The Pumping Heart

The earth’s climatic patterns are governed by a powerful engine known as the ‘ocean conveyor’, where warm surface water and colder currents at the bottom of the ocean link in a huge figure-of-eight shaped loop. It re-distributes heat from the equator to the poles via prevailing winds and ocean currents in a natural and perpetual rhythmic movement.[1] 
     Under normal conditions the two streams of water work in synergy, each pushing and pulling a steady flow of cold salty currents upwards, while warm surface currents, replenished by water flowing into the sea via rivers, is pushed downwards for absorption.

    But conditions are not normal...

     The network of oceans – the planet’s largest heat sink – absorb, store and slowly releases heat. They act as a buffer both against the heat emanating from the earth’s core and C02 in the atmosphere. 

    However,nowadays,as a result of the vastly decreased number of glaciers,90% of the sun’s rays no longer bounce back into space to disperse through the earth’s atmospheric zone. This causes the ice-caps to melt at an increasing pace, and it is the oceans that now absorb the excess heat from the sun’s rays.

    Melting glaciers contribute to the raising of sea levels; our polluted rivers no longer bring fresh water into the oceans, and the increasing level of toxic waste dumped into our arterial waterways pollutes and destroys marine life. Hence the balance of warm and cold currents in the oceans is affected, the activity of the conveyor loop becomes distorted and climatic patterns begin to act and impact on the earth in ways we do not want.
    Exactly like the ‘ocean conveyor’, the heart is the engine that pumps blood plasma, the fluid that sustains our life and contains about 92% water, around the body in a figure-of-eight movement. The human pump pushes oxygenated blood to various organs in one direction and pulls deoxygenated blood away, directing it to the lungs for cleansing and recirculation.

   It all works as one smooth circular flow; when any aspect of the process goes out of balance, the whole body is impacted. 

    Internally, the human body requires balance between its unpolluted, freshly oxygenated blood – the body’s equivalence of clean water – and the effective removal of de-oxygenated or polluted water. Externally the ‘ocean conveyor’, the circulatory engine or power station of the earth, maintains balance between the intake of fresh clean surface water and the dispersal of salty water.

    What is the effect on weather systems as the ocean conveyor belt is swamped with quantities of cholesterol from oil spills, and prevailing winds carry poisonous gases and toxic fumes from burning swathes of crude oil, into the atmosphere?

     How long can the earth’s various eco-systems tolerate that treatment? Is there a tipping point?

    Once our heart – the powerhouse of the human body – gets diseased, radical surgery and a change of lifestyle will buy us more time; but what do we do when the ocean conveyor belt - the arterial pump of the earth, begins to malfunction?  In either case it is only a matter of time before we are on the way out[2].

[1] An Inconvenient Truth, DVD presentation by Al Gore.

[2] According to The British Heart Foundation heart and circulatory diseases cause more than 1 in 3 of all deaths in the UK at an estimated cost of £30 billion to the economy.

Diseases of the heart are the most common form of death in the USA and Australia.

Research conducted at the Eduard Mondlane University in Mozambique indicate that heart failure in sub-Saharan Africa, predominantly caused by hypertension, affects individuals almost 20 years earlier than it does those in industrialized nations.


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