Home | About | Donate

Humanity's Destruction of Oceans Nearly Doubled Over a Decade, Scientists Warn, and Could Double Again Without Urgent Action

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/08/13/humanitys-destruction-oceans-nearly-doubled-over-decade-scientists-warn-and-could

1 Like

How long have the oceans – rivers, streams – been used as garbage dumps.

Always impossible to monitor – common sense was the guiding factor if you used it.

1 Like

From the article:

“If you don’t pay attention to the big picture, you miss the actual story,” said lead author Ben Halpern of the National Center for Ecological Analysis & Synthesis (NCEAS) at UC Santa Barbara. "The bigger picture is critical if you want to make smart management decisions—where are you going to get your biggest bang for your buck."

The apparent accelerating pace of human impacts on oceans around the world “creates even more urgency to solve these problems,” Halpern added. "We can improve things. The solutions are known and within our grasp. We just need the social and political will to take action."


I have emboldened two sentences which disturb me.

The uppermost is the language of business as usual;

the lowermost is almost comical in its lack of reality.

We are in the soup precisely because WE DO NOT HAVE EITHER THE SOCIAL OR POLITICAL WILL.

Am I over-reacting - or pointing to another massive gulf between academics and intellectuals and the real world ?


This is a major global crisis - emergency which our governments (filled with corporate sycophants) have ignored as they served the interest of the petroleum and plastics industry. We a reaching that tipping point and still we have no leaders up to the task. Even one year until and election is much too long. Action needs to start now.

Plastics industries…the Guardian has an article of it raining plastic over the Colorado Rockies and elsewhere. It’s raining plastics!!!

It’s in the air, it’s in the rain, it’s in your food, it’s in your brain.


Many…see my comment below…none of it matters, it’s too late.

And I wonder why there is so much cancer everywhere. It’s taking people of all ages. If we all live long enough, we’re going to get cancer. It’s so obvious to me; we have toxified our environment to the point that it is literally killing us! We get what we deserve. Treat the planet like an open sewer and Gaia will not pay us back in kind.


Being an avid diver for the last thirty years, I can tell you that today’s ocean is different. Other than it being noticeably warmer, it just looks and feels different. Fewer fish, more sea grass, more jellyfish. Sharks are going farther north. Crabs and lobsters the same, all looking for cooler waters.
Oh, and there is so much garbage in it now that I’m beginning to feel like the crying Indian. If you’re my age you’ll remember that public service commercial from the early 70’s that featured panoramic shots of polluted rivers and streams and piles of garbage everywhere, and the last shot zoomed in on the figure of an old Indian, with a single tear running down his cheek.
I guess we’re all that old Indian now.


Yea, but the billionaires are raking it in and that is all that matters. They are also so generous in contributing to cancer research and treatment. If we ever decide to look at things in a most simple way we will see that we are mired in a cesspool of hypocrisy and our own stupidity and complacency spirals us towards misery, death and destruction. Maybe if it was just us we would get what we deserve but what about animal life that did not contribute to this gluttony of greed leading to vast environmental destruction.


I couldn’t agree more. Taking most other beautiful life forms with us is a travesty. It really sickens me…


Just woke up from some good sleep for a change thinking of something anything that isn’t toxic and I can’t, for the life of me I can’t, well, wait, maybe the teachings of the Dalai Lama. I guess that is what is left for me to hang my hat on. Like BigB says, we are all that old indian now.


Espera Oscar de Corti wasn’t even a little Native American. Funny, how my fellow boomers tear-up at the nightmarish havoc we’ve wrought? https://science.sciencemag.org/content/363/6423/128.summary

1 Like

I remember him, yes, we all are like him now. How very sad that I didn’t fight back sooner when I was stronger.

I don’t know if everyone know this, but avoiding societal collapse isn’t realistic. The adults in the room want you to know that we shouldn’t listen to the science and what it tells us as far as structural changes. Worthless, corrupt assholes paid by powerful corporate interests have been paid people to tell us what is realistic, and they don’t need no damn science. They have pragmatism, and if Mother Nature don’t like it, she can attend the next DSA national convention with the dreamers. The market system doesn’t price most of this, we have reached limits to growth, and those in power have no solutions. Either they are quickly removed or their market system and capitalism will destroy us all. We need to get rid of delusions about holding on to capitalism, even if we want to mitigate for a bit what is coming for us. And if people don’t like that, force them to explain in detail how capitalism as we know it will remain with what the science says we need in regards to structural changes. We the dreamers are the pragmatists and are dealing with reality, and if we are imagining another world, it is not just because we want one, we also need one and it isn’t a choice.


I keep reading that urgent action is required, we only have 12 years left to make a difference, etc. but I see no mass movement shutting down refineries or politicians hiding in fear. I don’t think most 'murikans are yet willing to do more than clutch their pearls.


Heh Ditton !

If you’re a jellyfish - things are looking up !

1 Like

I remember those ads as a child in the 1970’s. That helped mold me to be environmentally aware at such an early age.

1 Like

In a world of 4.0 billion people then… your voice still would probably not have mattered. The whole global problem is like a sudden flash torrent of water coming down a mountainside after a rainstorm. You alone would not be able to hold back the tide…even if you had built a ten feet thick, fifty foot wall. The momentum of Climate Change is now beyond the lone action of an individual. I commend your concern…but all is lost, I am afraid. Damnit!

1 Like

All is not lost, there is still your mind and how you respond towards this. Your response enables or disables others. That is your choice. I’m not dead yet, once in a great while I have the strength to respond with more than just a tear.

1 Like

Destruction of the glaciers too: