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Thread: How to be an activist for the ocean without ending up in depression?

  1. #1

    How to be an activist for the ocean without ending up in depression?

    Like seriously the more i learn with documentaries and stuff like that about the actual state of marine ecosystems worldwide my sadness about it and how little i can do to change it grows...how you people who have been advocating for the ocean without loosing hope all this years with the continuing degradation and most people not giving a shit how do you keep faith in a better future and still fight while smiling? Where do you strengh to do that without being totally depressed knowing all the emergencies comes froms?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    sadly, I really don't know.
    This is why I gave up on marine sciences. Working as a marine biologist, I would have been exposed every day to all the issues, stuff of nightmares.
    I ended up so depressed I didn't want to go on, it also made me dislike humans in general, not a healthy state to be in while living in an overpopulated country.

    So I quit and ended up doing something completely different, in a field with zero exposure to environmental themes, and made all my hobbies (music, dance, theatre) my profession. Not only did that end my depression, it made me quite happy and kind of reconciled me with the (human) world.
    Now, when I do activist work, I take care to do it in small dosages so to speak, so it doesn't get to me too deeply.

    I know several activists who were so depressed they took their own lives, so find something that helps you to take your mind off of it when you need it, and stop thinking about it when it depresses you too greatly. You're probably still more involved than the average guy, even if you do very little of consequence in the end.

  3. #3
    That is a great question... As a student studying marine biology, I watch various documentaries and am constantly reminded by professors of how selfish people in this world are. It is quite depressing and not a day goes by when I don't feel hopeless. I just do my best to do my part and remind myself that my job will help move toward advancing sciences.
    We may not necessarily fix the problem, but we can make the most nightmare of situations better. For instance, marine biologists are nursing various coral species back to health in labs and are hoping that they will adapt to the new climate changes. So far, this has worked. Certain species of corals are breaking off before they are able to grow, but for the most part, the efforts are working. A plastic-eating mushroom has also been discovered and after further testing, they plan to place those mushrooms in all landfills. New equipment is also being invented to attempt to eradicate the microplastics within our ocean systems. Things like this do not necessarily take the sadness away, and I still worry for the future of wildlife and the future of this planet, but it does give me hope.

  4. #4
    Thanks both of you for the answers. Well i guess reality is harsh for anyone and being constantly exposed to sad stuff sure some people can't go on that way when they care too much and most care too little but in a way i think finding the answer to that would be finding how to wake up most people on ecological issues because most of the time when they dont care it's seems like they feel that caring would get them sad and protect themselves on mid term by blinding their eyes while knowing it's they're long term doom but not caring as well human brain isn't program to anticipates 100 years later, even have issues with 30/10 years later indeed and because of that i think if we find the way to open the eyes to ecological issues to most people without them being overwhelmed by sadness maybe things would change but i do not know how. Yeah sure science like marine biology is useful but to be honest i dont think scientists can change society alone, event letting alone the fact that some scientists in other fields do a lot to contribute to kill the environement especially working with big company deversing chemical pollutions everywhere and the like well nothing major can change without social change on a mass global scale right? So obviously without politics it's doomed but capitalists and most politicians who are kind of one and the same well they're a hopeless cause who rather yelling disgracious insult at a kid girl like Greta who only talk science to them than just well seeing reality, therefore whom to turn to...working class leaders of unions and the like? Well most are quite productivist...green and red are not easily matched but i dont know any way to do better than trying this almost impossible union in my opinion. I will not go in too far political details but clearly with the social and climate combined emergencies i see no way to be a reformist and win this fight. Happy about all the littles and not so little victories you're talking about here for sure but i'll admit i see no way in the institutions like work and the like for the big definitive one. Thanks for the comfort and hope thought we need that.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pod of Cali Merman Storm's Avatar
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    As a science fiction fan, Ive come to realize how much worse things could be. Such as a Niven world where just about the only life left is a huge human population and yeast, grown as food. All open water is considered deadly poison as a virtual knee-jerk reaction by the population.
    Then I look at progress we have made, like the plastic eating mushrooms mentioned above, and other ways of recycling plastics. (All plastics are recyclable. The issue is they are not in fact recycled.) I also track how much of the worlds energy comes from renewables. It has been growing exponentially for the last 20 years. If it keeps growing at the same rate, the entire world is renewable powered by the mid 2040's.
    Finally, I look at what I can do. I ask the question "if everyone does as much as i do, where would we be?" If the answer is "a really good place", then I know I am doing enough.
    Are you a Frozen fan? Frozen fanfiction:
    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10952902/1/Rain-of-a-Child-s-Tear

    Let the storm rage on!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid Fina View Post
    Thanks both of you for the answers. Well i guess reality is harsh for anyone and being constantly exposed to sad stuff sure some people can't go on that way when they care too much and most care too little but in a way i think finding the answer to that would be finding how to wake up most people on ecological issues because most of the time when they dont care it's seems like they feel that caring would get them sad and protect themselves on mid term by blinding their eyes while knowing it's they're long term doom but not caring as well human brain isn't program to anticipates 100 years later, even have issues with 30/10 years later indeed and because of that i think if we find the way to open the eyes to ecological issues to most people without them being overwhelmed by sadness maybe things would change but i do not know how. Yeah sure science like marine biology is useful but to be honest i dont think scientists can change society alone, event letting alone the fact that some scientists in other fields do a lot to contribute to kill the environement especially working with big company deversing chemical pollutions everywhere and the like well nothing major can change without social change on a mass global scale right? So obviously without politics it's doomed but capitalists and most politicians who are kind of one and the same well they're a hopeless cause who rather yelling disgracious insult at a kid girl like Greta who only talk science to them than just well seeing reality, therefore whom to turn to...working class leaders of unions and the like? Well most are quite productivist...green and red are not easily matched but i dont know any way to do better than trying this almost impossible union in my opinion. I will not go in too far political details but clearly with the social and climate combined emergencies i see no way to be a reformist and win this fight. Happy about all the littles and not so little victories you're talking about here for sure but i'll admit i see no way in the institutions like work and the like for the big definitive one. Thanks for the comfort and hope thought we need that.
    I most definitely agree with you. I don't think scientists alone can fix the problem, especially because some scientists are still a part of the problem. I also agree with Merman Storm. If everyone pitched in the same amount and focused more on recycling and renewable energy, I believe we would move in the right direction. I try to educate all of my friends and family about the importance of recycling. Something that seems as small as that is what winds up having the largest effect. There are also so many people who still believe climate change is a myth, and I think that is also a large part of why people do not really put any effort into saving the environment.

  7. #7
    " There are also so many people who still believe climate change is a myth, and I think that is also a large part of why people do not really put any effort into saving the environment"...well maybe that is a good news for you but in my country climate change skeptics like in most countries are considered just as weird and fringe as ufo believers and not really listened at all by most people who dont consider them serious at all, it's seems more like a us specific issue than a global issue from where i am. Here it's more than people care about their money more than the environnement far more pragmatically no conspiracy theory (on that at least or very few fringe ones) just big belief in a possibility of ecology without less economic growth and of a possible sustenable capitalism and a big hope to keep big economy countries model of devellopement not caring about neocolonialism and environmental destruction it's cause in ex french colonies if it's help us well like said the president "not living in a amish civilisation model"...it's mostly this image of progress and comfort going backward that stop people from trying to listen ecologists here. That being said i've heard the actual amish have a very ecological way of life indeed but well let's be realistic most people couldnt live their way now. For sure modern comfort and no ecological issue are not easy to match but that's needed if we're going to convice most people i think. Cant' really blame people not wanting to say goodbye to a lot of technologies like web Internet and the like but eco computers...well see it's difficult but if we dont try we've already lose right? Well the bad ecological citizen blaming and little gestures stuff been harshly and rightly so i think criticized by yellow vests here for being a upper class view like for an exemple here most people cant pay ecotax not because they hate nature but because they already have no money enough without that and they ask for less harsh oil price not because they love oil but out of necessity in rural area to go in a car to go to work with almost zero born from electric cars and the more renewable stuff so that kind of strategy i'm not a fan. Especially since here when people recycle in the right place...at the end when it comes to recycling well : https://www.theguardian.com/environm...s-your-rubbish here the problem, and for renewable energy even if i agree it's a step in the right direction harshly needed it's clearly do not solve a lot of issue, for an example Iceland 100% renewable energy country is still having issues with the greenhouse gaz with how they extract this energy so it's only partial victory tought in the country with the most nuclear energy and so much vetust centrals still in activity we're bad placed to talk. Areva, EDF...going back to capitalism and francafrica all that's here is political and explosive both metaphorically and well probably sooner or later litteraly...well next Fukushima as all the probability to be in France with all that context to be honest. 19% renewable energy clearly on that we are pathetic but most citizens have zero says in that even politicians dont have many to be frank...it's mostly big company of nuclear power who decide alone and even the eu is no political pressure enough to make them change so random citizen hardly here i guess how much they can do about renewable energy depends on each country national political and economical context a lot. Popular education as long as it's not top down approach but equal one with everyone sharing knowledge equally works indeed though on that one we're all seems to agree big media shut up that thought except for a few documentaries here it's mostly do in well Internet and other parallel medias and it's efficient in it's scale but have the inconvenient of touching mostly only already people with a green sensibility...they get their own stronger and better fact checked but as long as they can't say same stuff on big audience tv it wont reach the one who most need hear that...here it's became a problem of democratic control of mass media and sigh...that one is dead quite clearly most big medias are big billionaires property. They wont let anything dangerous for the interests of their polluting companies becaming massively known...right? It's not impossible but it does indeed feel like trying to square the circle...sorry if i go down every one mood but i needed to said that sad truths.

  8. #8
    I think a large part of the environmental issue is between the US and China. China's emissions are so horrible that most places in Asia need to wear masks and cannot even walk outside most of the time. This is mostly due to their refusal of knocking down gas-guzzling facilities. Instead, they are building even more facilities that produce carbon emissions.

    The US is split between eco-activists and those who don't believe in climate change at all. So, a lot of us are trying to educate others that recycling and sustainable energy does matter. But sometimes, it's like we're talking to brick walls.
    Other countries do much better with this, and a lot of the time, some issues they have are due to pollutants of any sort from other countries and not of their own.

    I think Japan has an excellent system of recycling, but I also know a lot of countries will not convert to that sort of system for various reasons. I think it is strange that the US does not conform to it. We give citations for those who litter, so why do we not give citations to those who do not recycle properly? In a way, the two are very similar circumstances.

    I do agree with you. The world is far from perfect, and every country has its problems. Honestly, I don't think there's any way we'll ever get any one country to be perfectly ecologically sustainable. But, if every country/continent did their best to be, I think we could start moving in a better direction than we are going. However, for that to happen, people need a reason to care. For instance, a lot of people who do believe in climate change in the US believe it is not their problem and that it will be the problem of future generations after we are all gone. Therefore, they do not see any reason to put in effort to do better now. That sort of mindset is one that needs to change if we are going to see any hope of saving the earth.

  9. #9
    Well only Trump pretended climat change does not exist, even Xin Jinping didnt dare that it takes a special level of being dense (sorry Trump fans but it's true), so besides the us (and it may change now with the new president) no big nation anywhere is unaware of climate change it's just their pretend to do stuff about it with laws they sign and then do not apply so they are hypocrits. On that : "China's emissions are so horrible that most places in Asia need to wear masks and cannot even walk outside most of the time. ", sorry but it's fake, i'll try to explain, well China is big country but Asia is way bigger so clearly most asian countries do no feel direct impact of China's emissions and the reason most asians were a mask in a lot of place are mostly cultural and dates from the 1950's before it becames useful for pollution and then covid. Mostly, it's because sneezing is impolite in China, Japan and the like so wearing a mask while being sick or allergic is the chosen alternative not to get your cough and stuff on other people, also lot of asian women wear a mask when they go lazy on make up and dont want it to show and masks are also sometimes wear for no peculiar reason as a fashion accessory since a very long time especially in Japan if you like anime you might have noticed a long time ago on that last one. So...for all that people wearing a mask could be because of pollution in China and the rest of Asia but it's one possible reason among a lot of others and most of the time it's not the mean reason. And no i'm going to be pretty comforting but save for confinement measures most of the time in most places in Asia people can and do walk and breathe normally just like here. Even in China, China has a lot of rural areas with more or less pure air the problem with pollution it's mostly in big cities (which they are not that many in China indeed in fact China is a developping not developped country still even with it's big money because according to the world banks it's still lack two developped country criteria the obvious one being less huge gap between poor and rich the far less known one is it's got less urbanization than most developped countries, most western countries have more urbanization than China...even if most are not as tall as China so that's relative if we talk globally of course). No that's not to say China's emissions are not horrible they are they do kill more chinese than covid even (but no they dont have that much impact elsewhere in asia each country having mostly problems with it's own pollution emission source in the air), they are the worst in the world indeed, the problem is blaming China as one of the main culprit of the global warming is an oversimplification and one with a long history of being very clumsy at best and quite racist at it worst because well besides it's always hard criticizing brics country for imitates a non sustenable capitalism economy model we're the one in western countries that created it and forces the rest of the world to imitates it to be respected and considered "developped" so it's a delicate topic and we walk on eggs each time we go on that road, China is most certainly anything but flawless or without own responsibility in that and is in no way just a poor victim of colonization (opium wars were colonial, China's historical development lot of it's most criticized aspects cames from way they did escape colonization attempts originally), still as explained here : https://www.dw.com/en/fact-check-is-...rit/a-57777113 if we talk total emission China is the worst in the world but emission per capita paints a different picture China emits less than half of that per capita, China is still the world's factory most of it's emissions comes from stuff they produce for others, mainly for western consumers made in China low price stuff we all have at house. So we're in a weird position to criticize as most of us can't really buy better products for environment and working conditions as we are too poor for that. So of course China must do it part against global warming and other ecology issues and well quite a lot of green activists in China itself try their best to help the country go back to it's precolonial values of respecting nature harmony and equilibrium but the Communist Party is lead by old productivist with a kind of dated soviet inspired model of developpement in the mind so they are not really heard and listened to by the chinese government in power right now but still the cold harsh truth is China wouldnt pollute itself to stay a big economy by producing massive low cost merchandise in awful ecological and working conditions if the western consumers didnt buy it and most western consumers would rather buy local well produced stuff but are stopped by too high prize for their pockets mostly to be able at all to buy anything but Made in China. That's part of why i'm against a strategy that get random people pay for the mess they do when they dont recycle and stuff like that besides pragmatic issue that on the level of the every day people i have never ever seen a punitive kind of ecology working and i quite fear that would like most fines and taxes primarly been used to get the poorest in the west even poorer and therefore ends up quite unfair i fear that's kind of divisive strategy of ecology do mostly a great service to the biggest culprit of the ecological issues as while most people are bitching on their neighbour who didn't get plastic in the right trash can and how much of a bad citizen they are and trying to go vegan and stuff like that to be the better eco citizen ever, what's happens with this "eco war" between average guys is quite comfy for the 100 biggest world companies ceo who still are responsible for 71% of the emissions of this planet all alone far from most people eyes and consciousness...100 only so to me it's sound very wrong to say "every one has it's part equally" and the like with ecological issues, we know the name of the main culprits, here they are : https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/audit-serv...anies-2021.pdf, 59 names are US,14 China and the rest only a few indeed but i woudn't call it fair to blame "americans" or "chinese" at whole when most chinese workers in this companies have no other choice than working their or eat nothing and even the most climate skeptic red neck if he is a random us guy has far less responsibility in the whole issue than greenwashing gafam leaders as liberals and woke they pretend to be in order to save their public image, their not progressist at all their just capitalists capitalizing on every thing susceptible to get them more money just like LVMH and L'Oreal the lux fashion french industry also listed here indeed our worst capitalist and fast fashion is our most polluting industry even worse than nuclear, like seriously as weird as its seems it's the truth so now that we know capitalists are 71% of the world ecology issue why focus on the little gesture made or not by average joes with no real power and dont challenge the ecocide leaders of a deathly economic system more directly? I think as long as we dont we wouldnt solve the issue and yes that do imply ecologically rethinking leftist politics also because well alternative to capitalism are far from always green ask the Aral Sea for more info on that one. For the us context well since you're there i believe you, here most people know and believe climate change facts (french rational tradition help with believing scientists even when one has conservative views i guess) and most people are aware that it's now or never for the climate and care for their child future, they just dont get that choosing economy over ecology mid term doom both long term. As for the Earth she been there way before and will be there way after us, we're the one most endangered specie most needing being saved from ourselves to be honest.
    Last edited by Mermaid Fina; 08-15-2021 at 04:34 AM.

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