Dimitri Ouvre,spear fishing, St Barth. No trawling, no longline, no dynamite, no bycatch. Photo:Laurel
7. Proliferate less
Crowds. No surfer likes them, chiefly because they can tend to hinder his or her wave count, and that’s no fun. But on a global level, thinking about the health of the planet, there are possibly even more serious consequences than your wave count being reduced… with about 7 billion of us already, there are probably too many people on Earth for it to function healthily. Not only are they stealing your waves but they are breathing your air, eating your bread, pissing in your water supply and pooing in your latrine.
But what can you do? Breed less? Well, it mightn’t be such a bad idea. China’s one child policy is pretty controversial, as indeed is eugenics, and various other ‘designer baby’ propositions. But as a general rule, you could wear a sheath. You could do it up the bum, or in the ear, these are reliable methods of preventing conception.
Aside from sexual practices denounced by the Pope and his 1.2 billion flock (who think Aids is bad, but not as bad as condoms), the only real practical advice you can put to use today is to think of yourself as part of the problem. ‘You’ are the ‘they’. Crowds, in the surfer’s mind tradi- tionally, are viewed as ‘everybody else, except me’. You might use a re-think there. Think of yourself as definitely another burden on a finite resource, be that resource breaking waves, water, oxygen, hell even peace and quiet. You’re just another exhaust pipe, in an atmosphere already choking on them.
You might not save the planet as such, today, but you might walk another few hundred yards and paddle out at another, empty peak, rather than the one in front with fifteen choads already out. And that can only be a good thing for the universe.