In the Nation section of the Globe’s Sept. 26 edition, a headline appears as follows: “UN report says world’s oceans are in danger.” The first sentence then begins, “Earth’s oceans are under severe strain from climate change.” It is an important article, and I am glad to see it in the Globe. However, I would like to offer an amendment to the point of view expressed in the headline and in the opening sentence. The world’s oceans are neither endangered nor under severe strain. We are the ones who are in danger and under severe strain. The world’s oceans could not care less.

It doesn’t matter to the oceans that 8 million metric tons of plastic are dumped into them annually or that humanity ingests microfibers of that plastic when we eat fish that have eaten the plastic we discard. (What goes around comes around.)


That we are unwilling or unable to adapt ourselves to the inability of Earth to sustain the human race at its current level of consumption is of no concern to the planet. It will do just fine without us.

Samuel Jay Keyser