I read pretty much anything Sean Nash writes--he is a biology teacher in Missouri, yet teaches one of the premiere (OK, kickass) classes of oceanography in this fine country. He recently wrote a blog piece on a film (or what we used to call film--I guess video is the word now).
Mr. Nash wrote (yet another) fine post, linked above. This is my response:
I am one of the water people–I am banging away on the keyboard less than a mile away from the Delaware Bay. My wife is out walking, she’ll find the edge tonight.
Anyone who’s lived more than a few decades along the shore can see the changes. It’s complicated, though, by the wide variations in local populations, but not so complicated that imminent collapse is invisible.
I have neighbors who farm the sea. At least one other in our town is a scientist who helps set limits on those who make a living on the waters around us (we live on a cape).
The scientist does not know the waters as well as my scalloper friend, though both recognize the problem.
I will not be able to attend your event, but urge all who read your words to visit your websites–you have created a marvelous program about, well, our world.
I fear we may be well past a tipping point, but I find hope in my night walks. A comb jelly glows its electric blue when caught in the tiny curl of a bay wave, a ghost crab freezes in front of me, then runs into the water, seemingly defying physics as it treats seawater like air.
Life is here, it is happening, and it will keep happening. 3 billion plus years is a long time–the media is excited by the recent unveiling of Ardipithecus ramidus (”Ardi”), but my faith rests in the critters that have found their niches independent of the nonsense we’ve created.
Contrast 4.4 million years (Happy Birthday, Ardi) with the 3.5 billion years or so life’s been around on this planet. Do the math. Really, do the math.
We are not special, though we are part of something truly special. It’s enough for some of us to be bit players in a larger scheme of, well, awesomeness.
(These words make more sense when sitting on a jetty watching the tide rise and fall. They make no sense sitting in a building. Guess where I prefer to be?)
Descent with modification will trump “evolution.” Evolution is a human conceit–revel in the moment of life.
7 months ago