Daily Archives: 04/22/2006

Nepal At A Crux

It looks like the king of Nepal is on his way out. Massive demonstrations of protesters defied the shoot on sight curfew today and surged over police and army blockades. The king offered to restore democracy, but the opposition groups smell blood and refused any deal that keeps the monarchy intact.

I hope the situation defuses peacefully and without any loss of life.

Earth Week: Hug Your Planet

Guam EPA Earth Week 2006 - Logo from CJ Santiago of GW High School

It’s Earth Day! I hope you did something good for the planet today. I picked up trash along the beach from Tanguisson to Hilaan (Shark’s Hole) with the boonie stompers. It was a chore, but it felt good to clear up a lot of waste. It bums me out to see beer cans, soda bottles, styrofoam plates, busted zhories, and all the other detritus that people leave on such a beautiful beach.

Don’t worry, you can still join in all the fun. The boonie stomp next week is also a beach walk with trash bags, for a little more clean up action. After all, shouldn’t every day be Earth Day?

PS – I wanted to mention a very good National Geographic article on the end of oil and developments in renewable energy, including wind power.

Giant Undersea Volcano Found

The “Vailulu’u seamount”:http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/04/0414_060414_volcano.html?source=rss rises 4500 meters from the seafloor near the Samoan Islands. Despite toxic chemicals, scalding water and extreme depth, the volcano is teeming with life. Thousands of eels congregate on the spot, gorging on shrimp who are sucked down from the surface in a gigantic gyre to the top of the seamount 700 meters below the surface. The whirlpool also sucks in fish who die in the anaerobic, iron tainted water. But a type of sea worm lives in this ‘Moat of Death,’ feasting on the carcasses of hapless fish.

This is a fascinating find for scientists because it hints at the future of the world’s oceans. As more carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, the “oceans absorb the gas and become more acidic”:http://www.galaide.org/?p=2651. The waters around Vailulu’u are extremely acidic and poor in oxygen and provide a clue to how life will survive in this future ocean.