Sylvia Earle fell in love with deep sea when women were discouraged from pursuing higher education. Sylvia Earle has earned the title of Her Deepness and rightly so. She has explored the deep sea for 50 years but the lockdown has forced her to confinement. With her 85th birthday around the corner, Sylvia Earle delved into factors like conservation, reflection and life in an interview with National Geography’s Kate Furby.
Library of Congress recognized as her “Living Legend”. Sylvia Earle was also Time magazine’s first ‘Heroes for the Planet’. Sylvia Earle has been a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence since 1998
Sylvia Earle ’s life- Year 1966, Earle earned her Ph.D. in phycology. In 1970 Sylvia Earle became the first to be an ‘aquanaut’ and conducted 50 feet underwater research as a part of Tektite II project. Due to her immense attachment to the ocean, Sylvia Earle became attached to the protection and preservation of life under the sea along with numerous research programs. Sylvia Earle also authored several books and established Mission Blue
Sylvia Earle owing to her writing skill hopes to finish the 10th chapter of her book this quarantine. She in fact believes it to be her great present for 85th birthday!
When the Kate Furby asked her how Sylvia Earle was coping with quarantine, considering her life was so full of exploration, Sylvia gave an enlightening reply about how lockdown is the time for hitting the pause button. The book Sylvia Earle is writing is an opportunity for her to look back on her and her colleagues’ experiences
“There are a couple of scientists who refer to this as the Andropause. I mean, the cause of it is bad, but the time to reflect, to take it all in—when you’re moving at high speed, as I’ve been for the past several years, on the road constantly, without the gift of time—to just sit back and put the pieces together.”
Her insight on misusing sea and ocean for our selfish needs is the reality and in fact, probes us to question what is clearly wrong.
“Why not treat it [the ocean] as if our life depends on keeping it safe—because actually it does. Why do we think that we have the wisdom, the authority, to tear it up for the gain of a few countries, a few companies, a few individuals who will get very rich very fast at the cost of everyone else? This should not be acceptable; 2020 is a very big year for many reasons”.
In fact, as the interview unfolded further, Sylvia revealed that not being underwater is making her take frequent showers as “Dry rot is a terrible thing”. She even jokingly suggested an underwater meeting!
“What do you see as the most critical step moving forward for ocean conservation?”, asked Furby.
Sylvia Earle said the questions like, how important ocean to us is or what use it can be to humanity can only be answered by awareness. Once people know what exactly oceans and seas provide us with, they would understand the damage we are causing to ourselves by ignoring the well being of seas. She praised National Geographic for providing people with knowledge so that they can make an enlightened choice. Social media is a great way to spread awareness.
She again, very beautifully answered the question, “What do you do if you lose hope?”
She says, there are enough problems in our lives to make us lose hope but if you love hope, it is over. The trick lies at knowing you will not give up without a fight. If you do, everything would automatically go downhill. She says this is not the only pandemic nature has faced. But it is definitely time to give nature a break.