image credit TED.com
As a coral reef ecologist, Jackson has traveled the world studying reefs. While studying in Jamaica, hurricane Alan came through and destroyed a large portion of the reef ecosystem.
"...And we thought well, we're real smart, we know that hurricanes have always happened in the past...And we predicted what would happen, and we got it all wrong...After a natural catastrophe like a hurricane, it used to be that there was some kind of successional sequence of recovery...What's going on now is that over fishing, pollution and climate change are all interacting in a way that prevents that."
What particularly caught my attention were the photos comparing sport fishing out of Key West, Florida from the 1950's and today. What's even more shocking are the photos from recent trawling sites, a type of fishing that can be compared to oceanic bulldozing.
"In the final analysis, the thing we really need to fix is ourselves. It's not about the fish, it's not about the pollution, it's not about the climate change. It's about us, and our greed, and our need for growth, and our inability to imagine a world which is different from the selfish world that we live in today. So the question is, will we respond to this, or not?"
Video here (Ted.com):