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SCUBA-L  September 2000, Week 2

SCUBA-L September 2000, Week 2

Subject:

Re: a few questions

From:

"Huntzinger, Hugh A [AMSTA-AR-CCL-B]" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Scuba diving discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 11 Sep 2000 10:23:30 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (71 lines)

Aldo P. Solari writes:
>
> (1) We are scuba divers; we use and enjoy the marine environment.
> Do  we bear any responsibility to take care of the environment we
> use [and sometimes abuse] ?

IMO, this question transcends merely diving:   as a child, we are sheltered
and what we require is essentially given to us.  As we grow & mature, we
hopefully learn that there are social expectation and obligations ...give
and take... that allowed that prior giving to have taken place, so in turn,
we have a social debt...an obligation...to become the givers and the
curators.   The degree to which this happens varies:  some people never
"grow up" in a matter of speaking, and thus never give back to their society
(in whatever form).

Introspectively, one can somewhat determine where one stands by how much
volunteer work they do...professional societies, community involvement,
cleanup dives, etc.  But this is essentially a tailored restatement of some
of the roots of Covey's 7 Habits:  Dependence is transcended by
Independence, which in turn is transcended by interdependence.


> (2)  Should  we  (divers) promote the arrangement of "de-lousing"
> the marine environment we use?  For instance, what about arranging
> the  clean up of bays, harbours and places which are enjoyed by
> the diving community?


Our town has an annual river cleanup.   Yes, the river looks "nicer" when
the old tires & trash are removed...even though some of this could be
considered to be freshwater forms of "artificial reefs" that provide
habitat, and some of it is pollution that merits removal.  Of course,
there's also all those people stomping around too.   The act of "cleaning
up" in of itself causes some amount of damage.  Furthermore, from a
macroscopic view, it really isn't doing all that much "good" from the short
term perspective of the river.   For example, one section of this river is
bordered by a golf course and we all know that the fertilizer runoff is a
pollution source that overall would have far greater positive repercussions
on the water's quality.  This same situation can be found in many places,
unfortunately.

Essential to this is the perspective and "horizon view" of the organizers on
such matters.  Classically, Americans in business are often very
shortsighted:  the Stock Market only cares about next Quarters performance,
etc, but among some cultures, the perspective is longer (Japan - 50 year
business plans, etc).   Environmentally, we capitalists tend to rape the
land & seas, whereas other cultures manage their Ecosystems as a living
trust for the next seven (7) generations, which is effectively 'in
perpetuities'.  YMMV.

As such, this river cleanup is a small, short term band-aid when viewed by
itself.  But however marginally productive this physical cleanup is, if it
can be leveraged to raise awareness and through such means prompt longer
term action on the more macroscopic issues of environmental quality such as
the golf course's runoff, then it is worth pursuing, despite it likely being
a relatively inefficient use of volunteer resource labor.  Besides,
sometimes you might get "lucky" and find a gem in the rough:  a couple of
years ago, downstream from us, they found several 55 gallon drums of toxic
stuff leaking into the river that was successfully removed.

In any event, the decision of if to be selfless and contribute is an
individual one.   There are national organizations such as REEF & PADI that
periodically sponsor cleanup dives...and if I recall correctly, I think
September is national volunteer month...?   Particularly during this time of
year, magazines such as Skin Diver & Rodale's often have cleanup dives
notices...worth a look.



-Hugh

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