Sunday, February 7, 2010


So Greenpeace wants to set aside 40% of the world's oceans as Marine Reserves in an effort to save the world from total destruction.

I can appreciate that. After all, it's pretty gross that we have mega-trash blobs floating in our oceans, some of which are bigger than Texas (ew), and it's pretty un-legit to be spewing toxic chemicals all over the place and killing the fishies and stuff. Yeah, ocean pollution sucks. It screws all of us (yes, Minamata Disease, I'm looking at you).
But I really don't understand how setting aside 40% of the oceans as "no-take" zones is going to help. I mean, after all, wouldn't ocean currents blow that all to hell anyway? Unless Greenpeace is being really strategic about the placement of these reserves and taking ocean currents into consideration (which, in all honesty, I'm not sure they are), any efforts they make will be moot because, hey, for every square mile of ocean where someone isn't polluting, there are two or even three square miles where someone else is. And since we can't very well set up walls in the middle of the ocean to keep these areas discrete, pollutants can just as well pass willy-nilly across these imaginary boundaries and we end up with gunk everywhere, just like before. How does it make sense to say that people can pollute in 'x' location but not 'y', when the two places are obviously connected by current flows?

I would have asked the toolish Greenpeace representative who stopped me on my way back to campus from the Farmer's Market this morning, but he seemed a little out of sorts. Our friend was under the impression that the Amazonian kangaroos were endangered because we were chopping down their precious Nabisco trees. Say what??

Maybe pollution shouldn't be the top priority on our Worry List. Maybe...maybe it should be dumb people.

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