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Sylvia Earle On The Oceans

October 9, 2013

Speaking of the future of the planet’s watery realms, here’s an excellent podcast of Sylvia Earle talking about humanity and its impact:

If you’re inspired by Earle’s ability to pull this off at age 78, just wait: The real inspiration lies in her stunning plea for ocean conservation. In this episode of Inquiring Minds (click below to stream audio), Earle doesn’t shy away from giving us the really, really big picture. She explains that we’re the first generation of humans to even know what we’re doing to 96 percent of the Earth’s water—through assaults ranging from over-fishing to noise pollution to global warming’s evil twin, ocean acidification.

Older generations just didn’t get it; they simply had no idea they could have this effect. “We have been under the illusion for most of our history, thinking that the ocean is too big to fail,” Earle says. Now, thanks in large part to the work of ocean adventurer-scientists like Earle, we know better. And we’re right at that crucial moment where knowing something might actually help us make a difference.

Actually, I think knowing something about 50 years ago might have really helped us make a difference. We often don’t want to know until we are on the edge of disaster, and that is naturally very late in the game. Still…

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