A few days ago, I was able to see Sylvia A Earle at UAB, an acclaimed ecologist who has works with about just all things aquatic. A TEDx speaker, author of The World is Blue, and aquanaut, Earle definitely knows what she is talking about when it comes to the sea. Earle first met the sea as a child on Jersey shores, and then, moved to Florida. Earle then became one of the first female aquanauts, before female astronauts. She lived under the surface in the Gulf of Mexico for TWO WEEKS. Earle spoke a lot about this other world right under our own. A world with mysterious creatures, unexplored depths, unbroken silence, and an unparalleled beauty. She found a world so different from the one above it, and they are both so interconnected and interdependent. Originally a botanist, Earle decided that there was much more to the sea than plants and shifted to an ecologist. However, the reason she was here was not to recount the endless beauties on the sea (which she ended up doing anyway), but rather to speak about the conservation of this world of the sea. Earle, having seen our world evolve with technology, acknowledged that it has done so many things to enhance living in the world, but it has also done much to hurt. Earle worked with the organization that illegalized the hunting of whales after witnessing firsthand what the bigger, better nets with the bigger, better ships could do. She saw that technology gave us humans the power to take and destroy, to pollute, and contaminate, and for a long time, we did exactly so. The expansive world before us looked endless. How could its blue skies and seas ever blacken? How could the world expend by our hand? Unfortunately we found a way.
Earle is not, however, some scientist proclaiming the coming of Ragnorak. The same way that we have destroyed we can heal. Technology has done a lot of good, and Earle said that there is no better time to live than now. We are lucky to live in a world where opportunity knocks on the door of so many, where we have the knowledge and capability to accomplish almost anything.
We need the sea. If not for its beauty and magnificence, we should protect it because we need it and because we have the capability do so. Earle said, “This world is a miracle.” I agree, and it would be a miracle of stupidity to let it go.
Sameer Sultan, 9th
The Global Initiative Student Advisory Board, a body comprising students from each grade, reflects on the myriad ways our global themes pop up in curricular and extra curricular experiences. They simultaneously document what the school is doing and reflect our efforts so that we can continue to grow.