Frequent TGB contributor (I wish!) Sir Richard Branson tells us it’s a “Wake up call: It’s time to look after the ocean” From Virgin.com – “Wake up call: It’s time to look after the ocean” by Richard Branson
“No ocean; no life. No ocean; no us.” – These words from oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle may sound foreboding, but they speak the truth. If we don’t look after the ocean for future generations, there will be no future generations.
In recent times we have wised up to the way we treat the land, and as a result have put in place a number of sustainable measures. But what about the ocean? Just because the effect we have on it isn’t visible to the every-day eye, doesn’t mean that we aren’t damaging it, or that we shouldn’t protect it.
The ocean is our life force, yet we cause massive destruction to it every day through a number of routine habits – we overfish it, we pollute it and we are putting it at risk with climate change.
The way we treat the ocean is killing the ocean; and consequently the way we treat the ocean could kill us. If this sobering thought doesn’t spring you into action then Sylvia’s new film, Mission Blue, will.
Sylvia has a long connection to the ocean, having grown up on the Gulf of Mexico and spent her adult years partaking in pioneering and daring undersea missions. Through these missions, she has seen the undeniable effect that humanity has had on the ocean. Today’s ocean is a far cry from the teeming waters into which Sylvia first dove more than 60 years ago. Nowadays she ceaselessly campaigns to make everyone aware of the dangers facing the ocean and to inspire us to act to protect it. What is her Mission Blue? Protect the ocean, in the same way we now protect the land.
At Virgin, we share Sylvia’s vision and believe that by modifying our human behaviours, and by championing an ever-growing network of marine protected areas around the world, we can save the ocean from collapse. The film asserts a wake up call – “If we continue business as usual, then we’re in trouble.”
As I wrote in my recent blog, Virgin Oceanic, exploration and ocean conservation, we need to clean up our collective act and preserve the life force that is the ocean. If we don’t, what can we expect? Sylvia paints us a picture: “Think about the world without ocean, you’ve got a planet a lot like Mars.”