In this wonderful but terrifying and heartbreaking essay Sylvia A. Earle takes a look back at the ocean and how humans have destroyed it. It also relates the influence of the ocean in our life and shows us the importance of its preservation as a necessary condition for our own salvation. The book as I say makes you realize that we are lost. We have depleted the ocean and its resources. We have polluted and destroyed it to unsuspected levels and the consequences are not going to be pleasant.
We are in full hyping of the problem of the abuse of the plastic. At all hours, newspapers and the media tell us what plastics pollute, the serious environmental and ecological problem it entails, and show us possible solutions, technologies or inventions to collect plastics. And you are right, but this is just one of the many environmental problems that we are ignoring. We are killing the ocean and therefore our planet.
The ocean is the great forgotten of nature despite its importance.
[highlighted] To buy A blue world. The course of the oceans, the future of the Earth[/ highlighted]
The essay is divided into three parts.
In the first, he talks about the ocean, species, the concept of infinite resistance and an inexhaustible, incorruptible source of resources. nobody thought we could influence the oceans in this way
In the second he tells us that the ocean is in trouble and that therefore we are too. Mining, dumping, climate change, chemical change, loss of biodiversity. A harsh reality that puts us in our place
The third in a call to action. "The time has come" we are still on time, but we must act and we must do it now.
As a whole, the book tells us about the resources that the sea had and how we have been depleting them, how we thought that the sea was inexhaustible, imperturbable, that human beings could never modify it and how in the end we have realized that This is not the case and we have timidly started to take action.
It is a bath of reality to begin to know one of the great climatic and environmental problems that we are going to have to face and that taking into account that the book was written in 2012
My edition is one of RBA Duivulgación in collaboration with National Geographic with translation by Efrén del Valle Peñalmín
Who is Sylvia A. Earle?
She is a marine biologist, explorer, and author of books and documentaries who has dedicated her life to the ocean and its preservation. He has been the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord, head of the national oceanic and atmospheric administration (NOAA), and founder of the company Deep Ocean Explortion and Research. First resident explorer of National Geographic and in 2009 she received the title of Hero of the Plant granted by Time magazine. She is an Ocean Ambassador and the author of 15 books.
I want you to use all the means at your disposal - movies, expeditions, the Internet, new submarines! - to devise a campaign that incites citizen support for a global network of Maritime Protected Areas, «places for hope» enough great to save and restore the ocean, the blue heart of the planet.
How much? Some say 10%, others 30%. You decide: how much love do you want to spend on protection? Be that as it may, less than 1% is not enough.
In practice, the TED wish is the abridged version of everything in this book:
Throughout the history of our species, the mostly blue planet has kept us alive. The time has come for us to return the favor.
Important Book Topics and Annotations
I have so many annotations in the book that it is more than worth copying it in full. It is a great pleasure when everything is interesting.
[highlighted] They do not carry a common thread. They are something that I have written down to remember and / or to retake and investigate and learn more about the subject. [/ Highlighted]
New principles for the conservation of living natural resources
Since 1950, with the onset of industrialized fishing, we have rapidly reduced the resource base to less than 10%, not just in some areas, not just in some reserves, but in entire communities of these large species, from the tropics to the poles.
That decimation not only endangers the future of fish and the fishermen who depend on them, it could also cause a complete reorganization of ocean ecosystems, with unknown global consequences.
Bycatch, fishing for creatures that get in the way of nets or are attracted to baits targeting other species. In an FAO report, written by biologist Dayton L. Alverson and several of his colleagues discussed bycatch problems. According to data collected by the World Wildlife Fund, more than 300.000 marine mammals, hundreds of thousands of turtles and birds, and millions of tons of fish and invertebrates are converted into bycatch each year.
Extra page about oysters (pages 84 - 90)
We can forgive our predecessors, both near and distant, for exterminating the last woolly mammoth, the last dodo, the last sea cow and the last monk seal, as they did not understand the consequences of their actions. But who will forgive us if we don't learn from past and present experiences to forge new values, new relationships, and a new degree of respect for the natural systems that keep us alive?
As a child, I liked to take things apart - toys, watches, an old pump - and I still hear my father say, 'Have you put all the pieces away? Can you ride it again? Can you make it work?
Who but a fool, asks Aldo Leopold, would discard apparently useless items?
History of Marine Animal Populations (HMAP) project (p. 141 - 143)
The answer to the question of why biodiverse is important is quite simple: the rest of the living world can get on without us, but we can't do it without them. Reducing the diversity of life as we are doing now translates into fewer opportunities for our prosperity. John C. Sawhill, president of the Nature Consevancy between 1990 and 2000, offered as good a reason as any not to lose more of the splendor of life: “In the end, our society will not only be defined by what we believe, but by what we believe. that we refuse to destroy »
From a meeting of 38 countries invited by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in 1982
The author tells us of a meeting of the United Nations in 1982, where great personalities are concerned about what we are doing to the oceans
Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl asked: 'Where can we send all the pollutants…? We are sweeping the ground and throwing everything under the carpet, and this carpet, the ocean, is the most important part of the planet ", and added:" I am convinced that today's man overvalues the size of the oceans and underestimates the importance of life on the planet »
Russell Peterson, President of the Aubudon Society: "We are using the seas as landfills for our waste, and mechanically destroying fish farms"
Jacques Cousteau: The destiny of humanity has been linked to water since the dawn of life.
Sylvia A. Earle: The climate is conditioned by the oceans. These harbor the greatest diversity of life. If the oceans are transformed, so will the character of the plant »
One of the dangers that is also considered is a destabilization of CO2 that leads to a faster, abrupt warming
With continued warming, the ocean can release the accumulation of many millions of years of trapped carbon in a geological blink. De-stabilizing the huge accumulation of methane hydrates could trigger submarine landslides that in turn could cause large-scale tsunamis
Some speculate that the amount of carbon absorbed through chemosynthesis relates to carbon fixation, storage and transmission through intricate food webs.
Most worrisome is the effect that increased acidification is having on the small photosynthetic organisms that generate much of the oxygen in the atmosphere. Trees, grasses, and other plants on land are crucial to keeping atmospheric gases in the proper ratio for today's life on the planet, including us, but photosynthetic organisms in the sea do much of the hard work when it comes to of generating oxygen and keeping planetary chemistry on a permanent course. As acidification increases, acid-tolerant organisms thrived, and some that currently have low numbers are likely to multiply. Those that require the alkaline environment that has characterized ocean chemistry for millions of years will disappear.
The current crisis is one of complacency. Although 450ppm and a two degree rise in temperature seem acceptable to some, the last time the Earth warmed in this way, the sea level rose tens of meters and the climate was completely different from what we have today.
How Much Protection Is Enough?
From a talk with George W. Bush
For the next hour and a half we talked about the ocean, energy consumption, climate change, plastic debris in the sea, fishing practices and the need to protect the Hawaiian Leeward Islands. "For there to be fishermen, there must be fish," I said at one point. For there to be fish, there must be places where they are safe. On land, the marshes are protected to offer ducks and geese refuge where they can nest and raise their young. Migratory routes are respected and there are strict limits on when and how many birds can be caught. At sea, industrial fishing has reduced many species by more than 90%. Its future, and that of the ocean as a whole, is dire, unless there are safe places for the fauna and flora of the sea, just as there are on land »
This talk ended with full protection for the Leeward Islands in Hawaii. The Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, 362.000 square kilometers of ocean. Still less than 1% of the sea is protected
[highlighted] To buy A blue world. The course of the oceans, the future of the Earth[/ highlighted]
Just cool facts and things to review
- About three hundred types of octopus and squid grace the ocean, and their ancestry is evident in the fossil record, dating back more than half a billion years. There were still three hundred million years before the appearance of the dinosaurs. The DNA that makes us special would not appear until almost 500.000 years after the birth of cephalopods
- Today's ocean basins are relatively young
- The Mediterranean Sea dried up completely between five and twelve million years ago
- Antarctica has been covered in bile for at least the last twenty million years
- The Arctic cap was significantly larger five million years ago.
- William Beebe, adapted a copper hull to study Bermuda's coral reefs in the late 1920s. Beneath Tropic Seas
- Development of the system used by divers today began in 1942, when Jacques Cousteau, captain of the French Navy, met with engineer Émile Gagnan to find a way to breathe underwater thanks to a compressed air tank. As a result of their deliberations, a valve that Gagnan had developed to automatically pump gasoline into automobile engines became the first automatic regulator for diving.
- Submarines were valued primarily for military purposes until the early 1930s when William Beebe teamed up with submersible designer and engineer Otis Barton to develop a wired system, the bathysphere, which eventually served them up for a series of dives. half a mile deep near Bermuda
The Tragedy of the Commons (pages 57 - 59)
The myth of Maximum sustainable production (page 59 - 63)
Search 'time lapse photography from Balog's Extreme Ice Survey project.
Problem with plastics
I expand the post with some relevant and interesting information on one of the problems that are now in fashion and that everyone is talking about, that of plastics. But this deserves an individual article