Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mass Extinctions and How We Wrecked the Ocean

Over at Deltoid, Jeff Harvey just posted a link to this recent post at Climate Progress about mass extinctions and particularly the unprecedented devastation wrought on marine ecosystems in the past century. It contains a link to this 18-minute TED talk by Jeremy Jackson, “How we wrecked the ocean”:

A few contextual perspectives on the environment and fisheries: I’m currently reading J. R. McNeill’s Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World.

While a bit dated with regard to some of the major problems – published in 2000 – and, like many works, lacking sufficient attention to the oceans, it offers a startling overview of the distinctiveness and significance the past century’s environmental destruction and its actual and potential effects.

I also recommend David DobbsThe Great Gulf: Fishermen, Scientists, and the Struggle to Revive the World’s Greatest Fishery.

Finally, I’m just starting Decline of Fishes, Peter Anastas’ new novel (not yet on Amazon, but I believe it will be shortly) about the politics of “development” and fishing in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

I plan to have much more to say on the subject of the history of fisheries and the environment in the future, particularly my position that key to an effective approach is the appreciation and revival of local/indigenous traditions of marine resource use.

On a lighter note, I’ll leave off with my favorite line of the past few weeks (even with the mistaken “your”): “You know what else...deep-sea fish think your f’n ugly too!”

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