Climate Change

We Have 10 Years Left To Save The World, Says Climate Expert

By  Laura Paddison HuffPost (2/21/20) The next decade will determine what kind of a world we will create. We can do nothing in the face of a climate crisis that is showing its strength through devastating fires, floods and extreme heat, and usher in a dystopian world of choking pollution and huge swaths of unliveable land. Or we can act. Everyone, from individuals, to companies, to cities, to countries, works to cut their emissions in half by 2030, steering us away from catastrophe and towards a low-carbon, healthier, happier world. These are the two worlds Christiana Figueres sets out in her new book…

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‘Consistent With A Mass Extinction’: New Study Warns Climate Chaos Driving Rapid Decline Of Bumblebees

  By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (2/7/20) The rising frequency of extremely hot temperatures tied to human-caused global heating is creating “climate chaos” that drives widespread declines of bumblebees, some of the planet’s most important pollinators, according to a new study published in the journal Science. Researchers at the University of Ottawa in Canada and University College London in the United Kingdom developed a new measurement of temperature based on species’ heat tolerance. “We have created a new way to predict local extinctions that tells us, for each species individually, whether climate change is creating temperatures that exceed what the bumblebees can handle,” explained study…


“We hope it’s not the right answer” — Climate Models Are Running Red Hot, And Scientists Don’t Know Why

“We got some really strange results.” By Eric Roston Bloomberg (2/3/20) There are dozens of climate models, and for decades they’ve agreed on what it would take to heat the planet by about 3° Celsius. It’s an outcome that would be disastrous—flooded cities, agricultural failures, deadly heat—but there’s been a grim steadiness in the consensus among these complicated climate simulations. Then last year, unnoticed in plain view, some of the models started running very hot. The scientists who hone these systems used the same assumptions about greenhouse-gas emissions as before and came back with far worse outcomes. Some produced projections…


US Government Lists Non-Violent ‘Valve Turner’ Climate Activists As Threat On Par With Murderous Neo-Nazis

The making of national security is rarely about security for the population. It’s about security for those in power. By Julia Conley Common Dreams (1/13/20) Climate action advocates on Monday condemned reports that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has placed non-violent environmental activists on a list of domestic terrorists alongside white supremacists and mass murderers. Citing documents received by the non-profit group Property of the People, The Guardian reports how the Climate Direct Action members who shut off tar sands pipeline operations in an act of civil disobedience in October 2016, were called “suspected environmental rights extremists” by DHS. In the document, the…


57 Climate Scientists Object After Biden Falsely Claims “Not A Single Solitary Scientist” Thinks Sanders’ Green New Deal Can Work

    By Jon Queally Common Dreams 91/29/20) After former Vice President Joe Biden late last week falsely claimed that “there’s not a single solitary scientist that thinks” the kind of bold Green New Deal initiative put forth by his 2020 Democratic primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders “can work,” more than four dozen U.S. climate scientists responded Tuesday to make clear that just isn’t true. Sanders’ Green New Deal is a sweeping proposal that calls for “100 percent renewable energy for electricity and transportation by no later than 2030 and complete decarbonization by at least 2050” while investing $16.3 trillion over ten years…


Finland’s Effort To Go Carbon Neutral Undermined By Continued Peat Industry

  “We are at a profound crossroads. There is no other moment any more. We are now in the blinding bright light of either choosing life for this planet, or the darkness that will follow.” By Gabriel Gatehouse Assignment / BBC (1/23/20) How do you achieve net-zero carbon emissions in just fifteen years? In Finland, a fisherman-turned-climate scientist believes he has part of the answer: re-wilding the country’s peat fields. Gabriel Gatehouse travels to the country’s frozen north to meet Tero Mustonen, as he battles lobbyists and vested interests in government and the peat industry, in a race to mitigate…


Why Australia Is Burning

As firefighters battle climate collapse triggered bushfires, Australia’s conservative Prime Minister fights to protect coal corporations.   The Daily / The New York Times (1/13/20) Wildfires have devastated Australia, incinerating an area roughly the size of West Virginia and killing 24 people and as many as half a billion animals. Today, we explore the human and environmental costs of the disaster, its connection to climate change and why so many Australians are frustrated by Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s response. Link To 28-Minute Audio ***** Australian Wildfires Prove Denying Climate Change Won’t Save You From It The Real News (1/7/20) Climate…


Properly Addressing The Australian Bushfire Tragedy Begins With Your Dictionary

  ***** “Recognizing a problem doesn’t always bring a solution, but until we recognize that problem, there can be no solution.” — James Baldwin By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (1/20/20) The weeks long tragedy of uncontrollable wild bushfires racing across Australia leaving thousands of burned out homes and an estimated one billion dead animals in their fiery wake has given what many call a frightening glimpse into our future. While pretty much anyone outside the coal industry and the Republican party recognizes the obvious link between the fires and climate there is a very real problem in the way we refer to the human impact…


Scientists Say Hot Ocean ‘Blob’ Killed One Million Seabirds: ‘Scale Of This Failure Has No Precedent’

“This gives us some insight into the future.” By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (1/16/20) On the heels of new research showing that the world’s oceans are rapidly warming, scientists revealed Wednesday that a huge patch of hot water in the northeast Pacific Ocean dubbed “the blob” was to blame for killing about one million seabirds. The peer-reviewed study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, was conducted by a team of researchers at federal and state agencies, conservation groups, and universities. They tied the mass die-off to “the blob,” a marine heatwave that began forming in 2013 and grew more intense in 2015 because of the…


Arsenic Levels At Bankrupt Chippewa County Frac Sand Mine 7 Times Higher Than State Cleanup Standards

  By Rich Kremer Wisconsin Public Radio (12/16/19) A state review of a potential frac sand mine reclamation project in Chippewa County has found high concentrations of arsenic and other heavy metals at the site and left the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources with “reasonable concern” groundwater contamination may have occurred. On Nov. 11, the DNR responded to a request from Chippewa County for a “technical review” of a plan to clean up ponds at a frac sand mining and processing facility owned by Superior Silica Sands in the Town of Auburn. Known as process water ponds, the basins allow muds that are washed from grains…


This One Word Tells You Which Dem Candidates Are Parroting Insurance Industry Talking Points On Health Care

By Bob Brigham Raw Story (1/14/19) As Democrats prepare to debate health care reform during the last debate before the first votes, a former top insurance company executive warned about one key talking point that he helped the insurance companies push. Wendell Potter laid out his warning in a new op-ed for The New York Times. “There’s a dangerous talking point being repeated in the Democratic primary for president that could affect the survival of millions of people, and the finances of even more. This is partly my fault,” Potter admitted. “When the candidates discuss health care, you’re bound to hear some of…


Australia’s Burning Forests: A Sign We’ve Slid Far Beyond A Global Climate Crisis Tipping Point

“Nobody saw it coming this soon. It’s likely the forests won’t be coming back as we know them.” By Bob Berwyn Inside Climate News (1/8/20) As extreme wildfires burn across large swaths of Australia, scientists say we’re witnessing how global warming can push forest ecosystems past a point of no return. Some of those forests won’t recover in today’s warmer climate, scientists say. They expect the same in other regions scarred by flames in recent years; in semi-arid areas like parts of the American West, the Mediterranean Basin and Australia, some post-fire forest landscapes will shift to brush or grassland. There’s evidence that…


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‘Literally And Politically Flammable’ — Naomi Klein On Risk Of Eco-Fascism

  By Alexander C. Kaufman HuffPost (1/5/19) California burned. The Amazon burned. Greenland burned. Siberia burned. Indonesia burned. Australia’s ongoing fires look hellish. Now, last year’s global inferno looks to Naomi Klein, the author and intellectual godmother of the Green New Deal movement, like a lit fuse to a fascist future. “We’re in a moment where we are literally flammable,” Klein, whose latest book “On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal” was published in September, said on a recent afternoon. “But we are also politically flammable.” In 2019, some factions of the global far-right that gained power in…


The People Of Iceland Confront Growing Reality Of The Great Thaw

Assignment / BBC (12/26/19) Iceland’s glaciers are melting at an unprecedented rate, with scientists predicting that they could all be gone 200 years from now. How is this affecting the lives of local people, and the identity of a nation that has ice in its name? Maria Margaronis talks to Icelandic farmers and fishermen, scientists and environmental activists about their (sometimes surprising) responses to climate change, and asks why it’s so difficult even for those who see its effects from their windows every day to take in what it means. Link To Story And 27-Minute Audio


Climate Emergency: The Earth Is In A Death Spiral & Only Radical Action Can Save Us

  Extinction Rebellion graphic. Even the bodies that claim to be addressing our predicament remain locked within destructive frameworks.  By George Monbiot The Guardian (11/14/19) It was a moment of the kind that changes lives. At a press conference held by climate activists Extinction Rebellion last week, two of us journalists pressed the organisers on whether their aims were realistic. They have called, for example, for UK carbon emissions to be reduced to net zero by 2025. Wouldn’t it be better, we asked, to pursue some intermediate aims? A young woman called Lizia Woolf stepped forward. She hadn’t spoken before, but the passion,…


A Single Ohio Fracking Well Vented More Methane In Just 20 Days Than Whole Nations Do In A Year

By Mark Sumner Daily Kos (12/19/19) Less than a week ago, a study on methane “super emitters” revealed something about the scope of the environmental threat represented by Donald Trump’s refusal to regulate methane release at wells. Not only are these sources making a significant and often unrecognized contribution to the climate crisis, but they can be difficult to find. Methane is invisible and, without the mercaptan added by utility companies to give gas its distinctive stink, even high levels of the gas can be odorless. Even when a satellite or plane identifies high methane in an area, pinpointing a specific well or storage…


Right Wing Religion Round-Up: ‘Kill the gays’ Pastor Claims Young Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Is Demonically Possessed & ‘needs Jesus’

By Kyle Mantyla The New Civil Rights Movement (12/17/19) Radical right-wing pastor Kevin Swanson declared on his radio program yesterday that Time magazine’s decision to name climate change activist Greta Thunberg as 2019’s Person of the Year is a sign of “the unraveling of the Western world.” Swanson, who normally uses his radio program to declare that the proper biblical punishment for homosexuality is death, seized on the fact that Thunberg has Asperger’s syndrome, and suggested that she is demonically possessed and in need of Jesus. “She’s psychologically disturbed,” Swanson said, likening her to the young boy in Mark 9 who was healed by Jesus after being possessed by a demonic spirit. “I have to say…


Dr. Peter Carter: The Burying Of Scientific Data & Deadly Denial Of The Risk To The World At COP25 Climate Conference

  By Debbie Dudek Special To The Commoner Call (12/16/19) I had hope this year that a plan by world leaders was going to be put in place to avert the climate crisis or — at the very least — lessen its impact. Yes, that sounds like some fairy tale dream, but after the worldwide lineup of environmental activists and groups that showed up since last November, I felt it could be possible. Heavyweights like Greta Thunberg from Sweden, Extinction Rebellion from the UK, the Sunrise Movement in the US, and the global student strikes were all beyond belief. All…


Humanity Is Riding Delusion To Extinction

“I’m rooting for humanity, no doubt, but my own limited life experience has made me unlikely to bet on our species.” By Danny Sjursen Truthdig (12/3/19) Horses sporting gas masks. That, of all things, has been on my mind lately. Bear with me, now. Gaze at the ever-so-cockamamie photo. A horse, wearing a gas mask. Nothing so illustrates the rank absurdity and irrationality of the human condition. It was during World War I—which killed an unheard-of nine million soldiers in just four years—that the armies of Europe still employed horses in an age of machine guns, airplanes (eventually), tanks and poison gas attacks….


Only Bernie Sanders’ Climate Policy Meets The Climate Emergency Challenge

By Naomi Klein & Sivan Kartha Boston Globe (11/25/19) As Bernie Sanders brings his plans for a Green New Deal to Iowa, one part is proving most resonant: the idea that, as our economy rapidly shifts to renewable energy, power companies should be publicly owned and controlled, and the biggest polluters should help underwrite the costs. Interestingly, this is the part of the Sanders plan, which builds on the resolution introduced by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, that has received the most pushback from media commentators—who have been quick to dismiss public ownership over renewables as impractical and radical. Yet…


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Chris Hedges: How To (Maybe) Save The Planet & Ourselves

“The corrupt system is going to kill us all unless we rise up.” By Chris Hedges TruthDig (11/18/19) If you read only one book this year, it should be Roger Hallam’s “Common Sense for the 21st Century: Only Nonviolent Rebellion Can Now Stop Climate Breakdown and Social Collapse.” Hallam’s lucid and concise book, which echoes Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense,” says what many of us now know to be true but do not say: If we do not replace the ruling elites soon we are finished as a species. It is a cogent, well-argued case for global rebellion—the only form of resistance…


‘Mother Nature Does A Mic Drop’: Venice City Council Chamber Floods Minutes After Members Vote Down Climate Crisis Amendment

The Venice city council chambers flooded Wednesday evening after a vote on the climate crisis. (Photo: Andrea Zanoni/Facebook) By Eion Higgins Common Dreams (11/14/19) It seemed like divine intervention—or at least the hand of Gaia. Minutes after the Venetian city council voted down a resolution addressing the climate crisis Wednesday, the council chambers were filled with water for the first time in history, the result of unprecedented flooding in the city due to the highest tides in 50 years. “Mother Nature does a mic drop,” tweeted software developer Denis Õstir. As Common Dreams reported, Venice is currently suffering through intense flooding that…


Warning Of Untold Human Suffering Scientists Declare A Climate Emergency

“We declare, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.” By Kyla Mandel HuffPost (11/5/19) More than 11,000 scientists from 153 countries have declared a climate emergency, warning in a new report that “untold human suffering” is “unavoidable” without drastic action. The climate crisis reaches an “emergency” level, according to the study, when “business as usual” — the current action being taken (or not) by society, corporations and governments — is not enough to match the scale of what’s needed to address the situation. In order to avoid a “hothouse Earth” where runaway temperature increases beget further warming,…


Has The Climate Crisis Made California Too Dangerous To Live In?

As with so many things, Californians are going first where the rest of us will follow. By Bill McKibbin The Guardian (10/29/19) Monday morning dawned smoky across much of California, and it dawned scary – over the weekend winds as high as a hundred miles an hour had whipped wildfires through forests and subdivisions. It wasn’t the first time this had happened – indeed, it’s happened every year for the last three – and this time the flames were licking against communities destroyed in 2017. Reporters spoke to one family that had moved into their rebuilt home on Saturday, only to…


US Military Fears Societal & Economic Collapse Due To Effects Of Rapidly Evolving Climate Crisis

    The Damage Report / The Young Turks (10/25/19) “According to a new U.S. Army report, Americans could face a horrifically grim future from climate change involving blackouts, disease, thirst, starvation and war. The study found that the US military itself might also collapse. This could all happen over the next two decades, the report notes. The senior US government officials who wrote the report are from several key agencies including the Army, Defense Intelligence Agency, and NASA. The study called on the Pentagon to urgently prepare for the possibility that domestic power, water, and food systems might collapse…


ExxonMobil On Trial Over Company Hiding From Investors True Business Risk Of Fossil Fuel & Climate Change

By Meghna Chakrabarti & Stefano Kotsonis On Point / WBUR (10/22/19) ExxonMobil goes on trial over charges it defrauded investors about climate change. Guests: Nicholas Kusnetz, reporter for InsideClimate News. (@nkus) David Hasemyer, reporter for InsideClimate News. He co-authored the 2016 Pulitzer Prize-finalist series “Exxon: The Road Not Taken,” about  (@DavidHasemyer) Link to 47-Minute Audio ***** Bills Criminalizing Pipeline Protest Arise In Statehouses Nationwide By Steve Hom Real News (2/22/19) The oil and gas industry has started its 2019 lobbying efforts with a bang. Eight different statehouses across the nation are considering bills criminalizing protests on property owned by the oil and gas…


Never Mind That A Drowning City Will Host G7, “Climate Change Will Not Be On The Agenda”

  By Jess Nelson Miami New Times (10/18/9) Nobody should be surprised that President Donald Trump selected his South Florida golf resort to host the G7 summit. Ever since this year’s summit wrapped up in France, he’s been pushing the Trump National Doral Miami as a venue and dismissed allegations of Emoluments Clause violations. Miamians know that climate change is real and that it will affect their everyday ways of living. But when acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney took the lectern yesterday for a news conference, he revealed that when seven leaders of some of the world’s largest…


Study Predicts ‘Frightening Future’ For North American Birds, With Two-Thirds Of Species Extinct By 2100 If Earth Warms More Than 1.5 Degrees

“Birds are important indicator species, because if an ecosystem is broken for birds, it is or soon will be for people too.” By Julia Conley Common Dreams (10/11/19) In a new study published Thursday by the National Audubon Society, scientists say that saving hundreds of bird species from extinction by the end of this century is entirely possible—but that without commitment from policymakers to end human-caused global warming, two-thirds of North America’s birds could be gone by 2100. The report, “Survival by Degrees: Bird Species on the Brink,” found that 389 out of 604 North American bird species are at risk of…


The Trembling Empire Strikes Back: Outrage As London Police Use Battering Ram To Raid Extinction Rebellion Building

“No petroleum company warehouse has ever had a battering ram used on it by the police.”  By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (10/6/19) London police on Saturday raided a building Extinction Rebellion activists were using to store supplies ahead of a climate demonstration planned for Monday, a preemptive action environmentalists condemned as an unlawful crackdown on a peaceful protesters. The Guardian reported that “10 people—seven women and three men—had been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance.” Video of the raid, which shows police using a battering ram to break into a south London building, quickly went viral Saturday as activists…


10 Ways That The Climate Crisis & Militarism Are Intertwined

  By Medea Benjamin Common Dreams (9/26/19) The environmental justice movement that is surging globally is intentionally intersectional, showing how global warming is connected to issues such as race, poverty, migration and public health. One area intimately linked to the climate crisis that gets little attention, however, is militarism. Here are some of the ways these issues—and their solutions—are intertwined. 1. The US military protects Big Oil and other extractive industries. The US military has often been used to ensure that US companies have access to extractive industry materials, particularly oil, around the world.The 1991 Gulf War against Iraq was a blatant…


Two-Fifths Of Europe’s Native Trees At Risk Of Extinction, Assessment Says

  Irish Examiner / Press Association (9/27/19) Horse chestnut trees, whose conkers [nuts] have been collected and treasured by generations of children, are among scores of European trees at risk of extinction. The latest assessment from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List also reveals three species of whitebeam recently discovered in Somerset are critically endangered at a European level. The European Red List of trees, which covers all 454 species of native trees, found more than two-fifths – 168 species – are under threat of dying out in Europe. More than half (58%) of the trees…


At A Time Of Grifters, Liars, Cowards & Cheats, Greta Thunberg Showed The World What It Means To Really Lead

Her remarks reminded us what leadership, courage and sacrifice look like. By Michael H. Fuchs The Guardian (9/25/19) At the 2019 annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations, a 16-year-old climate activist took the mantle of global leadership usually reserved for the US president. Donald Trump’s decision to not participate in the UN climate summit illustrated just how devastatingly Trump’s climate-denying policies have undermined America’s role in the world as a force for good, and how his actions could contribute to the destruction of the futures of countless billions. Meanwhile, Greta Thunberg called him – and other world leaders –…


World’s Ice And Oceans Under Dire Threat, Shocking UN Report Warns

Hundreds of millions of people in coastal areas would be threatened if climate change continues unabated, the UN’s climate body warned. By Nick Visser HuffPost (9/25/19) Ice sheets are melting, glaciers are shrinking and the planet’s oceans are changing in “unprecedented” ways, according to a shocking new report released by the United Nations on Wednesday, the latest confirmation that climate change is already wreaking havoc around the globe. The findings, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, the leading U.N. body studying human-caused global warming, issue stark warnings for hundreds of millions of people living in low-lying…


La Crosse Students Rally To Raise Awareness On Climate Crisis

“The children are the only adults in the room.” — Protest sign. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (9/23/19) Students across Wisconsin took to the streets late Friday to express their concern for what the growing climate crisis means for their future. About 250 kids, teens and adults gathered at Burns Park near downtown La Crosse late in the afternoon under the direction of a great group of teen activists to march several blocks to Rep. Ron Kind’s office(D-WI). While nobody from Kind’s office was on hand, the activists gathered signatures on a letter to the congressman calling for…


Update From The ‘Frac Sand Sentinel’ — Danger: Heed Fracking Air Pollution Warnings

How is deregulated natural gas flaring impacting Texas? According to a professional photographer who visited the Bakken in North Dakota, flaring is also occurring there in abundance and pouring pollutants into the air. Watch the video from Texas. “Texas Sharon” Wilson readily uses her Flir Camera to demonstrate the pollution affecting those who live near a hydraulic fracturing area. These pollutants are causing illness among the residents. Link to 4-Minute Video Since the fossil fuel industry is involved in “slowly poisoning west Texas” there is no doubt that pollutants from the Bakken are also polluting North Dakota and nearby mid-western…


Media Ignoring The Deadly Impacts Of Climate Crisis Doesn’t Mean They Just Go Away

[Editor’s Note: This is the original — unedited — version of the writer’s letter that recently appeared in The La Crosse Tribune. — Mark L. Taylor] By Cathy Van Maren Letter to the Editor Media reports about 9/11 first responders and survivors sickened by toxic debris fail to mention that George W. Bush’s Environmental Protection Agency head, supported by his National Security Adviser, ignored science and assured the public that Ground Zero air was safe to breathe. “No Bush administration officials have paid any price for lying thousands to their deaths.” But that’s nothing compared to what will happen if…


Excerpt Form Naomi Klein’s Latest Book ‘On Fire’, Addressing Mounting Climate Crisis

  The Guardian (9/14/19) ‘On Fire’ by Naomi Klein: On a Friday in mid-March, they streamed out of schools in little rivulets, burbling with excitement and defiance at an act of truancy. The little streams emptied on to grand avenues and boulevards, where they combined with other flows of chanting children and teens. Soon the rivulets were rushing rivers: 100,000 bodies in Milan, 40,000 in Paris, 150,000 in Montreal. Cardboard signs bobbed above the surf of humanity: THERE IS NO PLANET B! DON’T BURN OUR FUTURE. THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE! There was no student strike in Mozambique; on 15…


Profits Roll In For “corporate vultures” As They Pay To Burn Down The Amazon Rainforest

“The only reason these companies are able to keep burning down the forest year over year is because their customers keep paying them to do so.” By Kelsey Hawkins-Johnson & Negin Owliaei People’s World (9/13/19) While the world watches in horror as fires rage in the Amazon, activists are naming culprits. “Put out the flames, we name your names—politicians, corporate vultures, you’re the ones we blame,” demonstrators chanted as they marched from the White House to the Brazilian Consulate on Sept. 5. The fires are no accident. Most have been set by agribusiness and mining interests hoping to make money off…


“We Are Striking To Disrupt The System”: An Hour With 16-Year-Old Climate Activist Greta Thunberg

“I walk the walk. If I say something, I do it.’ Democracy Now! (11/9/19) In her first extended broadcast interview in the United States, we spend the hour with Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who has inspired millions across the globe. Last year she launched a school strike for the climate, skipping school every Friday to stand in front of the Swedish parliament, demanding action to prevent catastrophic climate change. Her protest spread, quickly going global. Hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren around the globe have participated in their own local school strikes for the climate. Since her strike…


‘The Blob’ — Devastating Oceanic Heat Wave Returns To West Coast

TeleSure (9/10/19) Experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are worried about the reappearance of a gigantic oceanic heat wave in front of the western U.S. coast that threatens a repeat of the devastating effects of a similar phenomenon in 2014. This unprecedented situation, since the start of registering temperatures in 1981, persisted over the next few years causing the death of millions of sea animals. Because of its destructive nature and of the unmeasurable damages to ecology and industry, this phenomenon was named after Chuck Russell’s 1988-movie “The Blob”, the shapeless unstoppable monster. Five years ago as a result of the rising of water temperature all along the coast belt between the Southern…