Saturday, 17 March 2012

Shame going seaward - boats and plastic

Boats, Fisch and Plastic join at sea. A strange mixture, often a deadly mixture for marine life, and a strange way to record our human activities in the geological record at the seabed.

from Mundus Maris:
"Sciences and Arts to Protect the Sea in West Africa"
A recent workshop of  Mundus Maris  takes the focus that "we are living in times of change in the life-support system of our planet and in our societies. Within the lifetime of today's young people we need to accommodate up to an estimated 9 billion fellow-humans, compared to our current population of an estimated seven billion citizens, predominantly living in urban areas. We need to ask ourselves what type of education, knowledge and skills young people need to live peacefully and sustainable with one another. This also begs the question how we may all want to revisit the way we live, exercise our respective professions and relate to nature, the seas, and to our global neighbours of all ages, beliefs, races and gender. The sciences produced assessments of the state of our ecosystems, the climate and the oceans, which are extremely worrying. They also give us a better handle on how we might cope drawing on the knowledge that is already available in the public domain, even create new opportunities for lifting more people out of poverty and live dignified lives." 

Feeding us from the sea feels good, as long as it is done in sustainable manner.  Polluting the sea with substances like wast, toxic sludge or oil as done endangers our environment and spikes the natural cycling of matters. Scientist of future generations will be able to use these spikes to trace events just as radioactive fall out of early test of atomic bombs in the atmosphere was used to trace ground water flows or ocean circulation by looking for Tritium. However there are matters, such as plastic debris,  that litters not only the sea but likely puts a geological marker on the sea-floor, possibly readable for ever as "tracer of shame" by an alien or human marine archaeologist .

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