The Ocean is Boiling (and We Don't Care)
by C. A. Matthews
The ocean is boiling billions of marine lifeforms off the coast of British Columbia. It literally steamed the clams right inside their shells. The ocean also burned like something out of an apocalyptic horror movie this past week in the Gulf of Mexico due to a burst pipeline. Hundreds have died of heat-related illnesses in the Pacific Northwest. Forest fires are burning in the West of the US in record numbers while hurricanes have caused massive flooding in the East.
Yet most Americans will continue to go about their business, as usual, without a thought as to how any of these disturbing occurrences matter. Heck, they'll be lucky if they even catch more than a ten second blurb about any of these stories on a mainstream media news outlet.
"Wet bulb" conditions can kill human beings in temperatures of 95+ degrees Fahrenheit with high humidity because our bodies simply can't sweat and cool ourselves down in those conditions. The way our planet is rapidly warming because of fossil fuel burning these wet bulb conditions might soon become all-too-common in parts of the US not generally thought to be at risk. "The Rational National" explains this horrifying weather phenomenon in his short video below.
Surprise! The whole world is boiling. Do we care?
The term "global warming" has long gone out of fashion, but perhaps it's more accurate than ever. "Climate change" is less offensive to some, but "climate crisis" or "climate emergency" or even "climate catastrophe" seems more appropriate to me. Boiling oceans and human beings dying by the thousands in extreme heat waves are catastrophic emergencies and not simple changes to the climate. Those that argue that rising temperatures are a part of a "natural cycle" aren't facing facts.
The mean temps have been going up steadily since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. That means humans have played a large hand in this current climate catastrophe. We can't put all the blame on the occasional volcanic eruption.
Hmm… Wonder what we've been burning and dumping into the atmosphere since the start of the Industrial Revolution? Could it be fossil fuels?
Solar-powered bullet trains and wind-powered electric cars--why do we shy away from these greener options when our planet and our very lives are at stake? The fear of the unknown is one answer, but humanity's seemingly inherent suicidal tendencies (a.k.a. "capitalistic greed") are another. We shouldn't believe everything Big Oil shoves down our throats as their micro-plastics fill our water supplies and Big Coal's heavy particulates from coal-powered heavy industry fill our lungs. Our survival instincts alone should motivate us to take decisive action.
But they don't.
If marine life boiling alive in their shells doesn't motivate us to take decisive actions to negate the effects of climate change, what will it take? Notice I didn't mention the health and well-being of our fellow humans. There's ample evidence that indicates many people don't give a sh*t about what happens to their neighbors.
Looking at my Twitter feed… I can tell we're fine if others don't have access to health care, experience homelessness, or go to bed hungry. Really, why would the possibility of our neighbors roasting alive in a severe heat wave or a few millions of acres of forest fires be of any concern to those who can afford air conditioning or an Alpine home atop of a very tall mountain, well above the tree line?
With so many signs demonstrating how we're destroying the planet through our fossil fuel abuse, we can't simply keep pleading ignorance. Even those in deep climate change denial know we're to blame. Whales and dolphins don't build leaky underwater pipelines and exploding oil rigs in the Gulf, do they? Squirrels don't play with matches and burn down their forest homes, darkening the skies with smoke and particulates. Cows and pigs don't twist the animal feedlot (CAFO) owners' arms and force them to dump millions of tons of animal wastes into our rivers and lakes, creating toxic blue-green algae blooms.
It's time to stop the lie that humanity isn't the culprit behind this climate catastrophe. It's time for each of us to stop and do something--anything--to help our Earth heal. We need to care--a lot--about our neighbors and what happens to them in the coming days.
The ocean may continue to boil in the weeks, months, and years ahead, but at least we should care that it is--and vow to keep working hard until it doesn't.
Related Articles and Videos:
The Ocean is on Fire from Gas Leak from Underwater Pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico
The East Floods While the West Burns https://youtu.be/_5ojO_HF8Io
Amazon Workers Fainting, Carted Off on Stretchers Amid Sweltering Warehouse Heat https://youtu.be/PfIOV7WMv60
Heat Dome Probably Killed 1 Billion Marine Animals on Canada Coast https://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/70335-heat-dome-probably-killed-1-billion-marine-animals-on-canada-coast-experts-say
Behind the Keystone XL Pipeline Would Like $15 Billion of Your Money Please
Counterinsurgency Indigenous Water Protectors Face Off with an Oil Company and
Police Over a Minnesota Pipeline
the Living Dead--How California's Canals and Dams Threaten the State's
Dumps Millions of Gallons of Toxic Chemicals into the Gulf of Mexico
Themselves From Heat Waves the Working Class Needs to Get Organized
As you’re likely aware, our democratic institutions are in peril. New Jim Crow-style state laws combined with other insidious voter suppression tactics systematically disenfranchise BIPOC (Black/Indigenous/People of Color). That’s why the Lakota People’s Law Project has taken legal action against the State of South Dakota. We have now officially joined the Oglala and Rosebud Nations, Standing Rock Sioux tribal member Hoksila White Mountain, and others as plaintiffs in a lawsuit alleging that South Dakota has repeatedly failed to register Native voters, in violation of the National Voter Registration Act.
Our partners at the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) and Demos submitted the filing to the U.S. District Court today, updating a lawsuit initiated in 2020 to include Hoksila and Lakota Law as plaintiffs. As you may remember, in 2018 and 2020, we worked hard with the Standing Rock Nation to ensure that Native voices were heard at the ballot throughout the country. Unfortunately, in far too many cases, systemic discrimination still prevented BIPOC from casting ballots.
The National Voter Registration Act — sometimes called Motor-Voter — is a federal law requiring that states help their citizens register to vote through the Department of Motor Vehicles and other state-run public assistance agencies. Time after time, South Dakota has failed to live up to its responsibility to assist Native People with voting.
The examples are legion, but here’s one. Before a recent election, Native voter Tyler Eagle Bull walked 30 miles in 12-degree weather to submit a change of address request for his Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. He wasn’t initially offered a voter registration application, and a Department of Social Services staff person then threw his completed voter registration form in the trash.
South Dakota, of course, has long been known for discriminatory practices. For some historical perspective: the state prevented Native people from voting until the 1940s — a violation of the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 — and Todd, Shannon, and Washabaugh counties refused to follow laws that protected the rights of Native Americans to vote until 1974. And in 1984, the county auditor in Fall River, which includes part of the Pine Ridge Reservation, refused to accept voter registrations from Native American citizens.
We know this is all part of a larger pattern of nationwide disenfranchisement. As of May, the Brennan Center for Justice had tracked the enactment of at least 22 bills with restrictive provisions in 14 states, a dramatic increase from prior years. These brazen attacks on our democracy are a big reason why it’s so critical that we continue to support one another. As our ally, you’re fighting for — and winning — a better future for the next generations.
Wopila tanka — thank you for helping to protect our democracy!
Chase Iron Eyes
Co-Director & Lead Counsel
The Lakota People’s Law Project