World Ocean Observatory founder to speak

BAR HARBOR — Peter Neill, the director and founder of the World Ocean Observatory, will be at the Jesup Memorial Library on Thursday, July 14, at 7 p.m. to discuss why the ocean matters and how its sustainability and careful use can establish a new perspective on adaptation to a changing climate.

Neill’s “The Once and Future Ocean” aspires to do nothing less than transform our relationship with the world’s most promising and imperiled natural element: the ocean, which he argues is essential for all aspects of human survival in the 21st century.

Neill believes that there should be a fundamental shift directed toward the creation of a new hydraulic society where water will determine how we live. Neill argues that the threats facing us are real and the consequences devastating if we continue to use the same systems. The ocean, he said, is where we must go for fresh water, food, energy, health, protection from extreme weather, political stability, community development and personal renaissance. He calls for a new system of valuation and offers concrete examples of technologies and applications that already exist but have been suppressed by our complacency.

Bill McKibben, author of “Eaarth” and founder of said, “we live on an ocean planet, though most of us rarely remember it; that blindness is one of the reasons we’ve stood by as the seas acidified, one of the great environmental crises in human history.”

Neill is the founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory, a web-based place of exchange about the ocean and its relation to climate, fresh water, food, energy, health, security, economic development, policy, governance and cultural traditions. He is author of three novels and several books on maritime art, history and literature, and the ongoing podcast, World Ocean Radio. Visit

Books will be on sale at the Jesup that night, with a percentage of sales donated to the Jesup. Sherman’s and Machias Savings Bank are co-sponsors of this event.

Contact the Jesup at 288-4245 or [email protected].

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