A Sea Change

Look for this in December 2008, a new documentary on the destruction of the food chain in the world’s oceans:

Imagine a world without fish. Sven Huseby, descendant of Norwegian fishermen and life-long environmentalist, had never done so until he read an article on ocean acidification. That article, The Darkening Sea, changed his life. He discovered that the effects of climate change are not limited to global warming: they extend to the sea, where the chemistry of the water is being changed and creating a profound threat to the food chain, starting at the bottom.

The tone of the film is unavoidably dark at times. Asked if we are screwed, Dr. Edward Miles from the University of Washington says, Yes, to a considerable extent. Kolbert herself mourns that she is leaving her son a degraded world. Yet there is hope, and Huseby, the documentary’s protagonist, finds it where he can, among the scientists and entrepreneurs and in his moments with Elias. A Sea Change

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6 thoughts on “A Sea Change

  • November 11, 2008 at 7:06 am
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    I remember watching a weatherman at a local TV station in Topeka talk about this at the end of one of his weathercasts last year. He concluded, “I don’t have to tell you what it means if the ocean dies.” It was very awkward, and he seemed almost flummoxed by what he said. Then it was off to the latest news on Barbie and the Iphone….

    I found this article in the NY Times about the sea of trash, the size of the U.S. mainland, floating between Hawaii and Japan. Well worth a read too:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/22/magazine/22Plastics-t.html?_r=2&sq=ocean%20of%20trash&st=nyt&oref=slogin&scp=1&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin

  • November 12, 2008 at 4:19 am
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    Our language is so instructive I think. We talk about “the” ocean, instead of “our” ocean. Perhaps the heart of the matter is that our language has stovepiped, segregated, and made antiseptic, the way we think about the great goo of all things. We impute tops and bottoms, and place ourselves on the tops of course.

    We see the least dependent creatures in the food change as the bottom? Why, because we, the most dependent creatures, of course, should be the top. How does this make any sense? So here once again we have that old top and bottom bullshit, with all its implications. The bottom are the meek who will inherit what we leave behind, and make do, across time, it is this bottom that has always prevailed through multiple extinctions.

    When to bottom dies, the top has been long dead. The top requires long chains of interdepencies to flourish just to survive. Maybe if our way of talking about it was “our mother ocean is dying” we would get it. As long as it is “the ocean is dying”, it segregates the fate of the ocean, from our fate. “Mother ocean” states the relationship more accurately, it is a nurturing giver of life.

    As Lone Wolf and the Admin have suggested in so many ways, our “foundational technology” is language, and our physical technology extends from our systems of thought, in a funky sort of chicken-egg symbiosis. Until we get the language right, we won’t see the urgency of protecting “mother ocean, the giver of life”, because we have no intimate relationship with “the dying ocean”. As they say in the movie Idiocracy, “we got technology”. Woohoo!!

    Aboriginal peoples make no such distinctions. If language and belief systems are “foundational technologies”, there is no question which flavor of homo sapiens has it right. It’s not us, we are a “top”, with a “top’s” clouded vision of reality and hubris. This is fundamentally the blindness that we cannot seem to overcome.

    Scientists are telling us to change our world view based on objective evidence. That evidence is being rejected in ways and at levels beneath the logical because that rejection is axiomatic inside our systems of thought and belief. Folks always say “everyone knows” as though knowing was a fixed star. What “everyone knows” has paved our road to extinction.

    MD

  • November 12, 2008 at 7:24 am
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    So just now DHS is informing the public about this (only after court order):

    Radioactive Beer Kegs Menace Public, Boost Costs for Recyclers

    Last year, U.S. Customs rejected 64 shipments of radioactive goods at the nation’s ports, including purses, cutlery, sinks and hand tools, according to data released by the Department of Homeland Security in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. ***snip
    Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Energy are funding a $60 million program to install radiation monitors at ports around the world. The Secure Freight Initiative started in October 2007 at three sites in the U.K., Pakistan and Honduras. About 800 ports worldwide handle cargo containers, according to London’s Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd.

  • November 12, 2008 at 8:54 am
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    Let the games – err, I mean die-off – begin! – somewhere elseof course

    (http://) news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7722631.stm

  • November 12, 2008 at 9:08 am
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    Change was also the theme of this weeks’ rant from Kunstler

    jameshowardkunstler.typepad.com/

    Here’s my chosen clip:
    “The current occupant of the White House, however, has sedulously prepared for his successor the biggest shit sandwich the world has ever seen, and there is naturally some concern that Mr. Obama might choke on it. The dilemma is essentially this: the consumer economy we all knew and loved has died. “

  • November 15, 2008 at 2:12 pm
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    Michael, the Kogi of the mountains in Colombia, who have shunned contact with the outside world for centuries, finally in the past decade or so have made a few exceptions to their rule.
    They have ventured forth to tell the world that “our Mother is dying” because even at their altitude, and as far away from civilization as they are, they have noticed changes in Nature that portend grave future scenarios for “Our Mother”.
    As you suggested, it is only the aboriginal cultures who can articulate this because they sense it, feel it, and know it, as they are so intimately connected to the source of all.

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