Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sea Change?

If you were to ask Dr. Craig Gilman, Professor of Marine Science at Coastal Carolina University, whether I was an optimist or a pessimist, he would probably remember me as a pessimist. Eleven years ago, when I participated as one of 30 or so students in his first Environmental Science course at Coastal, I was very much convinced that it would take a catastrophic event to change the human behaviors that are destroying our Mother Earth. Today, I'm not so sure...

Since 1998, I've had the opportunity to live in the developing world almost as much as the US. I discovered a strong conservation ethic held by many people--only to return to the US and witness over-consumption and waste. Those of you who travel and immerse yourself in local culture know what I mean...the greatest culture shock if often returning home!

However, in the past few months I've noticed an increasing awareness of human impacts on our environment in the US. I'm not sure why, perhaps it's the upcoming Presidential Election...we can hope! Media coverage is increasing, investors and politicians are talking green, and people are thinking. Connections are being made between the economy, human health, and our environment. Folks are talking about conservation strategies that will increase quality of life AND expand job opportunities. If it's not too late, perhaps we can avert a catastrophic event...hang in there Mother Earth, your children are maturing!

Manatee & Dugong Story Links:
Wintering manatee attract admirers in Florida
Florida's Manatees Almost Not Endangered
Slow Down for Dugongs
Good News for Manatees
Manatee Politics

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