Save the oceans. Choose green power.


Far from being watery voids, the earth’s oceans are home to an amazingly rich variety of life, providing food and shelter for some 210,000 known species. The tiniest of all sea life, the phytoplankton, are working hard on our behalf, absorbing most of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and returning 70 percent of the oxygen we need to live.

Scientists are discovering, however, that the excess CO2 being emitted by the burning of fossil fuels is not only heating up our atmosphere but also stressing the oceans and threatening marine life. Before people started burning coal and oil, ocean pH had been relatively stable for 20 million years. But over the past 250 years, the oceans have absorbed 530 billion tons of CO2, triggering a 30 percent increase in ocean acidity. Researchers predict that if carbon emissions continue at their current rate, ocean acidity will more than double by 2100. A more acidic ocean is not good; it could wipe out species, disrupt the food web and impact fishing, tourism and any other human endeavor that relies on the sea.

With change happening so rapidly, prompt action to slow or stop ocean acidification is critical. Check today to see whether your utility has a green power option, which would allow you to support energy production from renewable wind, solar or biomass. Start here at the Department of Energy’s Green Power Network Web site to learn more about green power and to get a list of green utilities by state. Green power may cost a few cents more per kilowatt, so be sure to implement other energy-saving measures that will save you money as well.