In the past, I’ve written about the plight of the bees and the plight of the bats. Frankly, I haven’t had the heart to write about the fact that our butterflies and frogs and coral reefs are disappearing, too. It’s just too depressing.
And then just the other day a friend told me about Starfish Wasting Disease. I guess I hadn’t heard about it because until recently I lived back east, and we had problems of our own. Apparently this disease was first detected in 2013, and now it’s estimated that 95 percent of the starfish on the west coast of North America, from California to Alaska, are dead. That’s millions of starfish. And this is a ghastly virus, folks. Within days of contracting it, their legs curl up and pull away from their bodies, and then they turn to mush. Horrible. Nightmarish.
There’s not nearly enough funding being allocated to study this tragedy. Probably because we don’t eat starfish, so people are not as concerned as they should be. And they should be, because this virus is in our oceans, and could jump to other species. Species that are a vital link in the food chain that leads back to us.
Scientists suspect that the reason this virus has been able to spread so quickly at this point in time is that the oceans have been unusually warm. And that, of course, is directly related to global climate change. For the love of God, how much more evidence do you need?