‘If the Oceans Should Die’
‘‘IF THE oceans of earth should die—that is, if life in the oceans were suddenly, somehow to come to an end—it would be the final as well as the greatest catastrophe in the troublous story of man and the other animals and plants with whom man shares this planet.” So wrote Jacques Cousteau in the introduction to Volume 1 of his book The Ocean World of Jacques Cousteau.
He continues the scenario: “With no life in the seas the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere would set forth on an inexorable climb. When this CO2 level passed a certain point the ‘greenhouse effect’ would come into operation: heat radiating outwards from earth to space would be trapped beneath the stratosphere, shooting up sea-level temperatures. At both North and South Poles the icecaps would melt. The oceans would rise perhaps 100 feet [30 m] in a small number of years. All earth’s major cities would be inundated. To avoid drowning one third of the world’s population would be compelled to flee to hills and mountains, hills and mountains unready to receive these people, unable to produce enough food for them.”
Cousteau then proceeds to the grim finale: “Packed together on various highlands, starving, subject to bizarre storms and diseases, with families and societies totally disrupted, what is left of mankind begins to suffer from anoxia—lack of oxygen—caused by the extinction of plankton algae and the reduction of land vegetation. Pinned in the narrow belt between dead seas and sterile mountain-slopes man coughs out his last moments in unutterable agony. Maybe thirty to fifty years after the ocean has died the last man on earth takes his own last breath. Organic life on the planet is reduced to bacteria and a few scavenger insects.”
Man being what he is, however, this warning and other similar ones being sounded today will go unheeded as money-mad humans continue their headlong dash to disaster. As Jehovah said long ago: “It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step,” and it will take Jehovah himself to step in and stop “those ruining the earth.”—Jeremiah 10:23; Revelation 11:18.