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The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean's Are One

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  972 ratings  ·  92 reviews
A Silent Spring for our era, this eloquent, urgent, fascinating book reveals how just 50 years of swift and dangerous oceanic change threatens the very existence of life on Earth. Legendary marine scientist Sylvia Earle portrays a planet teetering on the brink of irreversible environmental crisis.

In recent decades we’ve learned more about the ocean than in all previous hum
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by National Geographic (first published January 1st 2009)
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Deborah Ideiosepius
In The World is Blue, Sylvia Earle draws upon her formidable experience of marine exploration to describe the vital role oceans play in the life support system that is the earth. Sylvia has had the most amazing life: Explorer-in-residence for the National Geographical Society, Recipient of the TED prize, marine biologist since the 60's and with an amazing list of submersible deep sea dives, she has a wealth of knowledge and experience that she brings to this book.

This is, I believe, one of the m
Jul 27, 2014 rated it liked it
I almost feel bad not giving it 5 stars as I am a marine scientist myself, and I have grown up loving Earle and all the work she has done for ocean conservation. But I'd rather recommend watching her documentary "Mission Blue". It's pretty much the exact same thing as this book, but a little more engaging as you get to see with your own eyes what's really going on.
This book is still good for everybody to read, although it does get a bit dry and slow at times. She covers a lot, A LOT, of crucial
A good place to start to develop a basic vocabulary and to learn about some organizations that describe and protect oceans and oceanlife.
Robin Tierney
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Should be required reading in public schools and college courses, So much insight, so timely, critical and clearly and pleasantly shared by unsurpassed ocean/marine life researcher Sylvia Earle. What's going on, what's nearly gone, what we can do as individuals (consumers) and nations.

Some random notes:
The World is Blue
How Our Fate and the Ocean’s Are One

Sylvia Earle

97% of Earth is oceans. They are the planet’s life-support system.

Plankton produce oxygen

Mariana Trench deepest part of ocean 7 mil
Experience Life
May 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
No matter how far inland we live, a single kind of blue-green algae in the ocean (Prochlorococcus) produces the oxygen in one of every five breaths we take. The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean’s Are One is full of similar facts, illustrating the oceans’ critical importance to human survival and making their protection a very personal matter indeed.

Author Sylvia Earle is one of the world’s most renowned marine scientists, and her efforts to make ocean health personal are provoked by the
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Sylvia Earle is a familiar figure in the world of oceanography, thanks to her TED talks, National Geographic specials, and countless publications and lectures. Now well into her 70's, she's been at the business of studying the oceans and their denizens for a very long time.

This book is a very wide-ranging survey about what ails the oceans and, to some degree, what we can do about it.

What ails the oceans is pretty clear to those who care to know. It's also a pretty depressing picture, though it
Juliana Philippa
Watched documentary "Mission Blue" (highly recommend!! can stream on Netflix). Can't wait to read this book. ...more
Leo Robertson
May 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Large pockets of intrigue but a bit dry and list-y at times.
Aug 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Sylvia A. Earle is the Rachel Carson of the oceans.

In this book, she shows us what we have done to the state of our oceans and how we can help restore it to what it is supposed to be like. There are admittedly many statistics in this book, but Earle’s wealth of experience over her 40 years of work really add to story - all her anecdotes of diving, manning a submersive explorer for two weeks, her first experiences of seeing the creatures at enormous depths under the ocean are all incredibly pers
Dec 19, 2011 rated it liked it
The natural world needs spokespeople to stand up to the interests that have abused it in our modern industrial society. We all contribute to that abuse, some a little bit more than others, but very few people really fight the fight that is needed to make even a little positive contribution. Sylvia Earle is probably the leading and most successful fighter for the health of our planet's oceans. Her book is very eye opening as it describes the importance of the oceans and their ecosystems in sustai ...more
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
You’ll never look at a tuna roll the same way after reading Sylvia Earle’s The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean’s Are One. This book gave me a fresh perspective of how Earth’s oceans make life on this planet possible for humans and every other living thing.

The Bottom Line

Earle’s love of oceans and ocean creatures is evident on every page. Her writing style is easy to read and understand. Problems, issues, and solutions are presented in a straight forward manner.

It was shocking to realiz
Andrew Blok
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you want to read a straightforward, accessible, and informative run down of the ways we've run down the ocean's integrity, populations of wildlife, and, most alarmingly, its ability to sustain the world as it has for the duration of this planet's existence, you ought to read this book. With more experience that it seems any one person should have, Sylvia Earle is an authority that's hard to quibble with when it comes to matters of the ocean. In The World is Blue she walks with you through the ...more
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I gave this a 4 because I didn't want to hurt its rating; This is a well-written and important book and it deserves to be read. We all deserve to know this information. Society and the planet deserve people that know the information within this book. I'm happy I read it, but I didn't always find it easy to get through. Not just because it makes me so depressed to know how poorly humans treat our home and the creatures that live alongside us, but also because I wasn't always drawn in by the autho ...more
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another inspiring read from one of my scientific heroes

Dr. Earle's "Sea Change" was my introduction to her passionate writings about the oceans. This is another gem to add to her canon. I have to admit, it took me a long time to read, mostly because it's almost a decade old and it's chronicles of environmental damage obviously did not account for all that has come after, such as the Deep water Horizon oil spill in 2010. It also doesn't account for the progress and environmental legacy of the Oba
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The author, Sylvia A. Earle, is a National Geographic Explorer in Residence, and I was fortunate enough to find out about her via a Blue Planet episode and also a course featured on Great Courses Plus. She is fantastic and so very knowledgeable, becoming interested in the ocean and diving at a very young age. I learned so much about the ocean and its relation to our planet and how important it is to preserve it for our survival over the next generation. This book also includes a TED talk she gav ...more
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ok here's the thing. I can't read this book. I am well versed in the plight of the earth's natural resources. I know of all the ways in which different policies are created to let both sides of the conservation issue be resolved. So nothing is this book was surprising me rather it was having the opposite effect. So I think it's better for my mental health if I don't continue with this book.
However, given the issues going on with the science community. Given the state of the earth I rate this bo
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sylvia Earle has the ability to spark a change in how we view this world both on the land and on, in, and under the seas. Her passion for oceanic preservation is contagious and her easy to access (while still being scientific enough to lend credibility) writing style allows the reader to fully engage with and understand her arguments. Once you’ve read this book it will be difficult to drink from a plastic bottle or eat seafood without thinking about the impact your actions have on the ocean and, ...more
By The Cover
Nov 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Completely brilliant, marvelous and wonderful! Dr. Earle is a powerful voice. The way she tells the facts makes you think but also makes you hope and love

I gave this 4.5 stars for 2 minimal reasons. The first is that there’s a sizable section that talks about submarines and sea exploration and I guess I don’t understand why it’s there? The second is because this isn’t a usual genre for me and I took 2 years to read this book (so happy I finished it). So I really can’t call this one one of my fav
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for anyone interested in climate change

Half of CO2 emissions go into the atmosphere and the other half goes into the ocean. The resulting acidification waters upended intricate ecosystems, wiping out several species.
And yet there are powerful voices, many of them female, like the incomparable marine biologist, Sylvia Earle, calling mankind's attention to what needs to be done to save most of the surface of Earth, which happens to be covered with water. A must-read for anyone interest
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a valuable book, especially for those who deny climate change and man’s impact on the earth, but also a tough read because it’s depressing to think of all we have already lost. Nevertheless, Earle offers hope for the future if we all commit to a more sustainable lifestyle - and perhaps stop putting money first - and shows how there are committed people on the front lines researching and showing us how to do better for us and our fellow creatures.
Robby Purnomo
Jan 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book really open my perspective. I always aware about the environment. However, I never really know how bad it is particularly the ocean. As the most part of earth, most of the ocean still indiscoverable but it is already suffered from the human behavior. Since I started read this book, my concern about my surround environment is increase and started to act to save the earth for the next generation
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
excellent book! Learned a ton of new insights on the importance of our oceans. This book, being published in 2009, I am afraid is not up-to-date and more. The world has moved on and I am afraid the situation is worse today than it was 10 years ago. Still, a must-read for everyone concerned about the blue in our dot in the universe.
Magdalena Payne
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic book drawing upon Sylvia Earle's extensive experience of marine research and conservancy - she manages to make the furthest reaches of the high seas and ocean depths accessible to the ordinary person. See the blue world through her eyes - despite the current unprecedented destruction of marine populations and habitats she still manages to breathe hope and share a message of change. ...more
May 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
One of the consequences of studying complexity in economics iris taking a broader look at the total environment in which economic activities take place

This book provides a different perspective upon the interconnectedness of human a activities in the total environment. Externalities need to be rethought.
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fortunate to meet Sylvia Earle, I could hear her gentle, enlightened voice through each page of this remarkable book. We have so many resources about needing to learn of and care for our environment, and this should be at the top of many people's piles. ...more
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

“The World Is Blue” is a shocking work with a strong educational purpose aimed toward its readers. Learning about what’s going on in our ocean is a humbling and terrifying thing that instills a need for change within the reader.
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
💧Pairs well with: Tall glass of reclaimed, ice water, and grilled tilapia.
🐠If you’re in the mood for: Exploring our oceans, learning of marine wild life, seeking answers to a more sustainable relationship with our planet.
🌏Side effects: You will be more mindful of your footprint, may give up shrimp and other commercially caught fish.
“No water, no life. No blue, no green.”
“In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create, but by what we refuse to destroy.” - Joh
Joaquín G Alé
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An uncomfortable truth everyone should know. We all should have notions on what impact our actions have so we can choose wisely. As Sylvia said " I have to do something, because I know too much". ...more
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Took me a while to get through but so worth it
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love how she not-so-subtly makes fun of humans. That was my favorite part. However, it was a little dry at times, causing me to skim. That is the only reason it is four stars, and not five.
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Sylvia A. Earle is an American oceanographer, aquanaut, and author.

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