Craig McClain–scibling, intrepid deep sea explorer, and all around cool guy over at Deep Sea News has provided a great reminder of how vast oceans are…
Randomly place a point on our planet and it would be deep sea. In our daily activities so far removed from this environment, we begin to think all the earth is like our tiny, little corner. We begin to think this is all there is.
By volume, land makes up only 0.5% of the earth and the shallow seas 21%. The deep is 78.5%. That thin, little red strip at 0.5% represents the part we’ve explored. Every day will yield something new as we continue to explore this remote vastness.
(Gosh I love being a marine scientist!)
But aside from recognizing that planet ocean would be a more appropriate term than planet earth, Craig reminds us of something even more important… We humans are negatively impacting the last pristine part of planet–the deep sea–by overfishing, mining, climate change, pollutants, runoff, and beyond. And that’s not something to shrug off by way of Vonnegutian ‘so it goes‘ because we damn well can curb our behavior and do something! I certainly don’t plan to sit idly by as we destroy a place we have yet to begin to understand.
The good news is I’m not alone.
Craig is inviting all of us to participate in the ‘The Just One Thing Challenge‘.
In 2008, every week or so I will ask you to do just one thing (The Just One Thing Challenge). It will be a small request but our combined efforts will be large. Just last year by teaming up, we funded several classrooms to help educate youth about our oceans. Hopefully over time, we will add to our ranks and our impact will grow.
So to Doc McClain… let’s see what you’ve got. I’m reading, and my hope is that many of us are. You see folks, the oceans, the atmosphere, and the land that makes up this little blue and green place are all we have. Sure we’re making a mess of things lately–deforesting trees, emitting CO2, losing biodiversity, altering the environment, and erecting statues of The Fonz, but together and united, we have the power to set things right.