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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire #221 - Marine pollution: An unprecedented extinction crisis by Jacques Dubart (fr) [machine translation]

Date Fri, 30 Nov 2012 18:32:51 +0200


Marine species - flora and fauna - are disappearing at a rate one thousand times the natural extinction rate [1]. This unprecedented extinction crisis is caused by human activity. The cause of this process is a combination of pollution discharged into the ocean ecosystems, climate change and direct destruction. ---- Four hundred coastal areas, nearly 245,000 square kilometers of ocean are now "dead zones" where pollution kills nearly all plants and animals. Twenty percent of mangrove areas, about 3.5 million hectares have been destroyed. Mangroves, tropical ecosystems are among the most productive and biologically richest in the world. FAO calls the situation "scary" [2] ... The possible disappearance of coral reefs, including those in the Caribbean, has been the subject of a scientific report presented by UNESCO on 28 January 2008.

A major disaster is running, fraught with danger for humanity shortages of food resources, economic repercussions, deepening ecological crisis on earth, etc..

Marine dead zones

Each ecosystem crisis calls for appropriate responses. An emblematic example in France is the issue of green algae that thrive in coastal areas, leading to a massive decline in oxygen and eventually to the virtual elimination of other forms of life. The causes are well known: the massive discharges of nitrates brought by rivers and runoff water, mainly from intensive agriculture. Solutions are also known. May 28, 2012, inter-ministerial mission to prepare the "stock of scientific knowledge on the causes of green macroalgae blooms" its report. It calls for the construction of a "new economic model". Association for Water and rivers as Britain must end the process of concentration of farms, with monocultures and agrochemicals, with "soilless farming", and replace the corn on the prairie But still ... it would have the political courage to tackle the capitalist interests. And rivers made the following observation: "The silence of the first two leaders of the country [...] the decree increasing nitrate surfaces spreading [...] have cause for concern". [3]

The obstacles are not technical ...

Another element of short-term solution to combat the disaster would be a real step development of marine protected areas. The objectives of Rio were 10% coverage. Faced with the proven success of these reserves "the question is no longer whether we should or should not establish fully protected ocean areas, but know where to build" [4]. Should specify the target has not been reached ... We're only 0.5% of the oceans [5], surface largely insufficient to represent the beginning of a solution. The real obstacles to a fight against the degradation of marine ecosystems are not technical. In addition, in terms of employment, living conditions, food resources, these solutions would be beneficial. For cons of immediate financial interests are at stake. The dominant capitalist class blocks all state institutions. We can never avoid if we want any efficiency in our struggles, join our immediate struggles with a capitalist society project and self-management.
Jacques Dubart (AL Agen)


[1] See www.vedura.fr

[2] ditto

[3] See: www.eau-and-rivieres.asso.fr

[4] Press release of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Washington, DC: Mar. 12, 2001).

[5] Andrew Balmford, Pippa Gravestock, Neil Hockley, Colin McClean and Callum Roberts. (2004) The Worldwide Costs of Marine protected areas. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 101: 9694-9697.

Related Link: http://www.alternativelibertaire.org
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