If I could buy the World an Underwater Experience

“I’d like to buy the world a house, and furnish it with love. Grow apple trees and honey bees, and snow-white turtle doves”.

I went scuba diving on the reefs of Oahu yesterday. If I could gather a crowd of young multicultural singers to spread a message of protecting the world’s oceans from a verdant hilltop in Italy, I would. Maybe get George Woodhouse to compose the jingle.

If you’ve never seen the commercial I’m referencing, play the video below and be infected by the earworm of one of the best-loved ads in TV history:

This strategy of combining happiness and love with the brand is brilliant. The underlining message that the world in united in sharing its appreciation of the product is a hopeful one. It is also one of the first instances of advertisement partnering with the music industry leading to creative and impactful results.

Continuing the excellent point Caroline made in the previous blog (Nature Calls) a great theme at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawai’i is how we are become more and more disconnected with nature, the conservationists as much as anyone else.

With 70% of the world’s population now living in cities, it’s becoming harder and harder to connect people with the living universe around them, one that they are not only a part of but need to be in harmony with. Nature needs a better marketing team.

“I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.”

Dr. Sylvia Earle sharing her element (Credit Mission Blue)

I’d like to bring everyone I could scuba diving with me.”Nothing else matters if we fail to make peace with nature,” said legendary ocean explorer Sylvia Earle this week during a High-Level Dialogue. The same way astronauts go into space, look down at the blue marble of the Earth and come back a conservationist, holds true for the ocean. That underwater view holds a magnificent seascape teeming with life. The surface is a blue veil just waiting to be lifted.

Did you know that corals can create clouds so as to cool the reef when the temperature is raised? There is so much we still do not understand on the impact oceans and its wildlife have on climate. And we are losing slow-growing coral at an astonishing rate.

The corals around Waikiki are not vibrant, and show signs of bleaching and are invaded by algae. This is partial due to the most powerful El Nino on recorded having heated the water this year, making them particularly vulnerable. Sediment and pollution are also to blame.

Coral in Hawai’i being invaded by alien algae species (Top). Removal teams are rehabilitating the reefs (Bottom). (Credit NOAA)

Despite this, my visit was clearly to the home of colourful fish, white-tipped reef shark, eels and green sea turtles. In that clear deep, I still felt blessed, and felt very small in a vast ocean. Like a friend put it, the water around Hawai’i is connected to sea where icebergs float, in the Western Arctic.

Ocean conservation is an issue there too.

Getting that eyewitness contact with nature is so important. When you are underwater, you are at the mercy of the waves, the pressure. But you also get the connection. You start to admire the richness and beauty of the oceans. And if you love something, you don’t want to lose it. You want to share it. It’s real and tangible.

I’d like to buy you a pass to go diving, and have turtles keep you company.

So take a dive into the cool, green oceans as soon as you can. Be charmed by the reefs and funny fish.

A green sea turtle resting. Many were around during my dive! (Credit Nicole S.)

It’s the real thing, what the world wants today.

Bon vent!


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