Monday, June 23, 2014

Don't Go Near The Water

     "What's all this fuss about the oceans becoming more 'Hasidic'? I know lots of Hasidim and they're very fine people."
        "And they're also very modest. When they go swimming, they always wear those long bathing suits that go all the way from their ankles to their neck."
        "And besides, the oceans belong to everyone and if the Hasidim want to swim in the oceans, well, what business it that of..."
        "Not 'Hasidic,' Emily. 'acidic.' The oceans are becoming more acidic because when carbon dioxide dissolves in the ocean, it combines with water molecules, hydrogen ions are generated, and the ocean becomes more acidic."
        "Oh. Never mind."
        So, is this really a serious problem or, like Emily Litella, should we just...'never mind?' Here's what you missed that day you were absent from Science class,  
        The pH of a liquid tells us how acidic it is. Pure water has a pH of 7 and is neutral. Liquids with pH lower than 7 are acids and greater than 7, bases or alkaline.
        Since the start of the industrial revolution 200 years ago, the pH of the oceans has declined from 8.2 to 8.1 so that it would actually be more correct to say that the oceans are becoming more 'neutral', i.e. less alkaline, than to say that they're becoming more 'acidic'.  But 'neutral oceans' just won't get those juices flowing the way 'acidic' ones will,
       Think someone is trying to snooker us with all this stuff? More taxes? More loan guarantees? Help out the Green People a little? Maybe we should ask to see their emails. Oh, all the hard drives fell into the ocean and got eaten by sharks? Well, it could happen."