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The 7 - Current Events & Politics - Federal Panel Says Oceans in "Deep Trouble" Register and log in to post!
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spf
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#1 Posted on 21.4.04 1024.31
Reposted on: 21.4.11 1026.35
Remember, humans do nothing bad to the environment, and only nasty communist tree-hugging hippies would ever think that. Pay no attention to anything said below as copied from this article (news.yahoo.com)


Citing increasing pressures from pollution, overfishing and residential development, a federal commission on Tuesday called for sweeping changes in how the U.S. manages the oceans, including allocating billions of dollars in gas and oil royalties for ocean preservation.

The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, created by Congress in 2000 and appointed by President Bush (news - web sites), concluded that human actions have seriously jeopardized the health of the oceans, from huge and toxic algae blooms to depletion of fish stocks. Only a major overhaul of federal policy could reverse the trend, the commission found in its 413-page report.


While the report focused primarily on oceans, the commission also addressed the Great Lakes and urged steps to curb problems caused by pollution and invasive species such as the zebra mussel.


"If our report is adopted, the payoff will be great," said retired Adm. James Watkins, committee chairman. "It's now obvious that ocean resources are not limitless, nor are ocean waters capable of continual self-cleansing. The point is this: It's up to us to find ways to use and enjoy the oceans in a sustainable way."


To attack the problems, the commission said the federal government must work to streamline ocean management, which is spread among "a confusing array of agencies at the federal, state and local levels."


Needed: Wider view


The report also called for a fundamental change in how the government addresses ocean problems, urging "ecosystem-based management," which focuses on entire regions, rather than the current policy of addressing each species or habitat in isolation.


The commission recommended creation of a National Ocean Council, to be chaired by an assistant to the president, and for doubling the amount of federal funding for ocean research.


The report was the government's first comprehensive look at ocean policy since the Stratton Commission issued Our Nation and the Sea more than 30 years ago.


Numbers adding up


Since then, "more than 37 million people, 19 million homes and countless businesses have been added to coastal areas," the report said, noting an increase in the nation's use of offshore oil and gas, marine transportation and coastal tourism.


"These developments, however, come with costs, and we are only now discovering the extent of those costs in terms of depleted resources, lost habitat and polluted waters," the report said.


Several environmental groups hailed the report and said it is a mandate for Congress and Bush to act.


Cameron Davis, executive director of the Lake Michigan Federation, said the timing was perfect because there is legislation pending in Congress to restore the Great Lakes.


"We need to do something, and we need to do something fast, or we are going to spend many times more to clean up existing messes," Davis said, but "a report like this can't mandate political will. At the end of the day, that's what we need more than anything else."


Sarah Chasis, a senior attorney for the National Resources Defense Council, said the commission's report highlighted many of the same themes that were outlined in a Pew Oceans Commission report in 2003.


"You have both of them basically saying we have serious degradation, we need to act," Chasis said.


The commission's report will be sent to the nation's governors for comment. Once the governors' comments are reviewed, a final version of the report will be sent to Bush and Congress.

Let Washington pay, chief says

Commission Chairman Watkins made a point of saying that there were no "unfunded mandates" in the report, which would require states to pay for reforms. Rather, the commission laid out a funding scheme by year to detail how the federal government could pay for the plan, which includes 54 recommendations for Congress, 69 for the president, 125 for federal agencies and 13 for states, Watkins said.

The commission calls for $4 billion a year from oil and gas royalties paid to the government from offshore drilling operations to be placed into an Ocean Policy Trust Fund. The commission estimates it would cost $1.3 billion to implement its recommendations in the first year, $2.4 billion the second and $3.2 billion in subsequent years.

"Will this be tough to sell?" Watkins asked. "You better believe it. But we're going to go for it."

Ted Beattie, president and chief executive officer of the John G. Shedd Aquarium and a member of the commission, said a crucial aspect of the report is a recommendation to educate the public on the perilous condition of the oceans and the Great Lakes.

"There hasn't been a strong PR effort to tell people what the situation is," Beattie said, adding, "If we don't get after these problems, they are only going to get worse."

- - -

INCREASING OCEAN USE SPURS CALL FOR PROTECTION

A presidential commission on Tuesday recommended the creation of a fund to help protect the oceans. The fund would be paid for through oil and gas royalties paid to the federal government. Since 1970, the growing U.S. population and expanded commerce have put added pressure on the ocean ecosystem.

COST OF PLAN

Year 1: $1.3 billion

Year 2: $2.4

Year 3:* $3.2

*Also each year thereafter

U.S. COASTAL POPULATION*

Scale in millions

2000: 145.5 million

NORTH AMERICA SHIPPING

Tons of goods loaded; scale in millions

2000: 513.8 million

U.S. AND CANADA CRUISE PASSENGERS

Scale in millions

2000: 6.9 million

*For coastal watershed counties

Sources: U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, United Nations (news - web sites) Conference on Trade and Development, Cruise Lines International Association




(edited by spf2119 on 21.4.04 1024)

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Joe E. Nitro
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#2 Posted on 21.4.04 2203.34
Reposted on: 21.4.11 2205.13
People really don't want to think about things like this. As long as it isn't in their backyard it isn't a problem to them. We live in a throw away society that wants to 'Save the Whales' or 'Free Tibet' as long as they don't have to do anything more than put a bumper sticker on their SUV.

avonhun
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#3 Posted on 22.4.04 1312.51
Reposted on: 22.4.11 1319.32
i cant eat tuna more than once or twice a week becuase it puts unhealthy levels of mercury in your system. i consider that my backyard.
Grimis
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#4 Posted on 22.4.04 1438.54
Reposted on: 22.4.11 1441.36
Since it is Eath Day, I would highly suggest you read this Commentary by one of Greenpeace's Co-founders:

But the story is much different elsewhere. Indeed, for much of the rest of the world, conditions are worse than they should be. Ironically, the very movement that made its presence felt in rallies across this country in 1970 and that thrives in the developed world today must shoulder much of the blame for the developing world's sorry state. It is impeding both economic and environmental progress due to an agenda that is anti-development, anti- technology and, in the final analysis, anti-human.
spf
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#5 Posted on 22.4.04 1505.53
Reposted on: 22.4.11 1506.06
    Originally posted by Grimis
    Since it is Eath Day, I would highly suggest you read this Commentary by one of Greenpeace's Co-founders:

    But the story is much different elsewhere. Indeed, for much of the rest of the world, conditions are worse than they should be. Ironically, the very movement that made its presence felt in rallies across this country in 1970 and that thrives in the developed world today must shoulder much of the blame for the developing world's sorry state. It is impeding both economic and environmental progress due to an agenda that is anti-development, anti- technology and, in the final analysis, anti-human.

I assume this will allow me to now use Greenpeace member quotes to back up my arguments and you will be in agreement with me correct? Since the only credential that this person has for his opinion is being high in Greenpeace ranks, I guess that now qualifies as status.

Or am I misreading your intentions here? ;)

(edited by spf2119 on 22.4.04 1506)
Grimis
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#6 Posted on 22.4.04 1534.02
Reposted on: 22.4.11 1534.37
    Originally posted by spf2119
    Or am I misreading your intentions here?
Well considering he abandoned Greenpeace and the(and I use this term loosely) mainstream environmental movement because they're nuts, take it for what you will :)
DrDirt
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#7 Posted on 22.4.04 1634.37
Reposted on: 22.4.11 1634.44
    Originally posted by Grimis
      Originally posted by spf2119
      Or am I misreading your intentions here?
    Well considering he abandoned Greenpeace and the(and I use this term loosely) mainstream environmental movement because they're nuts, take it for what you will :)


Just because some nuts front environmental concerns doesn't mean we shouldn't pay attention. We are much too cavalier in the way we treat our ONLY home. If we f**k up the oceans we are really screwed.

(edited by DrDirt on 22.4.04 1635)
Big Bad
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#8 Posted on 22.4.04 2244.21
Reposted on: 22.4.11 2245.41
This looks like a job for......Aquaman! Or Namor.
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