Happy June 8th! World Oceans Day was started to honor and raise awareness of the oceans, and our dependency on the health of the oceans. The oceans help to generate the oxygen we breathe, they feed us, regulate the climate, and offer us much more. The oceans need protection, and World Oceans Day is a great step towards conservation. To quote Arthur Clarke, “How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean”. The ocean makes up the majority of our planet, and it is just as important as it is deep and immense.
To celebrate the day, I saw the film Blue last night, as part of the March for the Oceans event series. It was a powerful film, documenting the harmful effects of overfishing, plastic pollution, coral bleaching, and discarded fishing nets. Through imagery, the film shows the issues about which everyone is talking, making a visual connection to what we’ve heard. It is heartbreaking to see how sea animals are affected by human actions, and this film displays firsthand the underwater damage that is a result of what we do on land. With stories from several experienced water-goers, Blue is enthralling and attention grabbing, and over before you know it. When you have a spare 76 minutes, I highly recommend taking a look!
Link to Information about Blue
Evidenced by the large patches of plastic floating in the seas and trash lined highways, to put it bluntly, we have a problem with plastic pollution. Due to recent scientific discovery of a plastic-degrading enzyme, it seems as though we may have a “solution”. I quote solution, because although this enzyme may help with current plastic pollution, to really take control of the plastic issue, we need to decrease plastic production and plastic consumption. Plastic was once a monumental discovery, and now it is big news that we may have found a way to take back this process that has transformed our daily activities and convenience. It is definitely necessary to decrease the amount of pollution currently floating free in our environment, and this enzyme could be a key player in this process, and to ensure a clean future, we need to decrease our usage of plastic. Not only does the plastic itself have detrimental effects on the environment, plastic production involves the use of fossil fuels, which produces another source of pollution. As incredible as scientific innovation can be (it did bring us plastic in the first place!), sometimes we need to think simply and go back to the source of the issue. If we decrease plastic production, eventually, the need for enzymes to break down plastic will not be necessary. In the meantime, the potential for this enzyme to help clean our beloved oceans is exciting, and could lead to a healthier, happier, blue planet.