Op-Ed: To save the Earth, think like a ‘blue water’ sailor.
Navy SEALs often consider a ship’s water to be as precious as gold. It represents life and the survival of those onboard, and it takes everything to keep it clean and safe.
The ocean, and the oceans, are a very big deal, and if properly maintained, could provide for the long-term survival of our species.
From the smallest single cell organisms – plankton – to life-hugging whale species like the blue whale – we have a very deep connection to the ocean.
If we don’t protect it properly, it’s like we’re not alive – our future is at stake.
Now, with the global population projected to peak in 2060, and most of the world’s water supply used up, we have an even greater reason to take measures to “save the ocean.”
We need to start conserving our waters while the planet is still teeming with life and as we transition away from using more land mass to grow crops, expand agriculture and increase urbanization.
We need to protect the oceans so that they will be the home for life after us.
But first, we have to face the fact that the oceans don’t “belong” to us. They belong to the entire planet.
The oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth’s surface and contain around 95% of the world’s life. They filter much of the world’s sunlight, providing an essential source of energy for life on our planet.
The world’s oceans are also the life support system — feeding the Earth’s biosphere and carbon cycle, producing oxygen and keeping temperature in balance.
And they also store around a fifth of the world’s commercially exploited reserves of hydrocarbons, which are used as a fuel source and to make plastics and fertilizers.
The ocean is also being systematically polluted by plastic debris. Plastic and microplastics are now found in the marine food chain at levels that are harmful to life and the health of the ocean, and scientists have warned that this will seriously affect the ocean’s capacity to maintain its own health.