CARL SAFINA ANSWERS A FEW QUESTIONS FOR JUNGLE GUTS
Carl Safina (pictured above with a Leatherback turtle) is a marine ecologist and founder of the Blue Ocean Institute; an organization which uses art and literature in addition to science in an attempt to connect people with the seas. He has authored the books Song For a Blue Ocean, Eye of the Albatross: Views of the Endangered Sea, and over a hundred other scientific and literary publications regarding our oceans. Carl was named one of the 100 most important conservationists of the 20th century by Audubon Magazine. I’m elated to have his voice here on Jungle Guts.
JOHNNIE: Your book Song for a Blue Ocean was published in 1998. Similarly, I recently was trying to do some research on Seahorse populations and I realized that the last major study of population declines was completed in 1997, over ten years ago. Would you say that the 90s was a sort of golden age for wildlife conservation? Have things gotten worse since that time?
CARL: Certainly not a golden age. People are still trying hard. But yes, things have generally gotten worse.
SPILL BABY SPILL by CARL SAFINA
The Reverend glances from computer to TV, then back to the blog he’s reading, and writes to his atheist friend, “And as I read this from you I’m watching the news on the oil spill. Seems to trivialize it to call it a “spill.” Milk spills. A can of oil spills. But this? Hard to have any sense of scope.
“And I suppose you are cursed by the first hand knowledge of the sea critters—still for me mainly the stuff of Planet Earth and the Disney Ocean movie and PBS specials, and your books. You, meanwhile, have these critters in your insides.
“I think of that haunting verse from Genesis: ‘The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that the inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.’”