Op-Ed: To save the Earth, think like a ‘blue water’ sailor
By Bill McKibben
The idea that the ocean as we know it is in trouble is not a new one. But few people have a better handle on it than the founder of Blue Ocean Institute, a nonprofit that advocates for a deep-ocean approach to the clean-up of the world’s waters. “When I was an undergraduate, I discovered that the ocean is already in trouble,” he writes in the introduction to his new book, The Deep Blue Edge. “When I finished my Master of Business program in 1990, I had a revelation. All the things we thought we knew–all the things we’d learned in business books and magazines–were wrong. What we didn’t understand was the power of what we did and who we were: The power to act in the world was all around us. I saw the ocean not as something separate from us, but as the center of our world and the source of all our power.”
This is a timely message because as the world’s oceans continue to degrade, the world economy, which is based on the seas and oceans, is on the verge of collapse. In that sense, I think this book is a must read for all of us living in developed nations.
One of the things he focuses on in this timely book is the concept of Blue Water Sailor. Think of a blue water sailor as he or she navigates deep into the ocean. The blue water refers to the water that is not contaminated by sewage or industrial chemicals that could make the water poisonous. The deep blue is the deep blue edge, the water where water’s pristine quality is the greatest.
“You cannot be a blue water sailor without having the right attitude,” he says. “There are no guarantees. But the worst thing you can do is expect someone else to do it for you. You have to do it for yourself. Take responsibility for your actions–and for the results of your actions.”
The book’s five chapters are about ocean stewardship, how to work the open ocean, the deep blue edge, how to act if you think you’re facing a crisis and how to preserve your