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Posted Wed Oct 6 2010: from
Lebanon's Mediterranean Apocalypse: Scuba Diving In Waters Devoid Of Life
Jacques Cousteau brought the wonders of the ocean depths to the general public in two ways: he helped create the first French underwater film called "18 Meters Deep," and with Émile Gagnan, the precursor to modern scuba diving equipment, the aqua-lung. Had he foreseen how such an introduction would lead to a near-absolute destruction of the silent color and diversity that lives below the surface, the intrepid explorer may never have shared his secrets. But he did, and though he can't be blamed, we have subsequently ruined many coral reefs and other marine ecosystems around the world. The Red Sea is in danger, the Gulf States continue to pressure their waters with blind expansionism, and the Eastern Mediterranean's ecosystem is so disfigured that, sans the distraction of beauty, it has become the perfect place to learn how to dive.... But the real benefit according to Philipp Breu, who interviewed several scuba divers in Beirut, is that the lack of underwater beauty helps beginner divers focus on technique instead. "Situated at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, the marine life is poor, with some sites best described as "moonscapes" rather than landscapes. On some days, divers should avoid inspecting the detritus floating in the shallows too closely," wrote Breu.... Perhaps it was Andy Revkin with the New York Times who wrote that our capacity to destroy is far less remarkable than our ability to adjust to the apocalypse we thereby create. Will we really allow our future to be so bland and so brown, or will we fight to live in color?
[Read more stories about: coral bleaching, death spiral]

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'Doc Jim says:
"Devoid of life" is relative, right?

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