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TED on Sunday: Sylvia Earle on Saving the 'Blue Heart' of the Planet

April 12, 2009

Fifty years ago, as Rachel Carson was giving voice to a fledgling environmental movement, few people thought that humans could do irreparable harm to something as vast as the oceans. But, says famed deep-sea explorer and ocean researcher Sylvia Earle, that is precisely what we have done. Today, more than 90 percent of the big fish species have been eaten; more than half the planet's coral reefs have disappeared; hundreds of millions of tons of plastic are discarded in the sea every year, clogging the planet's circulatory system and poisoning our most important life support system. In this eloquent, beautifully filmed talk -- a TED Prize winner at this year's conference -- Earle reminds us that without healthy oceans, there can be no health, or, ultimately, survival for the human species. No water, no life; no blue, no green. (Filmed: February 2009. Running Time: 18:16.)

-- Mitch Nauffts

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