Jacques-Yves Cousteau with his trademark red hat and pipe.

In the face of the current BP oil spill crisis, Jacques-Yves Cousteau‘s 1971 warning about the destruction human pollution causes to the sea, has an ominous ring to it:

Better than anyone else, divers know the dangers that human civilization holds for marine life. Pollution destroys sea life as well as human life; and oil tankers, particularly, on their runs across the coral areas of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, represent a serious threat to marine fauna. It is possible – indeed, it is likely – that, unless there is a great change in the near future, disaster will follow. And it will be a disaster of which man himself will be not only the perpetrator, but also one of the victims.

From Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Life and Death in a Coral Sea, 1971.

(And yes, this is the same man who, in the Oscar-winning The Silent World (1956), blew up a coral reef with dynamite, rode a tortoise, killed a baby sperm whale and slaughtered a frenzy of sharks feeding on it; later he became a dedicated conservationist.)

3 thoughts on “Premonitions

  1. When I was a child I thought as child, Now that I am a man I think like a man, but there is no man greater in his anthology of our wild sea creature, and as he said, “the dangers that human civilization holds for marine life”. When will we figure out that we need these creatures?
    He did so much during his time, and now it is up to us “man” to continue his legacy.

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