Daily Archives: 2/21/2006

Bad Fish Off Cocos

And I’m not talking about that trigger fish that took a chunk out of your skull, Wes. Both KUAM and PDN report that dangerously high levels of PCB’s were found in fish and sediment collected in Cocos Lagoon. The suspected source of the chemicals is a long dismantled Coast Guard installation on Cocos Island. The levels of PCB’s in the fish were 265 times higher than acceptable EPA guidelines, and the soil samples were a whopping 4900 times higher than recommended levels.

What that means is a cancer risk that normally is about one in a million has increased to about one in a thousand, based on the preliminary levels of PCBs found in Cocos Lagoon fish, said Alex Soto, administrator of environmental monitoring and analytical services at Guam EPA.

One in a thousand? Wow, that’s a pretty darn high rate of incidence. Makes me rather leery of eating local fish.

This is only the latest in a series of environmental mishaps caused by Guam’s military installations. There is a similar problem with PCB’s in Mongmong. PCB’s are associated with electrical equipment and the Navy had a power plant in Mongmong until 1995 that used PCB’s as a cooling agent. Fish caught off Agat and Orote Point are contaminated with PCB’s too, the result of chemicals leaching from the Navy’s Orote Point Landfill. And of course the latest brouhaha over the Tiyan housing now includes environmental warnings about lead paint and asbestos in the houses turned over to ancestral landowners. Of course the problem is not isolated to military activities; Guam’s history of military occupation simply makes the armed forces the most likely culprit in environmental cleanups.

AAAHHH!!!

AAAHHH<img src=” align=”left” width=”148” height=”80” />AAAHHH Watch out Guam!

Well it looks like I’m going to be on the radio tonight, talking about the Guam, the environment and my website. Josie asked me if I was interested a couple weeks ago and I agreed. Josie and I will be on the Where We Live radio show with Dave Lotz (of Boonie Stomp fame) from seven until eight tonight.

I’m looking forward to it, and the opportunity to take my propaganda to a new medium. Everybody knows you take over the radio stations first in any coup attempt. It’s one more step in my path to global conquest.

Be sure to listen in, either on the radio or via streaming webcast from K57.

Oceans Of Listerine

Well here’s another reason global warming sucks: The increase in carbon dioxide levels is rapidly making the world’s oceans more acidic and could lead to a massive extinction of marine invertebrates similar to the K-T event 65 million years ago.

When CO2 dissolves in the ocean, some of it becomes carbonic acid. The current rate of input is 50 times greater than the ocean’s sediments can absorb though. This will lead to a change in worldwide pH levels from 8.2 to 7.7 in under 100 years. Carbonic acid dissolves calcium carbonate, the basic building material of corals, plankton and mollusc shells. This could make it difficult for these animals to build shells and survive in the acidic waters.

The last time the oceans endured such a drastic change in chemistry was 65 million years ago, at about the same time the dinosaurs went extinct. Though researchers do not yet know exactly what caused this ancient acidification, it was directly related to the cataclysm that wiped out the giant beasts. The pattern of extinction in the ocean is consistent with ocean acidification—the fossil record reveals a precipitous drop in the number of species with calcium carbonate shells that live in the upper ocean—especially corals and plankton. During the same period, species with shells made from resistant silicate minerals were more likely to survive.