Interactions of Land, Ocean and Humans: A Global Perspective, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Interactions of Land, Ocean and Humans

A Global Perspective, 1st Edition

By Chris Maser

CRC Press

332 pages | 44 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781482226393
pub: 2014-10-14
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Description

Written by Chris Maser, one of the architects of the sustainability movement, Interactions of Land, Ocean and Humans: A Global Perspective explores a critical number of the myriad aspects that comprise the great, reciprocal feedback loops between the mountain peaks, the deep sea, and everywhere in between. Maser’s exploration of these connections gives us the tools required to open our imaginations and our scientific literacy, offering insights into the relationships between the land, sea, and people that could influence us toward better decisions.

The author examines the hydrological cycle, hydrological continuum, and anthropogenic pollution of various kinds from the atmosphere to deep belowground. He also highlights connections by detailing how human behavior changes the atmosphere, which changes the oceans, which alters the climate, which alters the atmosphere and thus the ocean, and so on. The book then explores the biophysical commonalities between landscapes and seascapes, as well as the habitats, in each realm. It covers marine fisheries; marine protected areas; oceans as a commodity, as part of the global commons, as a biophysical living trust for which we are the trustees and the children of today and beyond are the beneficiaries; and more.

Can we arrest this deleterious process? Yes, but it will take a dramatic shift in human behavior worldwide. Why? Because, just as the collective human behavior and lack of awareness caused the problems in the first place, the level of consciousness that caused the problem is not the level of consciousness that can fix it. We must shift our thinking from that which is symptomatic to that which is systemic if we are to have a sustainably productive environment through time. Maser gives us the understanding of the biophysical interactions among the lands, oceans, and peoples of the world needed to create sustainable solutions to environmental problems.

Reviews

"It’s been a very rewarding experience reviewing Chris’s book, far more fun and educational than I ever anticipated. Through his work as a scientist and his personal experience, Chris takes the reader on a journey around the world to explain, understand and appreciate the scientific, economic and emotional linkages between the land, oceans and people. He reminds us that our actions today are the choices that will determine the environmental legacy we leave for future generations. Also, that if the human species is to exist we must do no harm to the very commons that support us at all levels of life. And, in conclusion, how we educate our youth will provide the foundation of hope needed to show the world that we must change our way of thinking if we are to save us from ourselves."

—Rollin R. Geppert, Forester, Washington State Department of Ecology

"The oft quoted axiom that everything is related to everything else is widely saluted as a theoretically construct, but it is rarely seriously explored, perhaps because of the complexities of real life. This book is different. In "Interactions of Land, Oceans, and Humans," Chris Maser systematically describes often remarkably counterintuitive biophysical relationships and interactions. However difficult to understand and appreciate, everything, including humans and nonhumans, is an interactive, interdependent part of a system whole. And, forget about some idealized, reassuring notion of the balance of nature. Maser totally debunks such thinking with a hardy dose of cutting edge science and common sense."

—Robert T. Lackey, Professor, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife,Oregon State University

"All life is connected, a universal concept that in Maser’s lyrical prose pulsates with the constant interchanges between land and sea. Interactions of Land, Oceans and Humans: A Global Perspective describes a planet of marvelous and intricate design too precious to defile. Yet defile it we have, as Maser recounts in unflinching detail. Despite his disheartening review of how badly humans have behaved since the advent of agriculture, Maser manages to leave us with optimism. The way forward, he says, is to reconnect what we have broken—to reestablish the global common. He challenges us to mend our thinking with cooperative humility. Acting now will leave a sustainable world as our legacy to all generations. Who can resist that hope?"

—Jane Braxton Little, Writer/photographer

Table of Contents

THE GREAT FEEDBACK LOOP BETWEEN LAND AND SEA

Meeting the Ocean

WATER’S JOURNEY FROM THE MOUNTAINTOP TO THE SEA

WATER, A CAPTIVE OF GRAVITY

THE JOURNEY BEGINS

The Stream-Order Continuum

Roads, Urban Sprawl, and Water

How We Think About Water Catchments

The Hydrological Continuum

From Wells to the River

Forest-Dependent Industries

Of Communities and Bioregions

SUMMARY

ENDNOTES

THE RECIPROCAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LAND AND SEA

THE ANTHROPOCENE

HOW FORESTS, SALMON, AND MONSOONS UNITE LAND AND SEA

From Forests Watered by Maritime Storms to Wooden Mariners Plying the Seven Seas

From The Forest To The Sea And Back Again, the Salmon’s Story

Air Circumnavigates the Globe As Wind

Dust

Biogenic Aerosols

Anthropogenic Pollution

Of Monsoons and Dynasties

SUMMARY

ENDNOTES

THE RECIPROCAL FEEDBACK LOOPS TODAY

CHEMICAL POLLUTION

How Aboveground Water-Borne Pollutants Get Into the Ocean

How Belowground Water-Borne Pollutants Get Into the Ocean

Once in the World’s Oceans, Do All Pesticide Residues Stay There?

Dead Zones

The Agricultural Connection

The Fishery-Nitrogen Connection

The Industrial Connection

The Weather Connection

ACIDIFICATION

Corn As Biofuel

Carbon Dioxide and Ocean Acidification

THE COELACANTH’S STORY

SUMMARY

ENDNOTES

THE OCEAN AS A COMMONDITY

ENDNOTECHAPTER

EXPLOITATION

OCEAN TRAVEL

WHALING

OVERFISHING

OFFSHORE OIL

SUMMARY

ENDNOTES

FLOTSAM

NATURE’S LIFE-SUSTAINING MARINE DRIFTWOOD

HUMAN GARBAGE

Micro-Plastics

The Great Garbage Patches

The Plastic Island

Tsunami Debris

SUMMARY

ENDNOTES

TEMPERATURE

AN AIRBORNE PARADOX

THE WORLD OF PELAGIC MICROBES

ANTHROPOGENIC-INDUCED CHANGE

INDICRECT EFFECTS OF OCEAN WARMING

HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT THIS?

SUMMARY

ENDNOTES

THE OCEAN AS A BIOPHYSICAL LIVING TRUST

ENDNOTES

THE OCEAN COMMONS

EXPERIENCING THE COMMONS

THE COMMONS USUFRUCT LAW

HOW THE COMMONS USUFRUCT LAW AROSE

LOSING SIGHT OF THE COMMONS USUFRUCT LAW

RECAPTURING THE COMMONS USUFRUCT LAW

Principle 1: Sharing Life’s Experiences Connects Us To One Another

Principle 2: Cooperation and Coordination Are the Bedrock of Sustaining the Social-Environmental Commons

Principle 3: The Art of Living Lies in How We Practice Relationships

Principle 4: There is More Beauty and Peace Than Ugliness and Cruelty

Principle 5: People Must Be Equally Informed if They Are To Function As A Truly Democratic Community and Society

Principle 6: We Must Consciously Limit Our "Wants"

Principle 7: Every Decision Is The Author of a Never-Ending Story of Cause and Effect

Principle 8: Simplicity is the Key to Contentment, Adaptability, and Survival

Principle 9: Marvel at the Abundance and Resilience of planet Earth

Principle 10: Only Mobile Property Can Be Owned Outright

Principle 11: Nature, Spirituality, and Human Well-Being Are Paramount

Principle 12: Every Legal Citizen Deserves the Right To Vote

Principle 13: We Must Choose; In That We Have No Choice

Principle 14: We Change the World Simply Because We Exist

OUR CHALLENGE IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

SUMMARY

ENDNOTES

THE OCEAN AS A BIOPHYSICAL LIVING TRUST

THE NATURAL<—>CULTURAL CONTINUUM

HOW HUMAN THINKING AFFECTS THE OCEAN

THE UTOPIAN MYTH

A BIOLOGICAL LIVING TRUST

The Ocean As a Biophysical Living Trust

A Biophysical Living Trust as a Big Idea

SUMMARY

ENDNOTES

GOVERNING THE COMMONS AS A BIOLOGICAL LIVING TRUST

RECOGNIZING PERCEPTION AS TRUTH

WEALTH VERSUS MONEY—WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

LESSONS WE NEED TO LEARN

Lesson One: Emphasize Quality Rather Than Quantity

Lesson Two: Favor Biophysical Effectiveness Over Economic Efficiency

Lesson Three: Recognize That Loss of Sustainability Occurs Over Time

Lesson Four: Recognize That Resource Issues Are Complex and Process-Driven

Lesson Five: Accept the Uncertainty of Change, Its Novelty, and Its Potential Opportunities

Lesson Six: Understand That Loss of Material Possessions Does Not Herald the End of the World

Our Ultimate Lesson

THE CHANGING BIOPHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT

THE NEED FOR ADAPTIVE PRINCIPLES OF GOVERNANCE

Principle 1: Responsibility

Principle 2: Matching Scales

Principle 3: Precaution

Principle 4: Adaptive Caretaking

Principle 5: Full-Cost Allocation

Principle 6: Participation

Principle 7: Shared Leadership

THE MEANING OF SHARED OR REVOLVING LEADERSHIP

PSYCHOLOGICAL MATURITY AND TRUSTEESHIP OF THE COMMONS

Intra-personal: How We Treat Ourself

Inter-personal: How We Treat Others

Between People and the Environment

Between People in the Present and Those of the Future

SUMMARY

ENDNOTES

REPAIRING THE OCEAN COMMONS

HOW THE OCEAN COMMONS IS TREATED IS A MATTER OF HUMAN VALUES

UNDERSTANDING THE MEANING OF REPAIR

Why Restoration Is Not Possible

Reason One: Change Is A Constant Process

Reason Two: Human Have Fundamentally Altered the World Throughout the Millennia

Reason Three: No Records Exist of Conditions Prior to the European Immigration

Reason Four: We Cannot Go Back In Time

Restoration As We Currently Think of It

Enter the Concept of Restoration

Rethinking the Concept of Restoration

The Balance of Nature

We Humans Are A Natural Part of Nature

Repairing Biophysical Systems—Special Considerations

Microhabitats

Mutualistic Symbiotic Relationships

Endemic Species

Rare Species

MARINE PROTECTED AREAS

Why Marine Protected Areas Are Necessary

A Functional Understanding of "Habitat"

Habitat Fragmentation versus Habitat Connectivity

Marine Protected Areas per se

BEYOND THE PROTECTED AREAS

SUMMARY

ENDNOTES

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

WHO ARE WE AS A CULTURE TODAY?

CATEGORIES OF VALUE

Universal Values

Cultural Values

Individual Values

THE CENTRAL TENET OF EDUCATION

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO "NURTURE" CHILDREN?

HOW THE CHILDREN OF TODAY ARE EDUCATED

SUMMARY

ENDNOTES

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

About the Originator

Author

About the Series

Social Environmental Sustainability

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NAT011000
NATURE / Environmental Conservation & Protection
SCI039000
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Biology / Marine Biology
TEC010000
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / General