Oceans of Opportunity

Since 2008, this Blog has been a communications priority providing shorts, op-eds, and bramblings that communicate our evolution to ‘a new life in the sea’.

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Happy Birthday Blog to Me

For those following my various blogs and bramblings, yes, I am still very much on a Blog hiatus, though felt compelled to make a few short key strokes today…seeing as it’s my birthday and I do love to write, I may as well write.

As many of my days go, it was spent on on and underwater, grinding it out to make a decent living and with the very fortunate perspective of experiencing our planet in a unique way for the bulk of the day. The day started with me jumping in my boat and seeing a very shiny object in the water with what appeared to be long tentacles – a closer look revealed that it was not a rogue tropical jellyfish here in New England…it was a Mylar balloon. Seeing as this fooled me from 20 feet away, it was very obvious how these things can fool animals that they are food, and so the morning wake up call was a reminder of the plastics problem.

If it’s in the ocean, then it’s in us – remember that with every piece of waste you produce. We are water, and we are physically tied to every element of our Blue Planet. If thinking about how much $#!T is in the ocean makes you sick, as it should, then it should motivate some level of action to make change. We all contribute, and we’re doing nothing but harming ourselves in a manner that will take numerous generations to flush out.

So, morning coffee still in hand while underway, I then took a trip down memory lane about birthdays past and sure enough I’ve spent most of them underwater. As I looked around on the Bay while motoring to the work site it dawned on me just how many instincts are acquired through time on the water – even the subtle rustling the tree leaves in one direction or another tells me what to expect out on the water for the day…those types of instincts take years and years and years to develop, and truly one of those gifts from the sea. ‘Reading the water’ is another – knowing what to expect below the surface without even laying eyes on it based on how the surface currents, wind, and waves are behaving. That’s the kind of stuff you can’t pick up from any text book, but makes a huge difference in being able to cut it out there on the water.

I had a good day out there, only to come home and read a news piece about the existential threat we’re about to face resulting from climate change. The piece described many changes that the planet is expected to undergo over the next few decades. Whether you are a human induced climate change believer or not, one cannot argue that the planet is changing, and we [humans] are being forced to adapt for survival. That’s ecology and evolution, and Homo sapiens are not exempt from those scientific principles. In fact our next leg is likely to be Homo couchpotatocus which will hit a dead end to be followed by a secondary branch Homo aquaticus. The article’s most striking line was a quote from its summarized report which reads, “…climate change provokes a permanent shift in the relationship of humankind to nature”. It certainly does, so my question is how exactly do we educate future generations to make this shift in a sustainable way…it’s not just lifestyle and reducing commodity dependence – this is literally how to survive in a world with higher sea levels, with hotter climates, with stronger storms, and so on.

From the aquatic standpoint this is massively concerning to me – a world which becomes much more dependent on the sea (for food, oxygen, cooling, energy, etc) means we need leaders who have instincts to survive these new conditions and develop meaningful solutions without spit-balling from an office without a window. I often think about how difficult it has been to take home the lessons of 20+ years now of making a living out on the water – that could never have been acquired except for being there…and ‘being there’ is exactly what we’re all missing.

So, as I start down a path for the next decade, I have the feeling that the underlying message will be about the importance of us all ‘being there’, and not just seeing but also experiencing the planet in ways that help make our relationship with it that much stronger and better understoood.

Well, that’s my soapbox for the day – back to being there and hopefully making some small contribution to figuring it all out.