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With blue growth, like with green capitalism, the problem is not in the color

6 years ago, Written by , Posted in Articles, Media re-posts

An interesting reportage by Corinne Morel Darleux from Friday, the 24th of January 2014 as a preface to the roundtable discussion the Left Party of France (le parti de gauche) organised on the 25th of January. Many thanks to Charlène Jouanneau for kindly translating the article into English. Original article in French can be found in Reporterre.

To halt the degradation of the oceans, there is a need to bring up the sea into politics

Seas and oceans are increasingly weakened by the impact of human activities. But they remain outside the scope of collective deliberation. To stop the degradation of the largest ecosystem on Earth, we must begin to think about it in political terms. This will be the purpose of the first Eco socialist Forum for the sea, Saturday in Toulon.

Seas and oceans represent 70% of the surface of our planet. But when the world leaders are interested in it, it is usually when they discover new resources to plunder by offshore drillings, when sea lanes emerge through melting ice, in order to proceed to overfishing or to ship oil in spite of the recurrent spills.

But sometimes , women and men get interested in the sea as a living ecosystem which we should know in order to better preserve. This is the case of new expeditions in the North Pacific , organized to explore a vast area six times the size of France, and dotted with residual waste . The currents, called “oceanic gyres”, have transformed the eye of the storm in a summary of the worse produced by our consumerist society. Up to thirty meters depth can be found micro-particles of plastic , mercury, PCBs , DDT and bisphenol at a concentration of one million times higher than in the rest of the ocean.

What can we do with it? Which waste treatment can we use? Should we remove them using trawls, can they be reused on the spot? Through which means, which research and which funding, knowing that this area is outside national waters and any economic zone, and that therefore no State feels responsible?

This example and the set of questions it leverages are striking. The influence of our patterns of production and consumption, as well as public policy decisions made on the land, is huge for the sea as a common good of humanity. Yet from it we draw many ecosystems services: carbon natural storage, salt, fish , algae , energy, transport … It is high time that the public debate and politics take over this topic.

What do we mean by an economy of the sea ? How to reconcile the use of marine resources with the need for sustainability and the duty to preserve our ecosystems? Which policy for coastlines, Southern Seas, which port and freights management? What about jobs, tourism and renewable marine energies? How could overseas territories become concrete laboratories for ecosocialism? Which future and which cooperation for the Mediterranean?

To advance and contribute to the debate, the first ecosocialists Forum for the Sea in Toulon (France) will be held on Saturday, the 25th of January. The debate will be in two stages: a roundtable on the morning “The sea , a new horizon for humanity, science and technology “, and another in the afternoon on the theme “Maritime transport and port recovery”. At the initiative of the Left Party , will intervene Isabelle Autissier, sailor and President of WWF France; Hervé Le Deit , chemist and specialist in marine biotechnology; Frédéric Alpozzo, secretary- general CGT- SNCM (the trade union of a shipping company); Fabien Milin , Solidaires Douanes (trade union of customs); Jean- Luc Mélenchon, MEP (GUE – NGL); citizens, elected officials and political leaders.

The debate is launched. With a conviction listed on the basis of the project: with blue growth, like with green capitalism, the problem is not in the color.

Corinne Morel Darleux is the national secretary of ecosocialism for the Left Party and the Regional Councillor of the Left Front in Rhône-Alpes.