I love Rachel Carson, who combined poetic writing and a scientific view of the world, and who is also an early environmentalist. I’ve read her book Silent Spring, but haven’t yet picked up The Sea Around Us. However, I have been thinking lately of the oceans and water.
Two weeks ago I took a trip to the New England Science Aquarium with my son, husband, and sister. I had been in the past two years, and my sister and husband hadn’t been for over fifteen years .
The Aquarium hasn’t changed that much in 15 years, but the actual oceans of the world really have. Arctic ice is shrinking, the ocean is getting warmer, fish populations are being depleted, jellyfish population is exploding. Some of these things are related to climate change, others aren’t.
I’ve particularly been thinking about water as I focus on the ways that we use water at our house, and I’m (trying to) measure how much we use. Also, because as the Salem News points out, we’ve seen less than 3 inches so far this year. Though my social calendar doesn’t mind the lack of precipitation, I’m sure I’ll be grateful for it later. In some ways, I think water is another issue we’re divorced from (like food cycles, and meat production) in New England. It usually feels like it’s raining (or snowing, or humid), and we’re surrounded by the ocean. In fact, if some predictions are true, we might be under the ocean in the future.
But, water has turned out to be one of the things that is most affected by climate change, which in turn affects food prices and growing seasons. Some sad scholarly news here about the state of these things, and how the people affected are often the poorest.
Although there is some hopeful news in the aquarium, about clean-up projects that are beginning to show renewal from years back, plenty of other news rests on changes that are just beginning to evidence themselves. I can’t predict what kind of information might be in the aquarium in 15 more years, but I hope it’s more hopeful than what appears out there right now.