I'm new to diving but not to this planet nor my love of it's oceans. I started diving not only to connect more with the world around me but also in the hopes of making a positive difference. I have the greatest respect for those who work tirelessly, often under extreme circumstances, to do this work.
Beginning my diving experience, I was overjoyed and felt comfortable knowing that the organization I was going through, PADI, encouraged these efforts. The day I became OW Certified I immediately joined the Society in an effort to become more involved myself. Having no resources, the little I'm able to do is make an effort to pick up as much trash as possible that litters our beaches during every dive.
But honeymoons always end and I see this with diving as well. Although, instead of becoming disenheartend, I've become more amped to make a positive influence. You may be asking what has prompted this writing and how it correlates to the title.
My first issues of Sports Diver Magazine arrived the other day. I was anxiously flipping through the pages and reading all the tidbits that caught my eye; especially those relating to the conservation of this underwater environment I've come to call home. There were many Project Aware ads and articles on how to get involved (thus, my immediately signing up on this site today). So far, so good. Until I came to the end of the magazine.
Emblazoned on the back cover was a full page ad for being an oil rig diver. Yes, people need to work (and there are big bucks in this particular kind of work). Most of us, as divers, also seek adventure; which this provides. I don't blame anyone for going into this type of work. What I do, however, have a problem with is PADI accepting funds from oil companies. Those that choose to work on an oil rig have plenty of other resources to get information on how to do so.
This transcends political boundaries. We are all aware of the effect that this type of drilling has on our environment and the disasters it creates, whether we want to admit it or not. As paying members, we should all be outraged. This, in no way on PADI's part, shows a true commitment to preserving our oceans and the life which thrives because of them; humanity being one of millions. Our membership should be going toward conservation efforts, education and how to be a better and more responsible diver. None of which can compare to the money big oil is spending to perpetuate their goals; with the end result being the destruction of this environment.