Vehicles of Support for Planetary Life
The oceans are the main thermal regulator on the planet, endowed with immense biodiversity, processing nutrients through their natural cycles, and still providing a wide range of jobs that benefit millions of people.
Often called the lung of the world, the oceans provide much of the oxygen necessary for sustaining life on the planet, and absorb the excess of carbon dioxide that is released into the Earth’s atmosphere.
Despite its grandeur—three quarters of the Earth’s surface is covered by seas and oceans—its ability to withstand human activities has been causing concern and is being debated by regulatory agencies, NGOs, and by groups concerned with the sustainability and preservation of the planet.
Essential to life, the oceans face several threats posed by human beings, such as exterminating fishing, predatory hunting for marine treasures, pollution, climate change, and overwhelming dumping of huge amounts of garbage.
An alarming amount of plastic trash
In 2016, with the subject “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet,” at the United Nations (UN) headquarters, in New York, several activities called attention to the risks associated with the dumping of around twenty million tons of plastic materials in the seas every year.
Also in 2016, a study published by the World Economic Forum in Davos affirmed that by 2050, the oceans would have more pieces of plastic, by weight, than fish.
Another study, quite widely disseminated by the press, published by the magazine Scientific Report, described what is officially known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is the concentration of about 80 thousand tons of plastic waste in the Pacific Ocean region between Hawaii and the coast of California, where solid pollutants accumulate, with a trend toward a constant increase, due to the dynamics of the sea currents.
More recent studies show increasingly alarming conditions. In May of 2019, a study done by the Oceanography Institute of the University of California revealed that the synthetic plastic is polluting even the Mariana Trench, considered the deepest point in the oceans.
The suffering of the Animal Kingdom
All this disposal of plastic waste, which contaminates the oceans, in addition to the damage already mentioned, also ends up causing harm to defenseless beings, not only marine species, but also birds and other animals.
Surveys also carried out by the UN show that up to five trillion plastic bags are consumed per year worldwide. And also annually, eight million tons of plastic bottles end up in the oceans, harming six hundred marine species, of which 15% are threatened with extinction.
Another dismal fact, according to the same study, is that 90% of seabirds have ingested plastic at least once in their lives.
What the human being inadvertently discards ends up in the stomach of many species, or even ends up trapping, suffocating, or killing them, such as in the case of larger animals like turtles, dolphins, and seals. For them, the danger is with the plastic bags, for many get stuck in them or end up ingesting them.
As the Tamar Project warns, this accidental ingestion has a dramatic effect: “digestive tracts filled with plastics have less capacity to assimilate the nutrients from real food. This reduces the likelihood that animals will survive and may, in the long run, cause certain populations to collapse. Sea turtles, seals, sea lions, dolphins, manatees, sea birds, and fish are some of the countless victims.”
As for this picture of the suffering of the Animal Kingdom, it is important to highlight that it is part of the teaching transmitted by José Trigueirinho Netto, founder of the Fraternity – International Humanitarian Federation (FIHF), who said: “it is up to the human being to not decimate the Animal Kingdom, but rather to collaborate with the realization of the purpose of their existence.”
Preservation is basic and urgent
Spread throughout the world, many groups work with different initiatives so that the preservation of the oceans work in practice, but it is little compared to the extent of the damage.
It is urgent to decrease the use of plastic in daily life, as well as recycling initiatives, but much broader and more structured actions are needed to change the direction that the human civilization has taken.
There must be a point of transformation of the consciousness*
There is an important counterpart that exists in the oceans, permeated by a relevant content of spiritual inspiration. In one of Trigueirinho’s studies we have: “The Ocean is a mirror that absorbs inner light and codes of renewal for the Earth,” and this greatly expands the view as to the function of this entire universe composed of ocean waters and marine life.
In this sense, in his constant work of collaborating in a simple way so that the human being grows in consciousness, Trigueirinho taught: “When we recite a prayer, which includes the oceans, we are connected with much peace, much harmony; we are connected to mercy.”
All the actions for the preservation of the oceans and nature are valid, necessary, and urgent, and they can include this practice of prayer, so that civilization goes in a different direction and is able to celebrate the World Oceans Day with better and more uplifting news.