Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The Clipperton project and Island X

Last Friday, I invited Jonathan Bonfiglio (http://www.jonbonfiglio.com/) to speak to our L6th as part of the Sixth Form lecture program i organise. From his biography i knew that this talk would be fascinating as Jon's life path is anything but uniform: a teacher, a writer, a director and producer of plays, and now from one conversation he had a few years ago he is the driving force behind the Clipperton Project (http://www.clippertonproject.com/).

This project hopes to tackle the global issue of climate change and the direct and indirect impacts of global warming as well as globalisation in a completely different way.

As one of the lead researchers states:

“Clipperton is an oceanic laboratory.
 This is evidence of the state of the health of the oceans.
The Clipperton Project  voyage is an opportunity for amazing scientific and historical insight. ”
Jim Holm, The Clean Oceans Project

Everything is intriguing about this island (known as the Ile de la passion) , primarily because it is still relatively untouched and essentially a wilderness that interestingly still shows scars from humans who may never have set foot there. One of the aims of the project is to explore and investigate the impact of humans on isolated ecosystems, with the view that if damage is happening here (where there are no humans and arguably where few humans could survive), what damage are we doing to the ecosystems and habitats that we occupy or live next door to? The project seeks to tap into our global consciousness in a way that many environmental lobbyists have failed and hopefully look towards collaborative solutions and a way forward.

So if you are intrigued , like I was (and Jacques Cousteau), and want to be blown away by the fascinating and absorbing history of the island, and gain an overview of how humans are affecting the world on a global scale then take a look at the promo clip below and get researching:

Questions to consider, research and explore:

1. Why are the islands so controversial?
2. Is there such a thing as a pristine ecosystem left in the world?
3. To what extent should humans worry about the impacts 'we' are having on islands thousands of miles away?
4. How could the islands show evidence of global warming?
5. How does a freshwater pool of drinkable water exist in the middle of a coral atoll when seawater surrounds it?

As Cousteau commented:

"Here on Clipperton, creatures, including man, have little place. Yet by a harsh irony, man himself…is creating a world hostile to all but the hardiest species, a world hostile even to himself.’’

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