Posts Tagged ‘Environmental Ethics’

For God and Ocean: A National Prerogative.

Thursday, June 14th, 2012
A Natural Perspective

A Natural Perspective

In watching the Platform Horizon Wellhead Blowout event, and our Organizational response to it, I was at once impressed and appalled by the dual scopes illustrated. At the time, and to this day, I see the event as a diatribe against an innate inefficiency and possibly abject failure of our Philosophy of Regulatory Control, where we politicize and adversarilize items of great National and Environmental interest, and thereby ask and answer the wrong questions.

In effect, we are endeavoring to solve problems using the same line of reasoning and thought, which created those problems. I could illustrate it in great detail in the following paragraphs, but most people’s eyes would glaze over. So I won’t. Suffice it to say, we need to change how we look at things.

In the past year I have gotten to attend some fairly high level, think tank  type events, where people who care more about the world, and the Oceans than themselves, have come together to examine our systems, which regulate the direction of man and his involvement in the natural order of our existence here, on this blue ball.

Blue Marble

Blue Marble

It has been informative, educational, inspiring. But all that being said, I have to posit something. “So what? Will that make us better?”

It might. That depends.

Clear Reasoning

Clear Reasoning

Lately, I have been involved a bit in helping on a project to resolve the radiation issues evolving from the ongoing Fukushima Nuclear disaster. A group of Scientists on their own, have actually innovated a solution that removes radiation from sea water. One of them was at my home the other night, and brought a paper written when they were 15 years old and a Parochial school student. They read it to me, and at the end, this well know research Scientist, one of the foremost in their field in the World, said this:

“I should have stopped right here. At the age of 15, I got it. I had the answer.” I have to agree.

What the paper, which was entitled “The Environmental Obligation” said in essence, was this. That we ought to approach our involvement in the natural world as stewards, and do it as unto God. That we were given a sacred trust, and have a larger moral obligation to ourselves, to approach all involvement as if we were answering directly to the grand Architect personally, because we really do, eventually.

She absolutely understood the value of higher accountability at 15 years of age.

But we do not engage in that fashion today. It is about money, it is about National Security, it is all done as a short term psycho-socio fix (as in drug fix) designed to make us feel better. But that does not creating a healthy economic nor environmental future. In fact, it is killing us all.

Those think tank events? Well they make me feel better. They give me hope. There are solutions. But we will NEVER see them implemented with any great positive effect anywhere, with current lines of reasoning and regulatory control firmly in place, because those control systems are out of step with both Natural Order and God. They serve money. They need to serve efficiency, not entropy,  if there is to be any real level of  public safety and sustainable progress implemented.  That is a common sense. No huge mystery or complex formula is needed.

Here is a newsy fluff piece from the Huffington Post. Many have probably missed it. But it is a teensy telltale regarding what we did on the Gulf Coast and which was both facilitated and exacerbated by the EPA, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, formerly known as the Minerals Management service. (Yea, the acronym really does sound sorta like “bummer”)

Read it carefully. This little story many will miss, is a grain of sand type telltale, an understatement possibly akin to the tip of an iceberg regarding what we did in the Planning, Mining, Regulation, and Disaster Reparation process.

The disaster reparation process was the largest endeavor of it’s kind in the History of the Oil industry. It was massive in scope, bigger than I can explain here in a few paragraphs. But here is the deal, really. What we did was akin to holding a beach cleanup party. In reality those are pretty stupid in the grand scheme of things, because the waste should never be there in the first place. And for every piece of waste you see? Well, there is a grand effect that you do not see.

Then there was the Corexit. Now, today, there is broad spreading death. There is a lot of money to be made in all of this for some entities. But not much efficiency. So the net large investment is really just massive capital loss for the Nation and the World. Corps just tack expense onto the cost of goods sold, increase the price (easy to do on an inflexible type commodity) and maintain their ROI levels. In effect, YOU pay for what they, and Regulatory control¬† do, or in this case DON’T do: Protect the Environment and National Interests. Because in reality, that is not what they are designed to do.

We really need to change this, if we want our Nation’s interest to be served. If we really give a rat’s ass about our children, our heritage and above all, our service to God. There is something very pertinent and important in the concept of “duty”.¬† This must begin with us.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts on point essay on the importance of Biodiversity is one of the best reads I have encountered in awhile. “Biodiversity and the Environment: Silent Spring for Us?” It describes the regulatory process’ role in our Socio-Economic system quite well.

About a¬† year ago, my friend George Orbelian, sat me down in his home at Ocean Beach in SF. “David, what are we going to do about Fukushima?” I laughed. I mean all things considered, it was a ridiculous question. Until we all began to really look at things in a different fashion.

A little over a¬† month ago an editor of mine got a hold of me. He was deeply concerned about Fukushima. He had actually been up there, and had seen people surfing near the disaster location and was appalled. “What can we do? What is really going on? This is being down played.”

What I had to tell him was this.

“You are fucked. You have killed the land, you have killed the Sea, and now your people are in deep trouble and this problem? It is a matter of National Security.” Then I put him in touch with all of the informational sources on the disaster and told him to seriously consider what he writes and reports on, as it would possibly not help things. I mean, where do you put a country full of people when a City like Tokyo has Rad levels in it’s soil, roughly akin to being classified as nuclear waste?

We can fix this. But what we have in place is not working. We should kill it off and start over with a  system that is collaborative rather than adversarial. You can get mad at a donkey for being one, but really that never gets anything done. Either shoot it, or give it carrot.

If we do not change what is in place, we have failed our children, we have disgraced ourselves, we have not honored what God has given us, and we helped destroy our Nation in process.

That is why I always produce and post so much beauty from the Ocean and Nature in my work. To make people fall in love. If we do that, really love and cherish what we have, then we will protect it. Really protect it, and not be mislead by the morally corrupt and bankrupt entities of the world.

Take a good look at this wave image below. In it is every color of the rainbow. That is important to recognize. Here is why. Colors represent energy signatures, frequencies of sound. So what this image is saying is that all creation is contained within the signature of the sea. If we fail to recognize that, then we lose much. But the sea? It will do what it always has, just without humanity as it exists, as we know it.

House of Mirrors

House of Mirrors

That is how we make a difference.

That is how we will matter.

We can do this.

Let’s start over while we can.

Seth Godin (again) says something very smart about Fear. “I don’t even know what I am afraid of”

Below are some incredibly beautiful images of a pretty darned healthy Ocean, shot off the California Coast near my home in Ventura California, and in San Francisco. Could it be better? Of course. Will it ever? Only if we change what we serve.

Everything to gain if we do. Everything to lose if we do not.

You can take THAT to the bank.

 

Going Deeper

Monday, April 9th, 2012

My colleague and friend, Dr Andrea Neal, of Blue Ocean Sciences, sent me this very cool piece on Tom’s Shoes (who I really admire) today.

It is very in theme for this blog series. Many of us are looking at ethics and architecture these days. It is essential if one really wants to make an accurate difference.

In surfing, being accurate is 90 percent of the battle in being competent and thriving. (I frequently relate everything back to the oceans)

To be there and successful in surfing you need to know the Architecture of the Earth and have skill. If you do that, your experience is challenging, rewarding and allows one to move forward without a serious hold down or wipe out. The best way to survive in challenging surf? Choose a wave that you know you can make. Don’t wipe out. Simple eh?

But you would be amazed at the number of people who refuse to apply these basic principles to things which they choose to support or believe in.

Flow

Flow

Here is how I see it:

Architecture, and really great design,  begins with the Philosophy of the designer.

In Nature (which was designed by God) you see this, the brilliance of great Architecture, as well as the heart of the philosophy being espoused.

Herein is contained both the problem and it’s solution.

It is not easy.

But it is simple.

God is Love.

Use Love as your benefit quantifier.

Watch what happens.

Seth Godin absolutely nails the validity of an accurate voice in his Blog today “Is Everyone Entitled to Their Opinion?”

Here is a fantastic piece on Man and Nature, by Frances Moore Lappe entitled “How to Think Like an Ecosystem”.

Drew Kampion states: “Life IS a wave”¬† So choose wisely. Or you may find yourself on one of these, below.

Beautiful Closeout

Beautiful Closeout

Canary in a Coal Mine: An Environmental Manifesto

Saturday, August 6th, 2011
Canary in a Coal Mine

Canary in a Coal Mine

 

Etymology

An allusion to caged canaries mining workers would carry down into the tunnels with them. If dangerous gases such as methane or carbon monoxide leaked into the mine-shaft, the gases would kill the canary before killing the miners.

 Noun

canary in a coal mine

  1. A warning of danger or trouble yet to come.

 Synonyms

I have long been aware of the role of the Ocean in the Ecosystem, that is the environmental engine of Spaceship Earth, and realized my Tribe was a canary in the coal mine of industrial development, by virtue of being surfers and water people, and have always felt a deep and abiding responsibility to learn everything about our planet, and how it functions, in minute detail.

I read Silent Spring when embarking on my education in Environmental theory in 8th grade. It was not in the curriculum. It inspired me to study Science and look at everything as a part of a broad ecological picture. Many today do not understand relationships in Nature. It is important. Otherwise you may think your choice of a cause helps, when in reality you just shot the earth in a foot.

Brown Pelican Dino

Brown Pelican Dino

A living dinosaur. Special. Vital that it be here today with us. Not everyone knows that the usage and eventual banning of DDT, was based on questions posed in Silent Spring. DDT was never intended to be used here originally. Banning it saved the Pelican, the Bald Eagle, and Us. Thank God for curious people, research scientists, and publishers willing to give them a platform.

But frequently, we miss out on engaging larger line items, that make even something so important as biohazards, like pervasive toxins in our ecosystem, of far lesser importance . I think it is human nature to do so. But really, we ought to engage those bigger questions and issues. To not do so, is to invite more Chernobyls, Fukushimas, and accede to our potential role in a real life Armageddon.

Because you see, the Earth will live on. It is we who are here on it so briefly, which may not. What we choose determines the fate of our children. Look around at that: the children of the Earth. Ponder them.

Today ego, money and lies drive the Environmental Movement. That became our reality when we  abetted the championing of the life and welfare of our planet, to and allowed it to become a Political issue and springboard to power, rather than one of Scientific or Moral contention. The potential expense and loss created by this terrible choice of paths is so vast, it is paralyzing in its scope.

Not many look at the business acronym of ROI (Return On Investment) We all should. Sure as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, we will reap a harvest of both malfeasance and destruction from this great moral faux pas.

(more…)

Ethics in Environmentalism, Citizenship and Stewardship

Monday, October 25th, 2010
A New Wave to Wipe You Out

A New Wave to Wipe You Out

A new wave is breaking.

There has been a lot of change afoot for me, and there were a few things I had been avoiding acting on.  Those subjects called for much research and thought. They have been on my plate repeatedly lately.

In one circumstance, I had to take a close look at an environmental group which some friends had created many years ago, for the purpose of preserving beach and ocean access. The group, Surfrider Foundation, has done an amazing amount of good work, and I have assisted it by various means, since its inception in the mid 80s.

The past several years have seen me sort of look the other way, (after I was politely ignored) in pointing out what I thought to be some rather serious misdeeds. I won’t get into those, because that is unfair.¬† I simply disagreed with the circumstances and events, which I was cognizant of having occurred.

After much consideration (months) I penned a manifesto of sorts and circulated it amongst my friends and colleagues, which may make me “the enemy” in their eyes. I dislike hurting people. So I tend to be very slow to act on some things. But that tenet (distaste for inflicting harm) just came back and forced me to do and say something. Many of these people are life long friends and confidants. I wanted, no, needed, to be clear.

Surfrider has joined with a Govt agency (NOAA)  and implemented actions which I see as completely opposite of those it started out with.

Here are two separate links from SR’s websites. They explain in the organization’s own words, a bit more regarding a current trend they are engaged in.

In fact, this is being endorsed by the President. Here is the link.

It reads as something good. It is not. If you believe it is, then you may want to consider that both the MMS and EPA (Govt agencies) were in charge of regulating the drilling projects on the Gulf Coast. I am assuming you now know the part they played in contributing to the disaster, and assisting in it, with the implementation of massive usage of Corexit. Some call it the “crime of the century”.

I disagree with assisting in this. On every level. Hence this blog. The ocean is something I take very personally, as I do regarding my obligations to my friends.

Keep in mind that I was right there when this group started, and have supported them in various ways throughout the years. That is a lot of support, and a lot of years.

I realized,  what has been quietly eating at my insides, is that what I do requires me to listen to everybody. When, as a result of listening, a situation arises that forces me to actually DO something, I am no longer a Photographer or Journalist. I have become something else. It is very uncomfortable for me, and I hate how it makes me feel. But to say and do nothing instead, is amoral when one believes a wrong is being committed against innocents. What is being acted on now by our Government, and being promoted by the Environmental Community, will alter the rights and freedoms of all future generations of ocean users.

Often, change and ethics shifts occur in the merest of increments, and one does not realize the ship has actually turned around and is heading the wrong way.

After many years of  informal efforts to input the process, I have found that the group is determined to keep people out of the ocean. Something I want no part of, in any way.

They believe it is for the good of the ocean. It may be.

Below is an excerpt from the manifesto which I sent to my editors, close friends and colleagues in August of 2010.

“My position basically, is that I want no Government regulation of my access to the Ocean or any of my activities in it, when those activities are already thoughtful, informed and benign, long term.

I believe that if you think Government is here to help the environment, that you are seriously misinformed. If you look closely at the recent episode in the Gulf, it points at exactly what one needs to realize: The system is not working. When something is broken, you do not give it more responsibility, weight and money. You stop.

As someone who has worked with the regulatory control system in the development of laws and regulations for industry in California, I think that this entire movement, to place a relatively healthy ocean under increased lockdown to the public, is a sham. It is regulating and controlling the wrong thing: YOU.

When organizations such as Surfrider were formed, it was written into the charter that they existed to preserve beach and ocean access. Someone may have rewritten the charter, as SR is now not only endorsing the MLPA, but has worked with NOAA to implement public access sanctions behind the scenes. One need only look as far as the banning of PWC’s in the Monterey Bay Santuary.

Here is another revealing link to a piece published by the San Luis Chapter of Surfrider. I am going to point out here, that they agree with surf rescue usage of PWC’s , but as this rule is applied in real life, the rescue community is NOT allowed to train or practice anywhere in the Santuary nor will be.¬† So the liability for the people behind the legislation should someone die as a result, is rather high. I will not bother to point out every one of a huge number of inaccuracies in the document as arguing is pointless at this time. I am done trying to push the square peg of reason into the round hole of prejudice and prurient interest

Modern Day OutlawModern Day Outlaw

It is my position that the current path in implementation of the MPLA and other future acts, are going to violate all of our Constitutional Rights, and in the long run take away the freedoms many of you have enjoyed as an ocean going clan.

As a native, and as an American, I urge you, fellow leaders of your own groups and tribes, to do your own research and make up your own minds on the correct course of action for your groups and your families. That you study and not blindly follow, is the only way any of this will ever change.”

What Aloha Actually Says

What Aloha Actually Says

The Kumulipo. The reason this Hawaiian will not surrender his Ocean.

Here is the historic background to the Kumilipo.

If you think Government agencies like the MMS and EPA are efficient and good representatives of your group,  great,  fall in. I do not see it that way, based on my experiences in industry, as a waterman, a member of the Rescue Community, and a conscientious, sentient human being.

I cannot, in good conscience, endorse something I believe to be wrong on so many levels.

I believe we are at the edge of the dawn of a new era, and that it looks like more low benefit to high cost modus, which may cost future generations access to the beaches and oceans. Benefits? Yes there are some. Just not for you.

My answer is a simple “no”.

Below is a gallery of every day ocean activities. I endeavored to inject some History in the edit.¬† Some of these may become “illegal” soon. Some already are, in places where the MLPA has been implemented.

I anticipate Civil Rights violation lawsuits to arise. Dawn of a new age, where you will need legal representation to enforce your “inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. Do those words sound familiar?

Every Ocean user and American needs to read this carefully. You will be stunned. I was. This is in it and is a reference to what tyranny our forefathers fled in coming to America. I was stunned.  There it was. History repeating.

“He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.”

Does that describe something familiar?

Agenda 21. What we see is possibly attributable to this.

The Story of STUFF. Informative enlightenment, in an entertaining albeit alarming story.

This is how we fix things. A related blog post by Seth Godin



© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

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