Thinking Clearly About the Oceans

We have written about the oceans for years. They are the key to surviving climate change. If we let them die we are lost, if we don’t we still have a lot of problems, but we have a chance. The reason is that oceans will becom toxic and will produce toxic gases that will choke life on land, plants and animals. Only life adapted to swamps may survive.

Today a newsblip announced that by 2030 we will already see oxygen stress in ocean animals. Of course today already large parts of the oceans are anoxic. Today the warm temperatures are making growing seaweed in shallow waters more difficult. We see Kelp forrest suffering. That’s half of all the oxygen we breath that is under threat. Doing something about it requires a new mindset.

Today if people talk about saving the fish and oceans they think about sanctuaries. They think about conservation and indeed it helps to have fish nurseries and leave those animals alone. Greenpeace is removing Fish Aggregation Devices because they cause a lot of bycatch, but they do not see how these devices are the future. Because conservation is not going to be enough. This judgement is not made out of some kind of idle desire for more action, it is simply true : The oceans will die no matter how big you make your sanctuaries. Creating ocean sanctuaries is like stopping with beating the victim up. We have to do more to save it from dying from its wounds.

Oceans can be saved because they can bring wealth, because they can sustain people’s lives. If we try and let them. The current fossil energy system does not want to invest fossil energy in large scale attempts to reduce the damage, even if it wanted to the banking system will sit on the mechanism to channel it into the right direction, by controlling the money flows.

Shell, Exxon etc. could of course direct energy to owned factories that make devices like offshore fish farm cages or wave drivenocean nutrient pumps, they have enormous (and immoral) control over an important resource, but whatever is done, fossil fuels will be a limiting factor, not a force large enough to return our atmosphere to normal concentrations (even with CCS).

We thought about the challenge and think we should use ocean grown biomass (bamboo) and plastics floating around to build the infrastructure to protect our oceans. This includes fish farms, seaweed farms, pipes and mechanisms to increase oceanic oxygen, To sustain people that have an interest in expanding the size of the living ocean. Perhaps even technology that reflects sunlight of the oceans, to replace the ice.



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