Gross encounter: diver meets giant loogie on National Geographic site.

Gross encounter: Scuba meets giant loogie on National Geographic site.

What’s it going to take to motivate people to change their ways, storm the ramparts, start a revolution or at least write their congressman once every couple of weeks on behalf of the planet we live on?

Maybe we have found the thing that will get people off their collective ass. I know that it moves me, and not in a pleasant way. In fact it disgusts the heck out of me.

I’m talking about sea snot. Giant blobs and loogies and amorphous islands of the stuff. It’s nasty and unhealthy and as much of a sign of illness as the kind that oozes from your sinus cavities. I first learned about it on the Rachel Maddow show and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind since. Kind of like a bad cold.

The scientific types are referring to it as “marine mucilage” and it consists of decaying matter from dead organisms and it carries nasty bacteria because it’s as sticky and gross as it looks in the videos you can find all over the web.

No surprise that it’s both a symptom of global warming of the oceans and a warning of just how gross, disgusting and lethal things will get if we don’t start getting very active about treating our environment better very, very soon. Like yesterday.

Remember The Blob? This is as stupid as the movie but it’s real and it’s not funny and it doesn’t even star Steve McQueen.

I have this religious thing about birds. When I go out and watch birds in their native habitat, I get this spiritual feeling, like the old Transcendentalists, Thoreau and Emerson used to talk about, how nature is the window on God, if there is one. If you think about it, treating nature like a toilet is shitting on God. Even if you’re an Atheist, you’ve got to agree that that’s not a great idea. If you’re a Satanist, I’m not talking to you anyway. Go play with your Dungeons and Dragons and read some Nietzsche or something.

Every spring I go see the whooping cranes off Rockport. It’s a miracle those creatures have survived everything we have done to the planet, and in particular, what we have inflicted upon this state in particular, where we seem to take pride in taking LAST place when it comes to education and health care and Numero Uno in spewing toxic pollutants into air, land and water. I see the whoopers there and I think, Gee, if they can survive, maybe I can do just about anything. I first had that thought when I was recovering from Stage 4 throat cancer. I still feel that. Maybe we can even save the world we live in.

There are gobs and gobs of sea snot links on the web. Go for it… if you dare… but be sure to write your Congressman and raise holy hell about sea snot, global warming, coal plants, gas guzzlers, the oil companies and everything else.

And while you’re surfing for sea snot, don’t be confused by the many sites devoted to the “snot green sea,” which is something else entirely, an allusion to James Joyce’s line about “the sea, the sea, the snot-green sea.” Not that there’s anything wrong with that line. I copped it myself in my song “(That Bitch) The Sea.” If you go to my Reverbnation page, you can play the song and download it until the sea-green-snot comes out of your ears. (be sure to turn off your pop-up blocker first).

Also, visit WCCA, the Whooping Crane Conservation Association.
National Geographic’s whooping crane page, with video.
National Wildlife Federation, on efforts to establish additional migrating flocks of whooping cranes.
International Crane Foundation, devoted to all species of cranes on the planet.

Last but should actually be first: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, which is the Whoopers’ mecca between October and April. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for information on boat tours and visiting the refuge to see the birds and other wildlife and nature.

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