SoCS: Ecocide

It’s the first Stream of Consciousness Saturday and continuing on with Just Jot it January.

Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “eco.” Find a word that starts with “eco” or has “eco” in it, and base your post on that word. Have fun!

I chose the word ‘ecocide’. It means the destruction of the natural environment (by human agency). With all the news about global warming- or climate change- lately, of course I’ve been thinking of it.

It’s always been in the back of my mind ever since I first became aware of it when I was just a little kid. Maybe 3rd-4th grade? Back then, the official scientific consensus was that we’d all be frozen into icebergs by now. They’ve changed their minds to the ‘global warming’ scenario now.

There has always been some debate between the optimists- who think human ingenuity will be able to solve all the problems brought upon ourselves by our insistence on breeding to the point of total destruction of the planet, and pessimists (like me) who think we will not.

It’s 40+ years later and I am still listening to the same basic arguments. The only difference is: now it’s global warming instead of global cooling. Or climate change to cover all the bases.

And, just to say it now… I am not a ‘climate change denier’. Of course the climate changes . It always has, it always will. I’m even willing to say that mankind most probably has had something to do with it. My problem with the ongoing debates at the moment has to do with the proposed solutions to the problems.

Of course, the ecocide has only progressed over those 40+ years. More pollution, more clear cutting, more soil erosion, more pollution in the air helping cause climate change, more ocean acidification, more habitat destruction for farms and houses, loss of biodiversity, and on and on and on.

Our leaders want to convince all of us to give up our high standard of living (which we get through the use of things like oil, chemicals, etc.), and bring about a ‘carbon neutral’ economy. Or even to reduce our use of energy so that we can ‘save the planet’.

I’m not totally sure what to say about that. I think there’s a much better solution than what ‘our leaders’ have come up with.

Of course I don’t want to see the destruction of planet Earth (even if I would love to see us out there exploring space and making ourselves a backup plan). I would love to see each and every person on this planet have the ability to live a good life!

Not one mired in poverty. Not one where they have to struggle every single day just to scrape up the bare necessities to exist, but a good life. One where they can work at what they enjoy, where they have plenty to eat and drink, one where they have time to enjoy the fruits of their labors.

I also want to see a planet where every other living thing has the ability to live without the threat of humanity’s greed destroying the habitat needed for survival. I want to see a planet with plenty of free space for nature. Room for all the plants, animals and humans to enjoy the natural world.

Not just for the fact that it’s healthy and good for people to be out in nature, not just for the possibility of all the things we’ve not yet discovered in the natural world that will help us live better, not just for the fact that the Earth is a cohesive, interconnected organism and we have no idea what we’re screwing up beyond repair with our human activities, but also because it’s morally, spiritually and even economically wrong to destroy so much of the world around us.

Why? Because we are so greedy.

I am NOT using that word in the way most people would. I see nothing wrong with people trying to live the best lives they possibly can. My issue is with the fact that so many people choose to have so many children (or don’t even consider not having them). Birth control? WTF? It’s like their only purpose in life is to breed. 🙁

I’m scolded for being a ‘selfish American’. One who was lucky enough to be born in the USA and so afforded a higher standard of living than most people around the world. I’m very lucky I don’t have to work my ass off for $1-2/day like so many do. But, where you’re born is mostly a matter of luck. I know I personally had nothing to do with where I was born!

What I ask people who ‘dis’ me for my ‘selfishness’ is: “and how many children do you have?” (or plan to have)?

Consider. Even if you only have one child, that child may chose to have only one, or they may have dozens. And each of those children may chose to have one, or dozens more. You have absolutely NO control over anyone but yourself in this matter.

And so, by my choosing to never have any children, I have already done more than my share in ‘saving the world’. I will spend the rest of my life being ‘selfish’ and enjoying the things I’ve earned the right to enjoy.

Don’t tell me not to use my air conditioner, or my car, or anything else! No, you don’t have a right to say diddly-squat about it until YOU stop having kids!

My solution to the problem of ‘climate change’ (and all the other problems) is to simply stop having so many kids!

Not forcibly, like China, but voluntarily. Spend some of the resources going on about global warming on convincing women around the world on the benefits of only having 1-2 children. Start promoting THAT as a way to save the planet instead of trying to convince everyone to give up on their hopes to live a decent life!

The optimists insist we can put up everyone on Earth in Alaska! That may be true, I don’t know. I do know that I don’t want to live in a world where 7 billion + people are living in Alaska! I do know that I don’t want to live in a world where we continue to commit ecocide simply so that we can fill it up with more and more people.

I can’t even understand WHY so many people think that’s the way to go. It saddens me, that we have so much beauty in this world and we are throwing it away. Why? Because we need to fill up the world with another few billion people? Why?

Maritime Monday for July 4th 2016: Boomy McBoomface

What is it with the weird names you Brits? Boaty McBoatface? Boomy McBoomface?? Cockchafer???

Check it out in this weeks edition of Maritime Monday. There’s more from the Brits, submarine art, fake Hawaii, the start of Jaws, and a couple of my favorites this week: Nessies bones?, the Lyman M. Davis, and the Houseboats of Shoreham.

Thanks to Monkey Fist for another great collection of Maritime tales and tidbits. 🙂

Icelandic firm offers England players free whale-watching holiday to “recover from defeat” A sailing holiday company has offered to cheer up England’s players after Iceland beat them on Monday by taking them on a free whale-watching day-trip. The Guardian – “The poor English players will anyways not be able to return immediately to England after […]

Source: Maritime Monday for July 4th, 2016: Boomy McBoomface – gCaptain

Happy World Sea Turtle Day!

Today is World Sea Turtle Day. Somehow I didn’t know anything about that until I got an email early this morning from Earthwatch (thanks).

Maybe if I had known, we could have had a real party here. 😉

I was lucky enough to get a chance to see the Houston Zoo release a bunch of sea turtles on the beach at Galveston a couple of weeks ago. That was so cool to see. It was nice to see that so many people took the time and effort to take care of those turtles and nurse them back to health.

It was also great to see so many regular people turn out to see them released. It was frustrating as hell, trying to get a decent photo, but encouraging that so many people cared enough to make a special effort to be there in person (even with such crappy weather).

We’ve been lucky so far this year in Texas. Updated stats say we’ve found 173 Kemp’s Ridley nests (plus 2 Loggerhead’s). We’ve even found 4 right here locally (3 at Surfside and 1 at Quintana)!

volunteers on the Sea Turtle Patrol at Galveston beach

Remember: If you see a sea turtle, tracks or hatchlings on the beach immediately call 1-866-TURTLE-5 (1-866-877-8535).

Source: Happy World Sea Turtle Day! [VIDEO]

Explosive!

How many days do you get to go to work looking forward to blowing something up?

I’m looking forward to blowing up something today!

Really.

Yeah, really. I’m still here on the Mystic Viking. We finally got all our certs so we could leave port, so we loaded up on fuel and got the hell out of town.

We did one quick test job and then moved over here (SP) to do another quick job using explosives. There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of old platforms out here in the Gulf that have become obsolete and now need to be removed.

Instead of leaving them alone to continue serving as artificial reefs, the powers that be have decided they must be completely removed, the legs must be cut below the ‘mud line’. Thankfully, that gives us a lot of work, cutting them all up and then putting them on barges to bring them in for scrapping somewhere.

We’ll eventually be working with the Versabar 10,000. They’ll do the heavy lifting after we do the cutting.

For this job we set up a ‘bomb’ in order to blow up the leg of an old oil platform off the coast of Louisiana. The top has already been removed, so we are using the ROV to run the ‘bomb’ down the leg and run the detonation cord up to the ship.

Once we get the thing set up, we have to wait til the turtle watchers can come out and ensure that no turtles are harmed in the explosion. (Yeah, seriously).

I want to see something blow up!

Video: Overfishing

They did a pretty good job with this video. It is undeniable that we have been over fishing for years. For decades. Might even say centuries now that it’s 2013!

I grew up in a small fishing community. My father was a commercial fisherman for a while. So were a lot of his friends. So were a lot of my friends. I used to be one. My brother still is.

I remember how it used to be when I was still fishing and I see how my brother struggles now. There is no comparison.

We have been raping the ocean (along with the rest of the planet) for a LONG time. Since we have figured out how to take such overwhelming advantage, we have not been allowing nature to replenish what we use.

I don’t know of any practical way to eliminate by catch. I don’t know of any solution to all the issues of farmed fish. I don’t know of any solution to poaching.

I don’t know of any  REAL solution to any of these problems EXCEPT the one that no one will even consider and that is for us as a species to voluntarily limit OUR population. Give every human being a chance at a GOOD life and in the process also allow the rest of the planet some space and a chance to recover.

I hope I’m not the only one on this planet who thinks that other species have just as much a right to exist here as we do. They all have a place and a purpose and we do NOT have the right to just use to the point of abuse anything and everything we feel like.

Coming from a background of commercial fishing, I’m not sure about this video. I have serious doubts about turning ANYTHING over to the politicians. I do NOT think the politicians are the answer to ANYTHING!

WE ARE!!

I have a suggestion for the fisheries… how about we try something like leasing the fishing grounds. Lease the areas where the fish (and other marine life) gather, similar to how we do it with the oil in the ground.

Hold an auction, let the highest bidder win the rights to use (NOT abuse) a certain area of the ocean. The winner would be able to fish there and would also be responsible for protecting his asset. This should put a stop to the practice of taking everything there is to take before the next guy does.

Of course, this wouldn’t work for every type of fish, but lots of them are known to either live or migrate into certain specific places year after year. If we could lease those areas to the fishermen and hold them accountable, we might even be able to GROW the fish stocks instead of depleting them.

I really would like to see this kind of thing given a good chance before we go any further with the restrictions. I have read about how fishermen in Britain have property rights to the streams they fish in. It seems to work there.

Here’s a link to an article about how it works in Scotland…

http://www.adamsmith.org/80ideas/idea/18.htm.

Actually, that website has a LOT of really good ideas…

www.adamsmith.org/80ideas,

glad I found it this morning. 😉

Beating Swords into Solar Panels

Beating Swords into Solar Panels – Politics – Utne Reader.

Well, there’s a lot in this article I disagree with, but I sure as hell agree that we can and should start dismantling our military-industrial(-prison) complex. It has become so big and bloated, it’s corrupting our politicians and its lobbyists have convinced “our leaders” that we MUST continue to spend billions to imprison people for decades for possession of a plant(??!!), or to blow up people in foreign countries rather than take care of our own people here.

We do NOT need to keep spending those billions- no,trillions!- of dollars to keep our country safe! There is no other country in the world today that can even come close to our military capabilities. WHY do we keep on building more, more, more???

It’s simple, the defense (at home and abroad) industries make billions (trillions) of dollars off our FEAR and ignorance. They will keep on spending millions to convince “our leaders” that they need to keep on spending our tax dollars on the military-industrial-prison complex.

Those ‘leaders’ will not ever think to actually CUT military (or prison) spending. Oh, NO!! They might lose a few jobs in their district. Those people who would be affected by a military operation closing down will be screaming bloody murder.

Maybe they might actually be better off if we weren’t spending trillions on military crap! Or locking people up for trivial BS! Their taxes might go down so they could have a better standard of living if we stopped spending so much on the military.

If people actually followed the suggestion in the article and converted that military spending to spending on something useful (productive) instead, they might actually be SO much better off, they might enjoy making something that HELPS the world instead of destroying it. They might enjoy having more peace and prosperity around the planet. They might enjoy having more money to spend when (if) the US ever gets around to lowering taxes like they should as a byproduct of cutting military spending.

I can’t even imagine all the fantastic things the people who work now on military projects could come up with if they were turned loose into the commercial/civilian marketplace. Wow! Just think of all the cool things they would come up with. These are intelligent, determined, educated people we’re talking about! How about all the good that would come from allowing all those people we lock up for victimless ‘crimes’ (possession, gambling, prostitution, etc) just get on with their lives instead of locking them up and so ruining their (and their families) lives forever?

The article focuses on environmental projects, stopping global warming, etc. Sure, they might eventually be able to make a dent in that. There is just SO much they could be working on to help make things better instead of finding more ways to destroy everything.

Yeah, I’m sure the military people (law enforcement too) probably think they’re out there fighting to save the world. I know they get told that they’re ‘fighting for our freedom’ here. All I can say to that is… why the heck do they always enlist YOUNG people to do all the dirty work???

Probably because by the time they grow up a little and spend a little time learning the truth, they won’t go fight someone else’s battles for them anymore! They finally figure out they’re only being USED to make money for somebody in the background. Anyone who really believes ‘our’ military is fighting for our freedom is surely needing to do a bit more thinking about things.

I could say a LOT more about that, but I’ll leave off by saying this: if they’re fighting for OUR freedom, they’re doing a pretty shitty job of it! We’ve lost a HELL of a lot of OUR freedom since 9-11!!! All those stupid wars (including the drug war) we’ve got involved in since then haven’t saved one tiny iota of OUR freedom! So, maybe, just maybe, all you cops and military people ought to just rethink your basic assumptions.

Texas Adopt a Beach

Anyone else going out to the beach cleanup this morning? I posted this to my mariners meetup group (www.meetup.com/boating-39) calendar a couple of weeks ago (thanks P.) but only know of 1 other person going. I’ll be there (Surfside). 🙂

I know they do this worldwide. The link to the Ocean Conservancy at the bottom of my post will take you to their website and there you can find a location near you. I’m not exactly sure if they have it the same date as we do. Here we do it twice a year, in the Spring and in the Fall.

Click the links for more information!

http://www.glo.texas.gov/adopt-a-beach/cleanups/participate.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TMFQOrOk3Fo

Cleanup 2013 Map

http://www.oceanconservancy.org/our-work/international-coastal-cleanup/sign-up-to-clean-up.html