27 July 2008

Our Endangered Oceans

As a bystander, the debate on global climate change is so annoying to listen to. The red fights the blue on the playing field. Meanwhile, the real destruction takes place on the sidelines. And most of the commentators are fucked in the head too. Whatever media has been commercialized and sensationalized for business interests has also been "bought" by either/or face of the bickering political machine. It's much easier to trust science because true science, like nature, gives deconstruction no attention. Valid science says, a fact is a fact. The only trouble is, it's a real shame science has to give money and politics a thought.In this world of truth gone mad, non-profit organizations seem most effective.

A bunch of non-profits undertook something called the Blue Project to study our endangered oceans. I read of the project in this weekend's Parade, a media name that probably triggers anti-liberal or anti-conservative sentiment. I wouldn't know. I'm too busy caring about the health of my ecosystems. The earth is more than just another news grabber or a political hot button. The oceans are our oceans, and they're very real aspects of our existence. We all know the human body can't function and replenish itself without healthy blood. When toxins are systematically pumped into our blood, we can survive for a time, but not indefinitely.

Turns out the same is true of our oceans, which are something like the planet's life blood. No matter who's right, the politics of the debate over global climate change cannot distract me from the SCIENTIFIC FACTS. The seas have risen, warmed, and acidified worldwide. Those changes, combined with overfishing, have caused 90% of our big fish to disappear [...] Pollution has led to almost 26,000 U.S. beaches being temporarily closed or put under advisories [...] and nearly 90% of our wetlands, the nurseries for fish, have vanished due to development. The oceans are in crisis. Quoted above is Leon Panetta, co-chair of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative. Regardless of who he makes promises to for his money, Panetta's is a title I can get behind. I don't care what McCain or Obama think about the oceans. They don't study them for a living.

Even if the two 90% statistics in the quote are off a little either way, any significant reduction in big fish and wetlands means something, whether it's coming from a liberal or a conservative. Ecological problems create tremors in the food web. When the big creatures begin dying, it's a very clear sign that the things smaller than them have already been affected, severely. We could blame development, but that only gives each and every one of us a reason not to blame ourselves.

The bottom line: News stories about the planet's well-being can affect us for a moment, at least until the next news story comes along to change our moods. Well, I plan on letting news stories affect me very much, especially if they suggest a major ecological problem. Who cares if that next strip mall gets built? What I wanna know is, what will the effect be?

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