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October 24, 2007

One last place we haven't screwed up

My good friend Verna at Integrity Arts told me just before I went on vacation that she had a new client that I just had to meet.  Wow, was she right!  John Weller is a photographer and author who has decided to change the world, if not actually save the world.  He's making great progress.  He dropped by today and we ended up spending three hours together looking at photographs and talking about The Last Ocean Project.  I immediately signed up to help and I hope you will too.  John's given me permission to use a few of his photographs, but trust me - you have to see them in person to really appreciate them.


This is a photo of sea ice in the Ross Sea in the Antarctic that John took on his last trip.  What I didn't realize until today is that this is pretty much the last place on earth that we haven't screwed up.  It's the one place in the world where we can imagine that all is right with the world.  It's the one place where scientists can go and study ecosystems that are pristine.  It's where the penguins live!


It can be overwhelming to think about all the places in the world that need to be cleaned up and put right again.  But here's a place, and an important place, that all we have to do is not screw it up in the first place.  Sounds easy, but it's going to take a great effort.

Until recently the Antartic and the Ross Sea were just to hard too get to.  Where have you heard about the Ross Sea you wonder? Think Sir Ernest Shackleton. But the push to put one more fish on your sushi plate has created an incentive for companies to figure out how to fish the last frontier. John has a degree in Environmental Economics, so he knows there is a price to be paid for harvesting or protecting the environment.  He looked like a meat-eater to me, so I know he doesn't want to ban all fishing; he just wants to save this last little piece of the earth from exploitation while working with the fishing industry to fish elsewhere in a sustainable way.

Luckily there are people like John who have stepped up to lead the effort.  He's already brought together an impressive group of scientists, educators and corporate sponsors.  He's preparing to go back to the Ross Sea to do the underwater photography for his next book while working with scientists to write the recommendations for the politicians to do the right thing here.  And he's working with a group that is putting the finishing touches on a fantastic looking website AND he's working with educators to get the facts out about this amazing part of the world.  I felt like a slug sitting there thinking about what this guy's doing to make a big difference in the world.

John's most immediate need is a commitment of $10,000 to finish off this round of fund raising.  I realize the NPR pledge drive just finished, but this is important.  I'm going to help, and if you can help too, email or call me.  I'll put you together with John and you will see why I'm so enthusiastic about his project.  I'll be writing more about this soon.


October 24, 2007 in Science | Permalink


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Hi Terry!

I'm with you. Just hearing Verna talk about John and seeing his absolutely breathtaking photography tells me how very passionate he is about making a difference in a big way. You can't help but feel his passion and the passion he inspires in others.

You've expressed yourself very well. Your excitement and sincerity is evident in your words. Keep us all posted on the fund-raising efforts as I have a funny feeling they'll be very successful.


Posted by: Lisa Wilder | Oct 25, 2007 6:49:52 PM

Terry, what a beautiful description of John's work. We're going to be hearing a lot more about John and The Last Ocean Project as it enters the next stage. Thank you for telling his story so eloquently and for showing your enthusiasm so openly. I love reading your blog.

Posted by: Verna Wilder | Oct 26, 2007 12:23:39 PM

Hi Terry,

Thanks to you and Verna for bringing John Weller, his story and his incredible photographs to my attention. Getting behind John and helping him to forge ahead with his vision will be one of those "win/wins" we so love: One pristine place on earth will be safe, and we the travelers on spaceship earth will be energized, knowing that we can, indeed, make a difference.


Posted by: Marilyn Edwards | Oct 28, 2007 9:28:01 AM

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