A before and after image of coral bleaching and later dying in March / May 2016, at Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef, captured by The Ocean Agency / XL Catlin Seaview Survey / Richard Vevers & Christophe Bailhache.
The Frog Theory
‘The dead corals’ is the name of a rock band in my fantasy world. Coral shaped creatures playing loud music live on stage as if it is their last performance ever. For the record, corals are animals not plants contrary to popular belief and form world’s largest living structure on this planet, which means larger than our cities. They play an important role in our lives but they are dying. In 30 years we lost more than 50% and humanity is the one to blame. A beautiful world is turning into ashes and we bury our head in the sand. Please keep reading.
Five years ago, I saw my first shark! For scuba divers a day to never forget. It is an interesting and amazing experience. Now the time had come to dive this same reef again and we jumped into the water. While approaching the reef a newfound horror creeping through me. From the very first look I could see there was nothing left. We kept on swimming but I couldn’t ease the panic and rage. I was confused, angry, sad,...
The whole reef has turned into ashes. It’s all gone. It is devastated. Due to pollution, rising ocean temperatures, coral bleaching.
This is not only happening in Thailand. This is happening worldwide. Next picture demonstrates better what is going on.
This image shows the same reef in American Samoa before, during, and after a coral bleaching event. Photographed by The Ocean Agency / XL Catlin Seaview Survey / Richard Vevers.
Back on the boat all groups were busy disassembling their scuba gear. Some had finished their open water course, the first certification in scuba diving. With 5 logged dives I was curious to their experience on this reef. While this was one of the worst dives I had experienced it was not a surprise to me they thought it was fantastic and “so beautiful”. What you don’t know, you can’t miss. They haven’t seen how the reef was five years ago, their reference is different from mine. I am used to hundreds of fish, they are happy to see five.
This experience revealed a fact which is happening to most of us. We are getting used to climate change a.k.a. pollution. If you have seen the documentary “An inconvenient truth”, you might remember the boiling frog.
The Frog Theory: (Source: Wikipedia)
The boiling frog is an anecdote describing a frog slowly being boiled alive. The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in cold water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. The story is often used as a metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to or be aware of threats that arise gradually.
A threat it is indeed. A threat with a tremendous acceleration of impact on this planet since human population is growing exponentially. This is serious. A shame on all of us that we let it happen with our eyes open.
We blame others and don’t act responsible, we hide behind our duties and we refuse to replace luxury. Our ego is a cancer. Of course we are all hypocrites and it’s far from easy to change our lives and habits, but let us start and try not to make it worse. It’s about the beautiful planet and respect. There is absolutaly no beauty in a selfie with dead corals in the background.
New vibe coming up.
To refuse to think about unpleasant facts is human. But let us be positive! There is a new vibe coming up. Do your research and you will see there are already so many things you can do to decrease your ecological footprint. For example, the bamboo toothbrush! 5 billion plastic toothbrushes are used every year, and a lot end up in the ocean. Just one of those things you can start with. Buy organic cotton clothing, shop our stylish collection now! And so much more.
Get your head up!
Like The Dalai Lama once said: “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito in a tent.”
While I was writing this post I did some research to look for divers with similar experiences. Unfortunately it's not good news, I suggest to check out these links below.
50reefs.org is a not for profit organisation who will try to protect what is left. Their short video on the homepage is very informative.
Here you can read a very well written article by Crispin Hull, journalist and scuba diver, who describes what is happening with the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
Globalcoralbleaching.org is a very informative website about what is going on.
And of course there are a lot more resources out there.
Put your ego aside, go diving and spread the word!
Scubalooks is proud to work with companies who act responsible, who are human and nature minded. Our T-shirts are made of 100% organic cotton and we do not use plastic in our packaging. All our clothes carry the Fair Wear Foundation label meaning the factories treat their garment workers with respect.