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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Oil Spill: Turtles Rescued By Wildlife Agents, Only 1 in 5 Survive.

I saw this story and it really shows why the Gulf Oil Spill is a disaster like no other we have experienced.  It has cataclysmic potential for destruction.

CBS hops aboard a boat with a team of wildlife agents heading 35 miles off the Gulf coast to rescue every sea turtle they come across. Even though some of the turtles they find aren't visibly coated in oil, there is often unseen damage from inhalation and digestion of oil. Tragically, of the over 500 turtles they have found, only 1 in 5 survive.  Video 

Turtles fill a vital ecological function in keeping the ocean ecosystems in balance. Kill the turtles=kill the oceans. And since humanity will not survive if the oceans die, kill the oceans=kill humanity.

But Americans have no ecological education. Many understand this intellectually--sort of. But most people really cannot wrap their brains around the reality of our connection to the planet's ecosystems. They see dead turtles, they feel "bad" for the turtle. But they have absolutely no understanding of just how devastating and frightening the die-off is, in terms of not only the future of the ocean's ecosystem, but our future as well. The connection is just too difficult to make.

Which makes sense, of course, when people grow up in a culture than places humanity at the center of the universe, with the planet and all other living creatures as merely static "resources." Such a story in no way reflects reality, of course. It's entirely an illusion, perpetrated by capitalism and religion. But Nature doesn't care about our silly self-centered fantasy world. We can keep on keeping on, scoffing at the power of Nature and our connection to it, insisting on our superior importance, clinging to our stories of human centrality, but in the end we will die.

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