Oceans


The ocean covers Seventy-one percent of our planets surface. Life is
concentrated, however, in about four percent of it, and it is this four percent
that is being polluted by the tons every day. Everyone needs to understand that
the oceans are not endless, and not bottomless. They also much see that the
ocean contains much marine life which are essential to our eco-system. And in
order to preserve this other world of life, we must stop polluting the oceans,
and begin to clean them up. Although using the ocean for a toxic waste dump may
provide for a cheap alternative, we must not succumb to these barbaric urges.
If we neglect to deal with these ideals, than the world as we know it may not be
as great a world for our children as it was for us.

First, we need to understand that the oceans are not the vast resources
that we believe them to be, but just vulnerable natural resources. Before
Columbus' day, the ocean were thought to be boundless. Although Columbus proved
this theory incorrect, the thought still remains in today's societies. “For we
of the 20th century still treat the ocean as the endless, bottomless pit it was
considered to be in medieval times.”(Heyerdahl) The majority of the world's
population still lives under the misconception that the ocean is a hungry abyss,
eager to devour all their waste. These beliefs, however, are all untrue. The
average depth of the oceans is only a little more than a mile, when in fact,
some lakes exceed this depth rather handily. Although the size of the ocean is
often pondered, the thought that it may one day be gone, is never even
considered.

The vast majority of all life in the ocean, inhabits only 1/25 of these
waters, but it is these surroundings that are in the most danger. In the
beginning of the world, marine plankton was vital to the evolution of man.
Today, it is even more important to us, being that it provides us with a great
percentage of oxygen we receive. “These minute plant species manufactured so
much oxygen that it rose above the surface to help form the atmosphere we have
today.”(Heyerdahl) With the disappearance of the plankton through increased
pollution, the obvious result will be a total deprivation of our oxygen supply,
in turn limiting all people to certain limits. And with urban expansion leading
to deforestation, our dependence upon marine life becomes heightened. The
importance of marine plankton cannot be emphasized enough, yet most people fail
to recognize it as the vital life supply it is.

Further, since the turn of the century, humans have continually polluted
the waters of the ocean. The trend has not lessened; but has increased as time
has passed. “Most of our new chemical products are not only toxic: they are in
fact created to sterile and kill. And they keep on displaying these same
inherent abilities wherever they end up.”(Heyerdahl) Although pollution reforms
are in place, the clean-up efforts cannot keep up with the constant pollution.
These wastes are not degradable; they remain in the ocean causing more death
until they wash up on a distant shore. “Through sewers and seepage they all
head for the ocean, where they remain to accumulate as undesired nuts and bolts
in between the cogwheels of a so far smoothly running machine.”(Heyerdahl)
Everyday, over 40,000 tons of garbage from the major cities of America alone are
taken on a one-way excursion. Where to? The ocean, to sit like the many
generations of waste before them. This constant abuse to our natural resources
will not be endured for long; for even the ocean has limits.

In order to survive longer as a species on this planet, we must stop
polluting the oceans, save the fragile marine eco-system, and understand that
even the ocean has limitations, and that they are being pushed too far. “Can
man survive with a dead ocean?”(Heyerdahl) The answer is clear and obvious: no.
We cannot conceivably survive without the immeasurable subsistence the ocean
provides us. Currently, we are on the path to self-destruction. We need get off
this often traveled beaten path, and blaze a new one for ourselves. These ideas
have been around since the beginning; now its time to adhere to them.