Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 and a New Decade: time to turn the tides

2009 has been an "interesting" year - a mix of achievements and setbacks, as readers can tell just from the over 230 postings that ran in this blog over the past year. We're still in short supply when it comes to a full awareness in the minds of the public and the decision-makers as to the scope of the issues facing the oceans, the earth, and the air. Perhaps it's time for less lip service around the water cooler and more proactive efforts on the part of those who get it, those who are committed. Perhaps it's time for more action in 2010.

Patric Douglas of SharkDivers, who authors one of the leading shark conservation blogs, feels the time is right for all of us to get more involved. The Shark-Free Marinas Initiative he started is making significant progress, thanks in no small part to it's director, Luke Tipple, and the participation of many marinas worldwide.

And we have the CITES meeting in March to look forward to, where important, jeopardized species will be considered for protection (or heightened protection)
under the current international agreement which has claimed success for many other threatened flora and fauna.

But with the economic turmoil of the past view years offering only glimmers of improvement with which to start the new decade, many non-profit organizations - including many of our conservation favorites - are still feeling the pinch. This has impacted their outreach ability as they struggle to try to do more with less. I know this because I have been putting effort into promoting more film making/media communications for research groups and NGOs - and to say it has been a challenge would be a gross understatement.

But if we are to make any headway with the fence-sitters, the Doubting Thomases, or the
outright critics of important issues - like global warming, ocean acidification, overfishing, and the consequences of deforestation, development, and the quest for fossil fuels - then science needs to make its work more visible and get its data and conclusions out into the public forum, not sequestered in libraries and scientific journals.

So let's make this next decade the time when we really put our money where our mouths are. We don't need to tear down the walls; we can work with the system (or maybe around it, when necessary). But it is definitely time to move from passive awareness to committed action.

May the new year be a good one for you, your friends, and family - and, of course, for mother Earth!

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