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Sigourney Weaver

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Important Step Forward for World's Oceans

Posted: 06/20/2012 3:14 pm

As Dr. Grace Augustine in Avatar, I played a scientist committed to studying and calling attention to the interconnectedness and dependence of the Na'vi people on Pandora's natural wonders.

In my life I draw inspiration from Grace. She was right in calling attention to the inextricable link between life and the environment, and to advocate for protecting the life force -- the Hometree -- of the Na'vi tribe.

Back on planet Earth, we have our own life force -- the oceans. Our oceans -- which generate most of our oxygen, regulate our climate, and provide most of our population with sustenance -- are essential to all life on earth. Yet, our oceans face a threat as dangerous as any Pandora faced: ocean acidification.

Ocean acidification is an urgent and profound threat to our planet's ocean life, and to the coastal communities who depend upon healthy oceans for food and economic development opportunities.

I am very concerned about the impact of ocean acidification on those whose lives and livelihoods depend upon healthy oceans. Without healthy populations of ocean fish, or vibrant reefs, many coastal communities could lose their primary food source or their most promising job opportunity. We cannot prosper unless the ocean prospers, too.

Despite the seriousness of this threat, too few people know about this issue. That is why I teamed up with the Natural Resources Defense Council on Acid Test, The Global Challenge of Ocean Acidification. It is critical that more people become aware of, and urge their lawmakers to address, ocean acidification.

Because our oceans are truly global -- they cover 70 percent of our planet's surface -- it is imperative that the world work together to raise awareness and increase understanding of ocean acidification.

For that reason, I am thrilled to learn that the U.S. announced at the Earth Summit in Brazil that we will join a number of other countries to fund an international partnership that supports ocean acidification monitoring. This significant multilateral commitment is essential to provide coastal nations with the information necessary to prepare for the impacts of ocean acidification on fisheries, corals and marine food webs.

In addition, agreement was reached on the text that will emerge from the Earth Summit that commits nations to collective action to address some of the biggest threats to our oceans, including ocean acidification, marine plastic pollution and overfishing. Unfortunately, action to conserve biodiversity in oceans beyond national jurisdiction has been delayed.

It is my hope that our world leaders will come together at the Earth Summit this week and learn the lesson that Avatar teaches: Our planet's people cannot survive without the life force given by our natural environment. The announcement to put international focus and support behind efforts to further understand ocean acidification -- which I hope will lead to action to address this critical threat to ocean life -- is a tremendous first step.

This blog was first published on NRDC's Onearth.

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13 hours ago ( 8:27 AM)
Thanks, Huffington Post. That tells me all I need to know. Have a nice day! - RC
13 hours ago ( 8:21 AM)
In order for this monitoring of ocean acidity to save our planet, it would have to lead to mankind putting the brakes on the human population explosion in our world. Tragically, I really don't see this happening. It is the human population explosion which is driving all of these destructive forces on our planet, but the more things deteriorate the more people continue turn to these dangerous seductive religions which are spreading in an uncontrolled way around our world, and these program "End Time" religions which advocate the future totalitarian theocratic takeover of our world by a future messianic dictator want nothing to do with any public programs for controlling human procreation in our world. Indeed, it is the apocalyptic "End Time" fulfillment of these dangerous Abrahamic religions which actually serves as the ultimate vindication of their religious faiths. I personally see little hope of saving mankind from itself and these dangerous religions, if only because I have spent many years trying to get people to listen with practically no success. - Rick Carter
14 hours ago ( 7:04 AM)
Man is polluting our oceans, fracking our land, spilling industrial
waste into our rivers, spewing radiation, and genetically modifying our
We are choking our planet, perhaps some good may come from
this effort.
12 hours ago ( 9:52 AM)
This planet will survive all that and even you and all your supposed good intentions.
5 hours ago ( 4:52 PM)
Yep, the Earth will survive. That was never in question. The question is: will we? Doesn't look like it.
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
16 hours ago ( 5:05 AM)
All indications I see seem to point to humanity committing self extinction in the next few centuries. It will not be via a single act or instance but a long series of progressively ill conceived acts that cumulatively will end human life.
21 hours ago (12:48 AM)
The real disaster isn't the future of the oceans (they're a self-cleaning system like an oven), but Aliens3
Matthew Harrold
18 hours ago ( 3:14 AM)
Oh, so want to explain how an ocean self cleans like an oven? I'm all ears on this one...
17 hours ago ( 4:32 AM)
Currents. The Gulf stream. 
this too will pass i hope
16 hours ago ( 5:55 AM)
The science we learned in 7th grade is in conflict with that opine; and as for the oven; put a hundred pounds of sugar in there and let me know how that works.
Right is wrong
22 hours ago (11:46 PM)
Great article, and I must commend you for your performance in Ghostbusters 2. You and Rick Moranis were the only ones who cared enough to really try in that movie.
23 hours ago (10:57 PM)
Mankind has to start looking at itself in macro. What we have become is obvious.
Watch the light patterns of humanity from space see how like (stealing shamelessly)
Mycelium mankind is? We effect all now! Two or three generations could, if they would
cross their legs? even 2+2=2 would do. As unpopular as that is reality awaits.

Or we can have Harper's alternative.
23 hours ago (10:25 PM)
I agree with all said in the blog , I have been very disturbed by the pollution and really the over fishing mainly done by the Asian countries....We can not ignore the devestation to the life in the ocean for what effects the life in, will effect the life out...

Hopefully understanding this, we can have a enlightened period where people get it, and we can try to protect and nurture our oceans, and water ways...

everybody only
what fresh hell is this?
21 hours ago (12:28 AM)
that would be "devastation", and that would be what "affects" the life out will "affect" the life in....
Sista Satan. (although I must say although I am a proud Humane Rights activist, you are as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.).

Oh, and waterways is one word. Keep stirring that cauldron, you got it going on!!!
24 hours ago (10:02 PM)
Obviously you are a gifted actress you should write a Rachel Carson descendant movie about how toxic acidity affects brain parts and weave a script doing the same for mind parts. We really need to leave the emotion senses alone and focus on explaining environmental brain charts and environmental mind charts. And turn tables on people who don't let us speak out our reading knowledge. The naysayers aren't reading and wont. How about an ocean's feelings flowing through a shale or shell. Do barnacles have a brain or mind and the various effects of sewage on the people who are dependent but too illiterate to see their contribution to harming ecosystems.. Fund a literacy program for eskimo's
restore Glass-Steagall now!
24 hours ago ( 9:46 PM)
Kudos to you and the others fueling this noble campaign. Add global heating to the list of problems and concerns, as daunting as it may be, it is killing coral reefs and changing the oceans in ways that may kill many species. I recommend to all "Prescription for the Planet" a visionary book by Tom Blees, prescribing a way to eliminate greenhouse gases (man-made).
24 hours ago ( 9:45 PM)
For those deniers down-thread who say ocean acidification is a hoax:

There are literally tens of thousands of peer-reviewed scientific papers authored by atmospheric scientists, oceanographers, ecologists and many other scientific experts on the effects of CO2 on ocean chemistry and ocean species. For ocean acidification to be "fake", tens of thousands of scientists and millions of witnesses including recreational divers, fishermen and local witnesses would all have to be in on the hoax.

Of course, you have no proof that it's fake. Deniers never do. All you have are far-flung conspiracy theories and blog entries courtesy of the usual fossil fuel-fed suspects -- which only works on the most tragically gullible among us; the ones too lazy or too ideologically rigid to make even the most basic fact checks online.

Google Scholar is your friend, folks.
23 hours ago (10:47 PM)
Deniers are not interested in Google scholar. Their intellect limits them to Fox News.
Used to be a liberal - then I woke up
08:09 PM on 06/21/2012
Basically, we are ruining the planet. Climate change has arrived, and we are pretty much toast. I worry about the animals, but mother nature will eventually prevail once we're all gone. Maybe the next humans, if there are any, will do a better job than we have.
23 hours ago (10:50 PM)
My votes in for intelligent Mantidae. It just seems their time.
Reno Fickler
Head Lifeguard/Dead Sea Marina
06:27 PM on 06/21/2012
Common sense dictates that CO2 absortion into the oceans is from a proliferation of CO2 in the atmosphere from the burning of copious quantities of fossil fuels. Acidification is simply the next logical step
I am positive there are naysayers to my hypothesis like the oil company executives say there is no such thing as global climate change and the cigarette execs say nicotine is not addictive. Believe what you what, but if the oceans' plankton die, we do too because the food chain simply fails.
04:18 PM on 06/21/2012
Couldn't agree more Ms. Weaver; and oh, by the way, love your work!!!
03:46 PM on 06/21/2012
We keep pouring junk into the ocean as if there aren't consequences. Nature is kind of forgiving and the ocean is gimungous but there are consequences, folks. Put as little chemicals down the drains as possible, you don't need that much antibacterials and detergents for your piddly washing, do you? Think about it when you're washing up, pls!