How We Wrecked the Ocean


In light of the minute-by-minute horror show underway in the Gulf of Mexico, it’s worth taking a look at the the long view of human impacts on the ocean. And no one talks the long view better than coral reef ecologist Jeremy Jackson of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. In this TED talk he shares his passion, knowledge, concerns, and personal experience. Sadly, what’s going on now in the Gulf adds intolerable stressors to already overstressed ecosystems. As Jackson asks:
“So the question is: How are we all going to respond to this? And we can do all sorts of things to fix it, but in the final analysis, the thing we really need to fix is ourselves; it’s not about the fish; it’s not about the pollution; it’s not about the climate change. It’s about us, and our greed and our need for growth and our inability to imagine a world which is different from the selfish world we live in today.”
 I appreciate Jackson’s willingness to share his despair.
 

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  • Julia Whitty is the environmental correspondent for Mother Jones. Her latest book is Deep Blue Home: An Intimate Ecology of Our Wild Ocean. For more of her stories, click here.