The Health of our Oceans: What will it take for us to change our behavior?
June 28th 2011
A recent report from the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) concludes that if there are not drastic and immediate steps to reverse the effects of pollution, climate change, and overfishing, we will see a mass extinction of marine life on a scale that has not been seen since the time of the dinosaurs - and it could happen in the next 40 or 50 years.
Alex Rogers, the scientific director of IPSO, described the findings as "shocking”. He went on to state that, "As we considered the cumulative effect of what humankind does to the ocean, the implications became far worse than we had individually realised. This is a very serious situation demanding unequivocal action at every level. We are looking at consequences for humankind that will impact in our lifetime, and worse, our children's and generations beyond that."
And while this report paints a devastating picture of what will happen if nothing is done, it is clear to point out that there are ways to reverse this trend. So if we know that the situation is dire and that serious consequences are imminent, and we know that there are things we can do to prevent disaster, we must begin to ask ourselves a serious question: Why aren’t we doing them?
This coming school year, The World Savvy Challenge will ask students across the country to explore the theme of “Sustainable Communities” and develop solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues, including hunger, pollution, climate change, economic development, and much more. As they embark on this journey, they will do well to remember that sometimes the solution is not in knowing WHAT people can do, but in understanding WHY they don’t do it.