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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Trawlers on the ocean floor

The evening news on CBC, The National has enraged me more than anything in the recent past has. HOWEVER, this isn't news. It's been an issue for three or four years, now, at least, from what little data I can find. Just because no one's talking about it doesn't mean it's not crucial we get our shit together.

You need to read this.

Extremophiles: Organisms which live in extreme conditions

Extremophiles may change our world. Deep sea invertabrates have been found to hold possible cures for diseases, not to mention inumerable other uses.

So, naturally, Big Business is interested. And fucking things up for the rest of us.

These seemingly useless creatures on the deep sea’s floor, way out there, in no-nation waters, are being hotly pursued by deep sea trawlers that have little or no interest in being careful of what they are trawling.

They’re operating without abandon-- and before the scientists can amass the funds to put research plans into action and harvest and study the invertabrates, cataloging them on their potential benefit to man, and believe me, there are plenty of those.

As one scientists said, “We’re losing what we have before we even know what we’ve got.”

This is, to put it as bluntly and plainly as I can, a crime against humanity.

We do not know all the potential for what we’re finding. We’ve all seen disease take tolls on our families, on us. To harvest what extremophiles are being found in this haphazard manner, for the little we now know, and to deplete our stores on this limited, desultory information... what a fucking travesty.

The nations of the world have the power to unite and lay claim to this unfended for region of our oceans. We have no right, no fucking right at all, to rob our descendents of their rightful inheritence.

Yeah, this isn’t my usual funny drivel, and I’m pretty goddamned incensed as I write this. I’m trying to hold it back, because what I really want to do is demand people find out who owns these trawlers, and to put them out of action. By any means necessary.

But I’m too responsible for that shit. I’m an adult. So I say what I say and hope it has effect.

We have the right to expect that science will have control over these open-water species, and take these newfound, even as-yet-unfound organisms, and study them, and learn what we might find that can then be used to fight things like AIDS, a disease that’s doing horrifying things in Africa. After all, diseases are smarter than humans, and all we need are a few more strains-- and lots, and lots of air travel.

To have this incredible bountiful find-- a find that we can say, “all right, we know where it is” and walk away, and know it’s protected-- just picked apart by these money-grubbing fuckers, leaving all of us not knowing what we might have lost?

Yep. Might just be something to be pissed about, folks.

We’ve already let this happen in the Brazilian rainforests. This part, it’s easier, because the world doesn’t need to gang up on a little third-world country just trying to feed its impoverished citizens.

No. All we gotta do is lay claim to what’s already ours, but what we’re too lazy and cheap to protect.

Sounds doable to me. Write someone. Say something. Do something. But fucking act on this. If you’ve ever lost someone to a disease that’s on the verge of a cure, you know how important this is.

And if you don’t already... one day, you will.

If you think I’m an alarmist, these guys might disagree with you if you just click here.