Sustainable Living - The Evesham Observer

Sustainable Living

Evesham Editorial 30th Aug, 2020   0

Mike Parker, Chair of SeSaME, writes for the Observer…

IMAGINE you live in Mauritius. It’s a beautiful morning. You steer your neat fishing craft away from the shore. It’s just another day performing the timeless, routine actions that have sustained your family for generations: seeking fresh fish for the local market and the family table.

Casting an eye through the clear water to the crowded coral reefs below, you think of your brother on the beach. His party will have already donned their wetsuits, oxygen checked before exploring that exciting sunken world. For some of them it will be the first time, meaning they will be back for more.

Looking up, you are disappointed at the sight of a vessel ahead. Another of those huge industrial trawlers, plaguing your healthy fishing stocks for years, low seine nets hoovering up all and sundry from the sea floor?




No, it’s an oil tanker, rather close to the reefs. Next time you look up your heart sinks, as it rests slightly askew with a foaming black blanket flattening the seas around its hull.

The tanker has hit the reef, spewing noxious fuel oil into to your community’s pristine environment and your secure sustainable life.


You turn and head for shore, knowing what’s coming next – devastation for all. What fisherman hasn’t heard of the big 1967/1987 spills from the Torrey Canyon and Exxon Valdez and numerous other smaller ones worldwide?

What you don’t know is that the ship has already lost 1000 tons of fuel oil and there’s still 3000 tons to come. It may be a relatively small amount but its effect on your precious protected marine systems, and internationally important wetland areas, will be massive for a long time.

We know the world could provide all the energy we need from infinite, low carbon renewable energy sources. We don’t need to continue our dependency on finite, high carbon, coal, oil, gas and nuclear power. Can you believe it? The wisdom of a human society, that continues in the face of such knowledge to wantonly soil our world.

It’s actually not you there. So, do you care? I imagine you should.

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