The following note from Avaaz seems timely as I’m just now beginning to read a book called The Unnatural History of the Sea by Callum Roberts. What we are currently doing to the oceans isn’t new, but the scale is massive. Please read the words below, sign the petition and help save our oceans now.

From Avaaz:

Our oceans are dying. Beset by pollution and demolition industrial fishing, the magical and bountiful deep blue is turning into a barren desert. But in the next 72 hours, governments are considering a new rescue plan — and we can help push it through.

Shockingly, governments spend billions subsidising the commercial fishing industry to pillage our seas. The new plan would end this scandal, craft a new treaty to protect the high seas, and establish critical marine protection reserves. But Canada, the US and Japan are threatening to water down or even kill it. Our only hope is to get behind Europe to champion the idea before it’s too late.

This crucial meeting is being held quietly behind closed doors at the UN. Let’s break open the talks and deliver massive global support to Europe to save our oceans. Sign the urgent petition and send this to everyone — once we hit 500,000 signatures, we’ll deliver the petition straight into the meeting:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/72_hours_to_save_our_oceans/?vl    

Our marine ecosystems are collapsing, and 85% of fish stocks are dangerously depleted. But no one is policing the trawlers’ plunder, and waste is poisoning our seas. Without an urgent intervention now, our grandchildren may study whales and coral reefs in their history lessons.

Scientists say that what we need right now is a bold plan that sets aside 20% of our blue planet as conservation areas by 2020, allowing the seas to replenish themselves for generations to come; ends subsidies to the industrial fishing complex; and creates a new protection agreement for the oceans outside of national boundaries.

Against the odds, the European Union is pushing for an agreement this week, and has the support of droves of developing countries. But the blockers are battling to limit the conservation areas and kick decisions on a global treaty far into the future. If they don’t get that, they are threatening to drown the plan completely before it is even born. This week is do or die for the oceans — our only hope is to massively and publicly get behind the Europeans in the next three days and drive an oceans rescue plan through. Sign this urgent petition now:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/72_hours_to_save_our_oceans/?vl   

We know we can win on oceans. Our community helped establish the largest marine reserve in the world and won protections for whales and tuna. But our oceans are dying faster than ever, and one by one species are coming closer to the brink. Let’s demand a comprehensive global oceans rescue plan now. 

With hope,

Stephanie, Iain, Allison, Alice, Ricken, Luca, Diego and the rest of the Avaaz team

SOURCES

International Policy: United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Pew Environment Group)

http://www.pewenvironment.org/news-room/compilations/international-policy-united-nations-conference-on-sustainable-development-328397

Six steps for successful oceans negotiations (Greenpeace)

http://www.scribd.com/doc/89557361/Six-Steps-Rio-Oceans-Rescue-Plan-Greenpeace

Our Endangered Oceans (Ecoworld)

http://www.ecoworld.com/animals/our-endangered-oceans.html

Threats to Oceans and Coasts (WWF)

http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/blue_planet/problems/

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

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Intelligence is our ability to live in harmony with nature.

Paul Watson

We’ve all heard of Dances with Wolves. My special guest on Voices from the North in November 2007, Ashiya Austin, was a Woman who Speaks for Whales. And frankly, with Japan’s latest whaling season due to begin soon, the whales of the Southern Ocean need a spokesperson urgently.

Ashiya Austin is an expat Kiwi who’d been living for years in Byron Bay in northern New South Wales. In late 2007 she burst into our local area with a clear mission – to save the whales. It turned out that Japan planned to take 50 humpbacks that whaling season together with their usual planned catch of Minke and the endangered Fin Whale. What do they do with the whale meat? What doesn’t get forced on Japanese School childrens often ends up in dog food. It sounds strange and difficult to justify. Ashiya wanted to see New Zealanders take a stand.  I’ll report further on this soon. In the meantime, here’s the complete inspiring interview including audio from Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd and Bunna Lawrie of the Mirning people of South Australia calling the whales. Being one of my earlier interviews, it begins with two minutes of music.

In closing the interview I  chose a few famous Native American words that seemed appropriate to the plight of the whales of the Southern Ocean:

Only after the last tree has been cut down.

Only after the last river has been poisoned.

Only after the last fish has been caught.

Only then will you find out that money cannot be eaten.

 

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Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

I received the following note in my inbox today. Once again, it is extraordinarily gratifying to see  what can come out of global citizens around the world standing together in support of worthy causes. Feel free to stand up and be counted the next time the whales call out for our help. They no longer need to be part of school lunches in Japan. The fact is that Japanese school children don’t even like whale meat.

Cheers, John

Dear friends,

We did it! The proposal to legalise whale killing went down in flames in Morocco — and our campaign helped to tip the balance.

In a few short weeks, we built the biggest whale-saving petition in history, signed by an extraordinary 1.2 million of us worldwide, and delivered it directly to key delegates at the International Whaling Commission meeting. In the end, the 24 year old whaling ban was upheld.

The pro-whaling lobby tried to use political favours to win a so called ‘compromise’ that amounts to a quota for hunting whales, but as tension grew in the closed-door talks, our massive petition became a top story on the BBC’s world news, and we worked with friendly negotiators and other allies to put pressure where it was most needed and draw greater global attention.

To see highlights of this victory and help take our campaigning together to the next level, click here now:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/whales_reportback_3/?vl

The Australian environment minister Peter Garrett received our petition for like-minded governments in front of the world’s media and said “Thank you very much Avaaz. It is a great pleasure to be here and accept this petition…I believe the people of the world’s voices need to be heard. I certainly hear them today.”

The US delegation greeted us saying — “Avaaz! We saw your billboard at the airport!” and delegates were overheard excitedly discussing our giant real-time petition counter outside the meeting as it blew far past the million mark.

After the meeting, one European negotiator told us: “We’ve managed to keep the ban in place…I’ve been checking the petition online. I was very impressed by how fast the numbers are rising and seeing people signing from across the world.”

This is an important victory for whales — and for global people power — together we demonstrated that international decisions can be shifted by a little bit of well-placed effort from a lot of people everywhere.

But winning this battle won’t guarantee the whales’ safety yet — Japan’s “scientific” whaling fleet is already sailing out of harbour through IWC loopholes to kill hundreds of whales.

To win for good, we’ll need to campaign to strengthen and reform the IWC, and to mobilise in countries with pro-whaling governments like Japan — where the Cabinet knows Avaaz and we have changed environmental policy in the past.

We can do it if enough of us chip in just a small amount. Avaaz campaigning will be entirely member-funded this year, so every donation makes us more effective. Help fund campaigning in Japan and other key nations now – click here to donate and make it happen:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/whales_reportback_3/?vl

Over its short lifespan, our movement has exploded through a simple democratic idea: that people power can stand up and win against powerful special interests. Whether it be protecting whales, countering corruption, supporting authentic democracy movements or fighting for a global climate deal, we are coming together to bridge the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want.

Now, if enough of us chip in just a small amount for Avaaz’s member-funded campaigning, we’ll have the strength to win even more victories. Click here now to donate —

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/whales_reportback_3/?vl

With hope,

Ricken, Alice, Paul, Mia, Ben, Luis, David, Graziela, Milena and the whole Avaaz team

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews