Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Wherever and Whenever

It is easy for melancholy to get a foothold when the depth and breadth of the challenges facing the oceans are realized. So it's important to look for the bright spots wherever and whenever they can be found.

Here's one voice:  "the natural world that gives us sustenance, wisdom and a reflection of our souls." More and more people seem to be talking about intangible benefits of the sea like spirituality, and that has power, maybe even staying power.

That was Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D, who gave us a dash of optimism and that "something bigger than us" sense in her keynote as part of the launch of the World Resources Institute's "Reefs at Risk Revisited".  Some additional hopeful prose from Jane:

"Some might say that the odds of reversing trends to leave such a legacy are too great.  But I beg to differ.  I am encouraged by numerous signs: 
  • the increasing number of local community efforts that are underway, bringing ingenuity and passion;
  • the successes of various restoration efforts, giving hope for reversing trends;
  • increased scientific engagement informing choices;
  • critical philanthropic efforts enabling proof of concept, development of powerful networks, and translation of scientific knowledge into practice; and
  • especially the engagement of young people who have a knack for tackling seemingly impossible tasks and bringing fresh energy and thinking.  
Healthy oceans should be everyone’s business.  Greater awareness and engagement are needed to protect and restore the global treasures that are coral reefs.  How the world rises to this challenge is a reflection of our commitment to one another and to the natural world that gives us sustenance, wisdom and a reflection of our souls."

Jane is under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration administrator.

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