Wednesday, 4 February 2009

rnli and the long view

I've just heard that the Royal National Lifeboat Insititute depends solely on public for its survival and generally raises £90 million a year! That's some campaign/ loyalty. It's also staffed by volunteers. But then it's a small island and while on it, we're never more than 80 odd miles from the sea. The sea features if not in our everyday lives then in our yearly lives and if not then, certainly our ancestors had to cross it to get here.

And what I love most about the sea, that despite its proximity to us, our familarity with its sight and sound, most of it remains apparently untouched by us. It provides a wilderness right on our doorstep. There's the odd oilrig, a new turbine tidal farm in Strangford Loch in Northern Ireland, wind farms off the coast, but our main impact on the sea is through the invisible pollution.

Some facts:
80% of marine pollution comes from the land
in 1992 4 million tons of oil were released into the ocean
50% of hydrocarbon pollution at sea comes from us pouring stuff down our drains
Between 1971 and 1979 36,000 birds were found dead on the British coast as a result of oiling.

I won't bang on about the radioactive waste we dispose of at a supposedly safe 2km off land ...

I'm not into fear and perpetuating fear of an invisible enemy - like 'terror' - more my style is to celebrate what we have while we've got it, hence my love of poetry. I also belive in the power of the natural world, and while we can fuck things up really quite badly for ourselves with a remarkable degree of unawareness, it will be only for ourselves. Our time on the planet is teeny in relation to the plants and fish. They'll be here long after us. So in a way, all this anxiety about climate change is another egotistical manmade fear.

War on fear! Volunteer now for your local RNLI!

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