Center for World Indigenous Studies
A Think Tank of Activist Scholars
Join the movement Donate Amazon Smile

Oceans of Toxins

Published: July 1, 2011, Author: Rÿser Rudolph C.

The oceans that feed and nurture life the world over are increasingly poisoned by human activity with the result that the oceans are “experiencing severe declines in many species to the point of commercial extinction … an unparalleled rate of regional extinction of habitat types (eg. mangroves and seagrass meadows), … and now face losing marine species and entire marine ecosystems.”

The International Programme on the State of the Ocean joined with the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the World Commission on protected Areas just released their report on the condition of global oceans.  Their conclusions are not good…, but then it should not be a surprise that the oceans are rapidly falling into disrepair.

Indigenous peoples the world over have long expressed grave concern about the declining health of the world’s oceans just as they have been early to recognize the decline of forests, deserts, savannahs, ice flows, and arctic regions.  Long before these reports of environmental degradation indigenous peoples have been sounding alarms.

The breakdown of terrestrial environments by commercial exploitation and the constant release of poisons and toxins by “developing” as well as “developed” economies is matched by the flow of human generated poisons into streams, rivers and ultimately the ocean.  When a plastic bottle and solid waste island the size of Texas floats in the Pacific Ocean due to soda and water sales, one must immediately recognize that human waste is a huge problem that is destroying the collective human nest.  Life cannot be sustained as long as human waste, toxins and poisons remain uncontrolled.

A solution? Increase taxes on packaging, pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, paints, chemicals and the like. There is the claim that such taxes will reduce economic output.  In all probability that will be true, but saving profits for commercial pocket books seems a stupid option when those profits fail to contribute to reduced poising of the oceans and thus ensure life.

Indigenous peoples have long sounded the alarm in such places as the river delta of southern Nigeria where oil companies poison the water and terrestrial environment with their criminal and constant leakage of petroleum into the environment.  Large mining operations in southern Papua New Guinea dump enormous quantities poisons onto the land and into the ocean. Industrial farms release animal waste into streams and the oceans without accountability. Cities too large to manage like Tokyo, New York, Moscow, Mexico City, Bejing, Sidney and Lagos dump enormous amounts of human waste and commerical waste into the water ways to ultimately foul the oceans.

None of this is essential to human life.  Indigenous peoples see life of all things as essential. How will we live if all is poisoned?Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

Chief George Manuel Memorial Indigenous Library

The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.

access here