Tuesday, November 06, 2007

SP3 Shark Attack

I just got back from watching Shark Water – an incredible new documentary that has been cleaning up at film festivals for good reason. The website (www.sharkwater.com) has a good trailer that gives you a sense of the destruction going on.

Bottom line: shark populations have declined 90% in the last 50 years in a barbaric attack on this species. Sharks have been around for 450 million years, surviving at least 5 major extinctions, and as top predators in marine ecosystems, they are a vital part of the balance in our global marine system, which is crucial in maintaining the stable climate that makes human civilization possible.

This is a perfect, dramatic example of violating SP 3 – a systematic degradation of natural systems by physical means. A lot of the slaughter is being driven by shark fin trade, which is hugely lucrative and made possible due to the lack of enforcement of international treaties. I doubt many of you eat much shark fin soup, but it is a huge issue and one to be aware of. It also speaks to larger trends and exemplifies the systematic destruction of our life-support systems.

The film also does a very good job at addressing a strong mental model that most of us hold: that sharks are scary and evil. The power of mental models – the unrecognized assumptions and habits of thought that we all have – and their importance (as barriers and/or catalysts) in creating a sustainable society.

Check out the flick, and stay going…