If you’re reading this you likely know that the ocean–the flowing, living, deep, and inspiring thing that covers most of our blue planet–is in some trouble. Big trouble.
You probably know about all that terrible plastic pollution, overfishing, ocean acidification, and oil spillage.
There are times when I read the same stuff you read and feel like the jig is up, the deal is done, we are toast…
Today as I am reading the very brave blog (linked above) of our Ocean Lovers Advisor J.Nichols, I can’t help but cheer him on! Way to go, J!
When I first started into this unusual career path that I am in even I was inundated with lots of misinformation about the exact state of our ocean. There is so much false stuff out there it is hard to determine what is right and what is wrong.
Dr. Chris Pincetich wrote the answer as a comment to J’s blog:
“It is always a great reality check to tune-in first-hand to the see the ocean and experience its glory.”
Since 2009 my teams have lead three major scientific cruises covering over 6000 nautical miles of critical open-ocean to do just that. As scientists, we performed our own environmental reality checks to see what is really going on with synthetic polymers (man made plastic) in our open ocean environments.
What we saw did in fact correlate with J. Nichols conclusion…
The Ocean Isn’t Full Of Plastic!
We as a society try to oversimplify things to create easy communicable answers for ourselves. The truth about the impact of synthetic polymers in the ocean is honestly a very complex, multifaceted story.
There are no plastic islands twice the size of Texas in the pacific or anywhere else. Take a look at Google maps if you don’t believe me. However that being said there is a very complex world going on of microbial interactions with synthetic polymers that we are just beginning to understand and needs more exploration to really understand it.
Long story short, the more false information that is not fact verified we continue to spout out, the more we underutilized our funds, time and energies to find real solutions.
It is not ok to tell people lies to tell a good story that helps fund or drive your cause.
Not to mention that lying to people creates misdirection, miscommunication, misguided energy and eventually discredits all science, activists and government that work in this arena.
So go out and explore, live more gently on the earth and be friendlier to your fellow human beings. It is only by taking our own personal responsibility into account that we can all make true positive change.
Our environmental challenges are vast and very complex but the answers, energy, and people to make positive change are out there.
We just need to make sure that we take those “reality checks to tune-in first-hand” and build a good base for our efforts on truth.
Thank you J. Nichols for your brave voice we appreciate you and your efforts more than you know. The Ocean and its Lovers Thank You!
Lots of Love
Andrea Neal, Ph.D.