Month 10, Day 6: Deep Blue Sea, Baby, Deep Blue Sea…

Last week’s Time Magazine had an article about Sylvia Earle, who’s trying to establish marine reserves — internationally protected parts of the ocean. It’s worth a read; she’s clearly one of the good guys. While it’s a little late now that the new issue of Time is out, I thought I’d write and cheer her on a bit.

Sylvia Earle’s proposal for Marine Protected Areas is essential. Whether our rationale for attempting to restore the health of our oceans is aesthetic (because a living sea is beautiful), moral (because it is wrong to use the ocean as a dump) or practical (because if the phytoplankton that provide much of our oxygen die, so will we), it makes sense to establish a precedent: this part of humanity’s common property is inviolate. Indeed, if we are really interested in our own long-term survival, it’s clear that Mission Blue’s plans don’t go far enough. It’s not just that we need to stop treating the oceans as supermarkets and sewers — we must recognize that an economic system which rewards environmental destruction and exploitation will bring severe and tragic consequences, not only for our species, but for all the others with whom we share our planet.

Warren Senders

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