Thursday, January 8, 2009

Our Oceans are in Trouble

I have been reading a special report on the Oceans that was recently published in The Economist that has made me sick to my stomach.

It talks about how our fish stocks are almost wiped out, that the oceans are becoming acid changing the entire composition of the oceans behavior. The profusion of massive dead zones throughout the oceans with algae and red tides. The possibility of most shell fish dying off, nuclear waste, pesticides and other heavy metals flooding into the oceans. The destruction of almost all coral reefs.

This is not a singular issue. It is not just a problem of too much CO2 but is rather a product of the type of economic structure we have in place. An economy that truly places no value on the abundant natural resources. They are viewed as holding no value so therefore no cost is associated with their destruction until it is potentially too late.

It is time to rethink this economic structure. Not tomorrow. But TODAY!! It is time to create a value structure that recognizes the value held in our global common goods; that abundance is a valuable element in the economy and needs to be integrated into the pricing system. We can not ignore this any longer.

Or, within our lifetimes there will be no more sharks, tuna, coral reefs, whales or oceans safe to swim in. It brings tears to my eyes and we the people, the citizens and stewards of this system need to wake up and take responsibility. Change is hard but it is a necessary and constant part of life.

I believe the most important thing we can do is come up with an economic structure that places value on abundance over scarcity, on cooperation over competition, on flow over accumulation. This, people, is a task for our generation and we must, we have to, step up and take responsibility now!!

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