Placeholder Image

字幕表 動画を再生する

  • My first time in Chicago was actually 40 years ago.

  • It was 1970, July.

  • I was among a handful of women who had a ticker tape parade down State Street,

  • and it was because we had just emerged from having spent

  • two weeks submerged in the sea. As aquanauts!

  • At the same time that there were astronauts flying in the sky,

  • you might remember, first footprints on the moon, 1969,

  • and there were still footprints being put there in 1970.

  • A dozen people have actually had the joy of seeing the world from high in the sky

  • looking back at this little blue speck in the universe.

  • It is so thrilling to hear Frans Lanting talk about that little blue speck in the universe,

  • to hear about the billions of years that have preceded the present time,

  • that have somehow, miraculously,

  • made this planet hospitable, for the likes of us.

  • It's just – when you really think about it, everything that we take for granted as children,

  • certainly I as a child didn't even question where air came from, it was just here.

  • Or the trees, the birds, the water that fell out of the sky.

  • Now, for the first time, we're beginning to put it together.

  • Just in time, perhaps. The pressure is on.

  • For the first time, we're beginning to see the limits of what we can do

  • to this place that is our only home.

  • There may be other places out there that look pretty attractive,

  • possible places where there could be water, might be life,

  • but to transport seven billion of us, or even a few of us,

  • to as close a place as Mars, is a really big deal.

  • We have to come to grips with taking care of this magical place that is our home.

  • So, If I could, right now,

  • I would take all of us and take the plunge into the blue heart of the planet.

  • You know, it was so easy to come up with the wish.

  • If somebody asked you, "What would you wish for?

  • We'll help you make it come true".

  • For me it was just this distillation of what I've been trying to do for most of my life,

  • to take care of the blue part of the planet.

  • The critters that live there, the water itself.

  • Because it does drive the way the world works.

  • No water, no life. No blue, no green.

  • It's just a fact.

  • 97% of Earth's water is out there in the ocean.

  • The hard part of this challenge, to come up with a wish,

  • was cramming it into 18 minutes

  • and being able to articulate it to the world,

  • to do what TED asks you to do,

  • that is, scrunch it down and make a case for your wish.

  • And then maybe we'll help you out. And they have. They have enormously.

  • With ways of causing people to think differently about the ocean,

  • and it's high time that we really did so

  • because right now, you can go almost any place on the planet,

  • with cars, airplanes, walking, climbing, whatever.

  • But in the ocean, less than 5% of it has been seen, let alone explored.

  • Part of it is because we don't have gills.

  • It's one of the things I almost wished for. (Laughter)

  • Something realistic like, "Let's save the ocean."

  • Actually, my wish was even bigger than that.

  • I've taken a sidelong crack at it and that is, I'd like to have world peace.

  • Who wouldn't like to have world peace?

  • But for us to have world peace as we think of it,

  • making peace among ourselves,

  • means we must, must, must make peace with the natural world!

  • We are, as Jason Clay has described, eloquently,

  • we're chewing the planet to pieces.

  • We're consuming the world that keeps us alive.

  • And it isn't going to continue this way much longer.

  • If we don't take actions now - we have a chance -

  • but time is getting by. We have to explore.

  • Living underwater gave me new insights into the way the world works,

  • the creatures who live in the sea,

  • the underwater laboratory that I had the chance to use back in 1970

  • did not look quite like this.

  • This is the one that is currently in use,

  • one, there's just one, that really supports science,

  • going back to the mid-1970s, the idea began to catch on,

  • there were dozens of little underwater laboratories,

  • but over time we've kind of abandoned them,

  • the Aquarius, now in the Florida Keys, is still taking scientists and others

  • to see the world and stay underwater for days, weeks at a time.

  • But only in relatively shallow depths.

  • To go deeper one atmosphere, containers for people really seem to be the way to go,

  • just as going high in the sky we package ourselves,

  • to fly from one place to another.

  • We can't survive at 7 miles high in the sky.

  • The amount of oxygen is too little to support us,

  • and it's also pretty cold.

  • Going down deep in the sea 7 mileshuh, only two people have done this.

  • Only two!

  • Back in 1960, before there were astronauts on the moon,

  • but we have neglected the ocean

  • and the technologies that would get us to where we need to be

  • to understand the planet from the inside out.

  • I had the fun of using this system called the JIM, back in 1979,

  • for the first time, to be able to walk solo in a depth of that sort.

  • Since then I've had the chance to use these little one-person-subs quite a number of times.

  • They are so simple to drive that even a scientist can do it.

  • I'm living proof. (Laughter)

  • There're now about 20 of these little submersibles called "Deep Worker"

  • and they are out there, taking scientists and others to explore the ocean,

  • but we need lots of them.

  • We need a Hertz Rent-a-Sub. (Laughter)

  • And places so that you, if you want to go out and study the lakes here,

  • you can put one of these in the back of the truck

  • and drive off into the depths of the lake

  • or go off to the beach and into the sea.

  • We need to know. It's only through knowing that people can care.

  • You might not care if you do know,

  • if you know what's there, you know what's at stake.

  • You might not care with knowing, but you can't care if you don't know.

  • It starts with exploration.

  • And we are way behind the curve with respect to exploring the ocean.

  • Last year, I had the chance to try this little bubble sub

  • in a beautiful place where nature is still in pretty good shape:

  • Cocos Islands off the coast of Costa Rica.

  • And just a few weeks ago I was in Lake Baikal in this Russian submarine, the "MIR,"

  • that has the capability of going to a little more than half the ocean's depth.

  • About 6,500 meters.

  • The maximum depth: 11,000 meters.

  • Huh! Only two people have been to the maximum depth in all of history.

  • Round trip. One way trips are really easy. (Laughter)

  • I'm not advising that.

  • I'm advising that you take a look here with me,

  • at some of the history of going with William Beebe,

  • who was the first, along with Otis Barton, to see the world

  • as much as half a mile beneath the surface

  • in the waters of Bermuda.

  • Imagine climbing into a steel ball on the end of a cable

  • and allowing yourself to be dropped a half a mile beneath the surface.

  • William Beebe and Otis Barton were stunned with what they saw

  • and reported back in, for National Geographic, of course,

  • about the images of what they saw.

  • They did not have the fancy cameras that we have today.

  • What they had were their eyes and brain

  • and the ability to communicate to an artist back on the surface

  • who rendered images with paints and ink.

  • I think -- There we are.

  • Oh, good.

  • This has a voice on it and will take you into the sea.

  • (Video) : ...swiftest ocean currents.

  • (Video) : Humpback whales pass through these waters each year,

  • migrating from polar feeding grounds.

  • These waters are also known to legions of luminous deep sea creatures

  • and intrepid undersea explorers.

  • In the 1930s, zoologist William Beebe and engineer Otis Barton

  • descended 1,000 meters into the depths around Bermuda

  • for a first view of life in a place the sunlight never reaches.

  • (Music) (Underwater sounds)

  • Beebe compared what he saw to naked space itself,

  • out far beyond atmosphere, between the stars, with the blackness of space,

  • the shining planets, comets, suns and stars must really be closely akin to the world of life

  • as it appears to the eyes of an awed human being

  • in the open ocean, one half-mile down.

  • For Beebe and Barton, the comets, suns and stars were living creatures,

  • reflecting rainbows of iridescence,

  • were flashing, sparkling and glowing with their own living light.

  • Fireflies and glow worms are famous lightmakers on the land.

  • But in the deep sea, about 90% of the creatures:

  • jellies, fish, bacteria, shrimp, squids, and many others,

  • have some form of bioluminescence to signal one another.

  • Scientists say these bursts of starry light

  • may be the most common form of communication on the planet.

  • In the open sea, jellies are also among the most abundant forms of life.

  • The Gulfstream current can carry these oddly beautiful drifters along

  • at about 160 kilometers a day.

  • Buffered by the Gulfstream is a magically quiet, gently rotating mass of Sargassum weed

  • that expands over more than five million square kilometers of open waters.

  • Isolated by walls of fast-moving currents between Bermuda and Puerto Rico,

  • the Sargasso Sea holds a liquid jungle of creatures,

  • which have evolved over the ages to exist in floating forests of golden brown Sargassum.

  • Within its leafy, sunlit masses are camouflaged such creatures

  • as loggerhead turtles, file fish, sea hares.

  • Sylvia Earle: I think we'll leave it at that.

  • This is the only home that many of those creatures have.

  • It's also the part-time home for baby turtles and for young tunas,

  • and it's a floating golden forest.

  • It's a rain forest out there in the middle of the sea,

  • but it's even wetter than rainforests, filed with great diversity.

  • Actually, the ocean holds the greatest diversity of life on Earth,

  • no big surprise, it's where most of the water is, it's where most of the life is.

  • But the major divisions of life are all there.

  • Only about half of the big divisions of animal life have made it to the land.

  • Jump into the ocean and you'll meet some of these creatures that occur just in the sea.

  • We are just beginning to understand and appreciate

  • the nature of the creatures who share space with us on this little blue speck.

  • And it is time that we pulled out all stops and began to truly take seriously

  • what we're doing to the ocean, what we're doing to the diversity of life.

  • Every spoonful of water has creatures in it.

  • Thousands of microbes, literally billions of microbes,

  • but thousands of different kinds in a bucket of water.

  • In the gulp of a whale shark's maw, just one big gulp,

  • we may have more divisions of animal life represented

  • than in all the terrestrial parts of the planet put together.

  • It's enormous diversity. Also enormous ignorance.

  • And we have great power to destroy what's there.

  • Presently, we're looking at a time, just the last 50 years,

  • when 40% of the plankton is gone.

  • When fish, such as grouper, have declined by 90%.

  • And tunas. And swordfish. And sharks!

  • Creatures that are vital to the integrity of ocean systems.

  • One thing that I began to see,

  • spending thousands of hours in the ocean, face to face with some of these creatures,

  • is that they're all individuals. They're different.

  • They have different faces.

  • I suppose if a fish came swimming through this audience, looked around and said:

  • "Yeah, human beings, they all look pretty much alike to me."

  • But we know that we're all different

  • and so do they, I suppose, know that everyone is different,

  • and they recognize individuals.

  • But there is so much that we have to break through,

  • get out of our own shell and think about the world

  • from a standpoint of the other creatures who share a space with us

  • to realize that we have the power to eliminate creatures

  • that have preceded us by hundreds of millions of years.

  • Whether it's horse shoe crabs, or sharks, coral reefs or whatever.

  • This is a critical moment in history.

  • Seriously, we are at a point where we have the power to see the last of the tunas.

  • You can go to the grocery store and get tuna helper,

  • but what we need is help for the tuna.

  • We need to save tuna. We need to stop eating them.

  • These are big carnivores!

  • Most people would not think of eating snow leopards

  • but very casually, we'll open a can of tuna

  • not even knowing what a tuna looks like!

  • We have the power to eat our way through the ocean.

  • People are still eating whales, although by and large, we've stopped doing that.

  • This is a scene, though, from the Tokyo fish market.

  • A little picture of whale meat from just a couple of months ago when I visited there.

  • We now respect whales for other reasons,

  • although fortunes have been built by killing whales

  • and extracting the oil and meat and bone.

  • But the current way of understanding the value of living systems, living creatures

  • is beginning to get through to us.

  • Although we still kill some of our fellow mammals in the sea.

  • This scene the photographer David Doubilet took

  • in a cove in Japan a few years ago.

  • Again, our relationship with dolphins has taken a turn over the years.

  • We're no longer necessarily hunter-gatherers. Good thing!

  • Can you imagine feedinghuhone billion people,

  • let alone seven, where we are now, or nine,

  • where we'll be by the middle of the 20th century, on songbirds?

  • On little furry things that we catch from the land?

  • The way our ancient ancestors did?

  • We can't do that anymore.

  • We have to look at the world with new eyes and figure out:

  • How do we make a go of it here with what we have available to us,

  • using our brains to find a sustainable place

  • for ourselves within the systems that keep us alive.

  • If we look at this image from space of Earth.

  • In all the history of the Earth,