Giving nature a break vital to human survival: explorer Sylvia A. Earle

Barcelona, Spain, Nov 1 (EFE).- Renowned marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer Sylvia A. Earle believes the moment has arrived to give nature a break in order to safeguard human survival.

The 87-year-old scientist spoke to Efe a week after she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in recognition of a life dedicated to marine research and the conservation of the ocean.

“We need the ocean, the ocean now needs us, because what we have been doing to the ocean, what we have been doing to this little blue miracle — Earth — throughout all of our history, taking, taking, taking from nature, and we are prospering but nature has diminished,” Earle told Efe in an interview.

“What we’ve been dumping into the ocean, literally for thousands of years, but especially since the middle of the 20th century until now we have really scaled up what we’ve been taking out of the ocean and what we have been putting into the ocean, and it has consequences that we now can see,” Earle added.

As a result of our actions, Earle said “the chemistry of the ocean is changing, life in the ocean is changing, the habitability, the ability of Earth to support us is changing.”

The scientist, who has directed several documentaries for National Geographic and was named First Hero of the Planet by Time magazine in 1998, underlines the importance of the ocean for all humans on the planet, regardless of their location.

“Sometimes I’m asked ‘what is your favorite sea creature?’ and I say ‘that’s easy, humans’.”

She added: “We need the oceans as much as any coral reef, or whale, or tuna fish.”

The California-based author and explorer highlighted the hope that young people are bringing to the table with their knowledge of the Earth’s plight.

“We’re getting it, and especially the kids who are coming along, knowing when they’re 10-years-old what nobody knew when I was 10-years-old, we are learning so much, including the very fact that the Earth is in trouble, and we can fix it, but we have to hurry.” EFE


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