Ocean biodiversity is being decimated on par with the fastest rates of rain forest destruction. More than 80 percent of pollutants in the oceans come from sewage and other land-based runoff (some of it radioactive). The rest is created by waste dumped by commercial and recreational vessels. In many areas and for many fish stocks, there are no conservation or management measures existing or even planned.
Climate author Albert Bates explains how ocean life maintains adequate oxygen levels, prevents erosion from storms, and sustains a vital food source that factory-fishing operations cannot match – and why that should matter to all of us, whether we live near the ocean or not. Bates presents innovative companies and organizations working to change the human impact on marine reserves, improve ocean permaculture, and put the brakes on the ocean heat waves that destroy sea life and imperil human habitation at the ocean's edge.
Along with eye-opening revelations of serious environmental concerns, Dark Side of the Ocean conveys a deep appreciation for the fragile nature of the ocean's majesty and compels us to act now to preserve it. We can make a difference.
Albert Bates is an influential figure in the intentional community and ecovillage movements and a groundbreaking author on climate change. His 1990 title, Climate in Crisis (with a foreword by then-senator Al Gore), was one of the first books to sound the clarion call. He is also the author of Transforming Plastic (2019) and Carbon Cascades (2019).
"This meticulously researched book underscores what I have been teaching for decades. If the Ocean dies, we all die! The ecological insanity of humanity is undermining diversity and interdependence as we steal the carrying capacity from every other species in the sea. The choice is simple, we correct our behavior or we die. Albert Bates illustrates the imperative need to act now before it's too late."
– Captain Paul Watson, founder, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
"We are killing the oceans everywhere: from vanishing ice caps, polar bears, seals, whales, walruses, coral reefs, mangroves, kelp beds, and fisheries to ancient deep-sea reefs pulverized by trawlers and remote atolls uninhabitable due to nuclear bomb radiation. This enlightening book plunges in beneath the surface to show how humanity's long-term survival depends on healthy seas, and how we can help get there by regenerating marine ecosystems to naturally reverse climate change and halting the tsunami of lethal plastic garbage fouling the waters."
– Thomas J. F. Goreau, PhD, president, Global Coral Reef Alliance
"If you are one of those for whom solid scientific information is a balm for environmental anxiety, Dark Side of the Ocean is the book for you. Comprehensive and inexpensive, it is an invaluable guide to those who wish to better understand the problems the oceans face, and what can be done to mitigate the damage. [...]"
– JoeAnn Hart, EcoLit Books