep.


  1. Rob

    Excellent information. It definitely points the finger at all of us for the damage – after all, even though we may not be directly responsible for polluting the ocean we buy products produced by the polluters, we do not take action to impact legislation, and we do not consider packaging, ingredients, and origins of products when buying. Yes, it comes down to us. There are things we can do though, some of them simple, and when enough people do them there will be a positive impact. You may have read the updated “50 Simple Things You Can Do To Save The Earth,” now visit the web site: http://www.50simplethings.com/ There you will find issues 5, 15, 23, 26, 34, 35, 37, 40, 42, and 43 all directly involving the heath of our oceans.

  2. Anonymous

    About 40 years ago, the chemical company was ordered to stop dumping chemicals into our local river and at that time, you could actually see flames of fire coming out of the river. Thank goodness that someone spoke up for the river. So, today the fish have returned and water recreation for people to enjoy.


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