SUNRISE AT WAREMBAL LAGOON NSW
“The edge of the sea is a strange and beautiful place...
...The shore is an ancient world...
...Each time that I enter it, I gain some new awareness of its beauty...
...True understanding demands intuitive comprehension of the whole."
“To understand the shore, it is not enough to catalog its life. Understanding comes only when, standing on a beach, we can sense the long rhythms of earth and sea that sculptured its land-forms and produced the rock and sand of which it is composed; when we can sense with the eye and ear of the mind the surge of life beating always at its shores – blindly, inexorably pressing for a foothold. True understanding demands intuitive comprehension of the whole…
“The edge of the sea is a strange and beautiful place. All through the long history of Earth it has been an area of unrest where waves have broken heavily against the land, where the tides have pressed forward over the continents, receded, and then returned…
The shore is an ancient world, for as long as there has been an earth and sea there has been this place of the meeting of land and water. Yet it is a world that keeps alive the sense of continuing creation and of the relentless drive of life. Each time that I enter it, I gain some new awareness of its beauty and its deeper meanings, sensing that intricate fabric of life by which each creature is linked with another, and each with its surroundings…
Contemplating the teeming life of the shore, we have an uneasy sense of the communication of some universal truth that lies just beyond our grasp. What is the message signaled by the hordes of diatoms, flashing their microscopic lights in the night sea? What truth is expressed by the legions of barnacles, whitening the rocks with their habitations, each small creature within finding the necessities of its existence in the sweep of the surf? And what is the meaning of so tiny a being as the transparent wisp of protoplasm that is a sea lace, existing for some reason inscrutable to us – a reason that demands its presence by the trillion amid the rocks and weeds of the shore? The meaning haunts and ever eludes us, and in its very pursuit we approach the ultimate mystery of life itself.
RACHEL CARSON, THE EDGE OF THE SEA (1955)
ON THE BRINK RADIO #103 SPECIAL REPORT ON THE HEALTH OF MOTHER OCEAN
This 'On the Brink' special report on the health of Mother Ocean is dedicated to Rachel Carson who is to me one of the most beautiful of human spirits ever to grace this planet. Her work and contributions as lover of nature, scientific educator and environmental activist continue to be a great inspiration to me, and her insights and messages are more relevant now than ever.
This special report is 'one small step' towards a 'Silent Spring of ocean health.' In surveying the spectrum of threats to the health of Mother Ocean for this report, I became totally and consciously overwhelmed at the enormity of all things oceanic: before the dawn of the 'space age', the ocean was the supreme metaphor for vastness, depth and enormity in general, not to mention the domain of the unknown.
I have always loved the ocean and everyone who lives there, but in recent years have found myself increasingly drawn to be with her as much as possible, which I have been doing since returning to Australia 3 weeks ago, due to the niceness of friends. I've been adopted by Warembal Lagoon here in whale-dreaming country on the central coast of NSW, have seen numerous recent sun-rises and sun-sets from there, and have been swimming in my own little rock-pool at least once and sometimes twice per day. I was just in there about 3 hours ago, with a full-moon induced tide coming in and a strong rain storm pummeling me...awesome. A few mornings ago I was there just after sun-rise swimming with thunder and lightning beings crashing all around.
Despite the people strolling by with often-crapping dogs (but not during storms!), when I'm there on the tidal rock-shelf I am essentially alone with Mother Ocean and the dream-time ancestors. The 'time' of civilization ceases to exist as I play my flute and drum to the waves and birds and denizens of the deep, to Oceanus...a magical entity, a mega-macro-molecule of water, a planetary-scale liquid crystal...the single largest life-form on Mother Earth and the womb of life as we know her.
When 'in the zone' there I sense no human presence other than my own, which, under these conditions, is quite attenuated. I DO very much feel the presence of the cetaceans, the 'ultimate indigenous people', a 'true extra-terrestrial intelligence' who I feel are doing their best to warn humanity of a major impending planetary cataclysm or catastrophe whose nature is not even on our most sensitive radars.
I could speculate on what this might be...but what very much IS on my radar, and that of many other awake and aware lovers of life on this planet...the 'people of one heart' spoken of in the Hopi prophecy...is the profound URGENCY of the current situation with the health of Mother Ocean.
As part of my on-going work with and on behalf of the whales and dolphins, I have become increasingly aware of the full spectrum of threats to them from human military-industrial civilization. On looking deeply at the health of Mother Ocean herself, who and what are behind her health issues, being 'overwhelmed' was only my initial response; incredulity, outrage and 'righteous wrath' came next.
What follows is only a brief 'outline in progress' towards a much-needed 'Silent Spring of ocean health.' The span of this research, multidisciplinary scientific education, ecological networking and information activism is no less vast and complex than Mother Ocean herself. Please forgive my ignorance...but join with my inspiration and enthusiasm...on our path to discovering, comprehending what and who Mother Ocean truly is, to nurturing a true 'sense of wonder' about 'all our relations', mitakuye oyasin of the sea.
MOTHER OCEAN AND ALL HER CHILDREN ARE SUFFERING IMMENSELY: 'WARMING SEA', 'MYSTERY ILLNESS', VIRUSES...OR FUKUSHIMA RADIO-NUCLIDE CONTAMINATION?
"There has been a massive die-off of marine life along the west coast of the US, which has scientists 'baffled.' Do you mean to tell me that scientists studying this death of the Pacific haven’t taken into account the possibility that it could be caused by the hundreds of tons of nuclear waste that has been pouring into the Pacific each day for the last four years? So few dare to admit the extent of damage caused by this disaster or the fact that it is forcing us to face the possibility of our own extinction. What happens when the planet’s largest body of water is rendered lifeless on a planet made up mostly of water? What happens when the radiation accumulates in the atmosphere and is spread throughout the world by the jet stream? In 2013, the Huffington Post reported that massive amounts of krill washed up along the west coast in a 250 mile stretch from Oregon to California. Krill is an essential part of the ocean’s food chain. When marine life on the low end of the food chain dies off, the larger animals that feed on that marine life starve to death. Carcasses of dead sea lions and seals that were examined revealed high doses of radiation, and yet, mainstream scientists remain 'baffled'."
ANTARCTIC KRILL-VACUUMING A MAJOR THREAT TO GLOBAL MARINE FOOD CHAIN, NORWEGIAN AKER BIO-MARINE LEADS THE WAY
REAL GLOBAL THREATS TO HEALTH OF MOTHER OCEAN INCLUDE
the HSMV (HOMO SAPIENS MACRO-VIRUS)
the HSMV (HOMO SAPIENS MACRO-VIRUS)
CHEMICAL AND RADIO-LOGICAL TOXICITY
"Much like the oil itself -- strategically sunk to the Gulf floor by BP's use of the toxic dispersant Corexit -- national news coverage of the spill's effects has largely vanished...The multi-billion-dollar Gulf seafood industry is reeling from both small catches and plummeting demand brought on by very real concerns about contamination. Dead dolphins and sea turtles continue to wash ashore at record-breaking rates. Oyster beds have been devastated and are in desperate need of restoration. And perhaps most disturbing of all, increasingly large numbers of clean-up workers and coastal residents are getting sick...
Reports of unexplained health problems are soaring -- and the primary suspects are the toxic compounds contained in BP's oil and the chemical dispersants used to break down the crude...The production of oil delivers several different waste streams into the environment in an uncontrolled release like the BP disaster. Besides the oil itself, highly toxic compounds are also present in the gas streams jettisoned from the well, including methane and hydrogen sulfide...
The toxins associated with these streams can be broken down into three primary categories: (1) organic elements like benzene; (2) inorganic heavy metals including lead, chromium and cadmium; and (3) most important, Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM).
Radioactive elements such as radium, thorium and uranium are known byproducts of the oil production process.
As if NORM exposure from offshore drilling processes wasn't enough to worry about, the New York Times published a high-profile article in late February on the dangers of radioactive exposure onshore from the drilling process known as hydrofracking.
Fracking, as it is commonly called, involves the injection of water and a mixture of highly toxic chemicals into wells to break up rock formations that hold large amounts of natural gas.
However, just like the offshore drilling process, the produced-water waste stream created by fracking contains dangerous levels of NORM that can contaminate inland waterways and has even been dumped in water sewage plants in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New York. These types of treatment facilities don't test for radioactivity so there is no way of telling just how much NORM is being mixed directly into drinking water.
The Times also uncovered a bombshell "secret industry study" from the American Petroleum Institute (API). The study, written in 1990, states that consuming seafood from the Gulf of Mexico poses "potentially significant risks" of cancer to humans due to the radium levels in produced water discharges.
'This level of uranium exposure is thousands of times more dangerous than the ICRP (International Commission on Radiological Protection) risk model suggests. We should be very concerned that this material is showing up in an ecosystem with shrimp, crabs, fish, and other animals that humans consume on a daily basis.'
"Uranium is increasingly seen to be a very serious hazard to humans due to its high affinity for genetic material and its ability to trap and amplify natural background gamma radiation at the one place in the body it can do most harm. For this reason, humans have developed responses to uranium ingestion over evolutionary time scales in the form of low absorption from the gut. But humans have never had to deal with uranium inhalation. Once inhaled, uranium can directly enter the brain or pass through the lungs into the lymphatic nodes and blood system, causing the wide range of neurological conditions that were identified as Gulf War syndrome at one extreme and cancer at the other."
THE GLOBAL FISHING INDUSTRY
MINERAL AND HYDRO-CARBON EXTRACTION INDUSTRIES
SHIPPING AND TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES
NAVAL AND OTHER MARITIME MILITARY ACTIVITIES
INVASIVE EMR AND ACOUSTIC ENERGIES (SONARS)
WASTE ACCUMULATION, ESP. PLASTICS
DEGRADATION OF HEALTH OF MARINE ECO-SYSTEMS AND LIFE-FORMS...
JUST TO IDENTIFY THE TIP OF THE ICE-BERG.]
'WHAT WE DO TO THE EARTH, WE DO TO OURSELVES'