Are The Oceans Dying?
Like many of you, I am old enough to have seen the movie "Soylent Green" when it first cam out at the theater. I don't remember it was that scary to me. It was 1973 and I was a sophomore in high school. The idea that we could so ruin the planet that we would be forced to eat our dead wasn't something I took too seriously then.
I do now.
In the movie, a detective played by award winning actor Charlton Heston, investigates the murder of an wealthy businessman connected to the producer of much of that day's food. It is a world of collapse, with most of the population unemployed and pollution, green house effects and resource depletion making the world they live in, unimaginable to those of us then. And for most people now.
The big reveal in the movie is that, while the company which makes Soylent Green claims it is from seafood, in reality it is really made from human dead. The oceans have died, and the only resource left is US.
Unfortunately, the movie's message, while timely during the environmentally aware time of the late 70s and early 80s, it was soon eclipsed by Ronald Reagan's election and the all too willingness of most people to ignore the real facts of what the movie foretold for the false promise that the "Myth of Progress" would find a solution to all our problems.
It didn't and now we face a World four decades past the time we should have acted.
Its with sadness that I read this article:
For the last three years, not one calf has been born to the dwindling pods of black-and-white killer whales spouting geysers of mist off the coast in the Pacific Northwest. Normally four or five calves would be born each year among this fairly unique urban population of whales — pods named J, K and L. But most recently, the number of orcas here has dwindled to just 75, a 30-year-low in what seems to be an inexorable, perplexing decline. Listed as endangered since 2005, the orcas are essentially starving, as their primary prey, the Chinook, or king salmon, are dying off. Just last month, another one of the Southern Resident killer whales — one nicknamed “Crewser” that had not been seen since last November — was presumed dead by the Center for Whale Research.
We are over fishing our oceans, all to make a quick profit, just when we should be mindful of the fragility of one of our mightiest resources. Humans get about 16 percent of our food from the ocean. Consider if increased emissions of CO2 don't just bleach and kill coral reefs but bring about the death of our ocean ecosystem. Can we lose almost a sixth of our food supply?
You and I, individually, can't do much to stop the way that huge corporations plunder our oceans for short term gains. They are going to do it, no matter how we protest or boycott. You as a Green Wizard will need to learn how to replace that loss of resource. You will have to prepare for when food gets scarce and supplies get short. Learn to do it now when you have some leeway.
I've read that when the oceans get to the acidity level that results from the massive CO2 levels expected in many of the climate change models studied now, the dominate life form is jellyfish. I don't want an ocean filled with jellyfish. I want an ocean that is filled with schools of fish and yes, orcas and sharks to remind me that in some environments, I'm not at the top of the food chain.
The Earth has long been a gentle and loving mother. Soon she may be a real bitch instead.