Thursday, May 20, 2010


The Big Spill redux. Just get over it? I don't think so. No matter how the mass media tries to downplay the historic significance of this monumental environmental catastrophe the reality of the environmental damage that is taking place even as we speak belies the media's meta message that all will be well. Well, I beg to differ. Already, Louisiana's fishing industry has been all but destroyed. The oil slick has now entered the Gulf Stream, looping the oil around the Florida peninsula, threatening the Florida Keys and even the east coast beaches up to Miami and beyond (taking with it Florida's $60 billion tourist industry).

But this mega environmental catastrophe is not just a blow to the tourism industry (serious as that may be). It is a major wake up call to all of humanity. If we continue to poison the Oceans of the world at the rate that we are going we will in the not so long run be jeopardizing the whole planet's bio sphere. Earth is a water world (as every sixth grader should be able to tell you). Simply put, no water no life.

Are we human beings actually capable of killing all life in the Oceans? Don't act surprised. We humans have done a miserable job of stewardship of planet Earth. Not only are human beings capable of destroying our earthly environment, we have already inflicted massive damage. Whole habitats are being killed off, species are disappearing at an alarming rate. There are Sargasso seas of garbage and litter that literally stretch for miles in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Coral reefs are being killed and there are dead zones where algae blooms, feeding off the pollution in the waters of the world, have depleted water oxygen levels so that fish cannot survive. This disrupts the entire food chain leading to massive die offs as we have witnessed time and again.

All that said, the Earth is fairly resistant. Though we have abused our home planet almost beyond recognition, the planet has shown remarkable resilience or none of us would be here today. Human survival on planet earth is not guaranteed. The demise of the dinosaurs gives ample evidence that life on planet earth has always been something of a crap shoot. We owe it to our children and grand children to leave them a world that not only sustains human life, but the lives of all living things in the biosphere. We are capable of doing a better job of stewardship if we can summon the political will to do so.

Environmentalists are not just a bunch of starry eyed tree huggers. We must all become environmentalists if mother earth is to survive. We must all become Oceanographers and Marine Biologists. Save the oceans of the world! Save planet Earth!

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