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Comments by chumpralph

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Posted on March 29 at 11:05 a.m.

Reading through the article and responses reaffirms the sad fact that the environment has simply become another important issue that has been reduced to a political football (see also health care). As a liberal environmentalist Democrat who kills sea animals for personal food I can appreciate the emotions on each side of this issue. As a research engineer I am saddened by the lack of rational science that goes into the policy decisions. Both sides are disingenuous in their claims and selective use of data. Unlike many of my friends, I believe the Marine Protection plan was a decent concept, and fish populations have improved in some places. But it too is now just a political tool: Has anybody noticed that the UCSB Marine Science Department has convinced the Packard-financed MLPA program that all data indicates the beach right in front of their building is the best candidate for protection on the South Coast? How convenient.
The dream of restoring original natural balance with six billion people on the planet scarfing resources and spewing offal is delusional. We have let Pandora out of the box. What we can do is honestly try to reduce the major threats to the basic health of our resources. In the case of our coastline I believe that water quality is far and away the most critical issue. As an old guy who spends lots of time underwater I can assure the reduction of phosphates in commercial products was huge. Continued improvements in sewage treatment and creek contamination will do more to enhance the health of our kelp beds and reefs than anything else we have control over. Arguing about otters while contaminating the ocean is a little like debating paint color while the house burns.
Doug Klingensmith, Noleta

On Otter Ho!

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