Written by Felix Minderbinder
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Friday, 20 January 2006

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Bush's ocean dead zones

WASHINGTON (AP)-President George Bush has sneered at plankton, the microscopic plants that form the basis of ocean life and which his policies promoting more fossil fuel use and global warming are destroying.

"To hell with plankton," Bush told a poorly attended White House press conference. "I've never liked plankton and no right thinking Republican does. I want to destroy all plankton by increasing global warming with more coal-fired power generation and more cars that get lousy gas mileage. So what if it causes huge dead zones in the oceans and destroys life on Earth?"

Scientists have found that the crucial plankton of the oceans is being starved of nutrients because seas are getting warmer. The findings have catastrophic implications since it is causing the collapse of the entire marine habitat which relies on plankton as the base of the food chain. Monstrous ocean dead zones are causing the collapse of ocean life and of the fishing industry, particularly off the US coast.

Scientists have also discovered that the death of plankton causes a new "positive feedback" mechanism that is causing even more carbon dioxide ending up in the atmosphere to cause a runaway greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is already well underway and causing big problems thanks to all of the increased CO2 being released by Bush's energy buddies.

Global warming is also causing the temperature of the sea surface to rise, and is preventing the vital upward movement of nutrients from the deep seabed. These nutrients which contain nitrogen, phosphorus and iron are vital food for phytoplankton. When this food is interrupted the plants die off, which prevents them from absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

But Bush maintains, "I think plankton is like tofu, and the less of it around the better we all are. I think America should stopping eating fish anyway and should tuck into those great big Texas steaks instead. I don't like dolphins either."

Microscopic plankton once formed the base of the marine food chain because it converted sunlight and carbon dioxide into carbon molecules that was once the food for everything else.

Small creatures such as shrimp-like krill once fed on plankton and were themselves eaten by larger fish and even big whales. Without phytoplankton, the oceans are becoming marine deserts.

"The ocean creatures are getting pretty hungry because they don't have anything to eat anymore," regretted scientist Carl Carphead of the University of Hawaii. "They used to eat plankton but that's all gone now."

The seas also used to be a huge "carbon sink" which removed carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The huge quantities of phytoplankton in the oceans used to absorb vast amounts of carbon dioxide, but no longer thanks to Bush and his oil and coal companies.

Bush added that his global warming policies are getting rid of all those really cold ice caps and glaciers, and a lot of unwanted polar bears that can interfere with drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic.

"I like all those big strong hurricanes too which are being caused by global warming, since they give us opportunities to buy Republican votes with disaster relief, and also to make rich Republicans richer by redeveloping new expensive property for whites like in New Orleans," he noted.

"All those droughts, wildfires and water shortages are getting rid of a lot of Democratic-voting farmers too," he chortled.

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