© 2019 text and photos: Bogdan Kladnik & friends 


Čižmanova 6, 1211 Ljubljana, Slovenia 


We eat cookies while in Europe - and pancakes in the rest of the World. Keep them in dry place if possible.


Bogdan KLADNIK, Slovenia

I wrote this text in 2011. It is even more concerning today, as it was back then.

The Mediterranean sea is the biggest ecological problem in the world.

Pride, prejudice or just a false statement from someone who is a guardian and lover

of Nature?

First I have to admit something to you:
I am not a chemist, I am not a biologist, I am not a geographer, not an ecologist.
And I’m not an expert on global warming (I'm the best not ever:).

Nevertheless, I am not without knowledge and experience. In the last 39 years I have explored caves, mountains, gorges, springs and waterfalls, photographed and filmed movies, written and published 66 books on nature, read dozens of articles, talked with hundreds of people – and during those 39 years I have seen with my own eyes the continuous and relentless pollution of water in many countries.

And finally I have connected numerous indisputable facts.

Last summer I sat in front of a huge wall map of the Mediterranean (yes, you read correctly – not looking at Google maps on the tiny screen of a mobile phone, but in front of a huge old map, like we used to have once upon a time in schools)  and I remembered all the horrible scenes of polluted rivers which we saw while traveling through the Balkans with the Young Guardians. Then it struck me:

The Mediterranean sea is the biggest ecological problem in the world!

At first you will think: Nonsense! Everybody says it is China, and this is thousands of kilometres away.
The Mediterranean is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world. Even last year we swam in crystal clear water around the Croatian islands and ate fresh calamari …
Maybe this is true but I am afraid that it will not be true for much longer.

Now we have arrived at the point where, to understand better what I have been writing about, you should  watch the scary movie by Srboljub Pešić TUŽNA MORAVA, or at least listen to our song WILL YOU JOIN US (which you will find on Young Guardians).

Once you have done this, please return immediately to this site and read on.

So do you understand more clearly what I am writing about now?
Also look at this map (OK it’s rather old, but the continents and oceans are still in the same place, and the rest doesn’t concern us now).

Tell me: Can you find anywhere in the world a sea which is smaller and more enclosed than the Mediterranean?

Actually you can. That is the Baltic sea which is fortunate not to be surrounded by the Mediterranean countries (for this purpose I include the Black sea in the Mediterranean).

The smallness and enclosed nature of the Mediterranean is it’s biggest problem (apart of the obvious pollution of course).
Nowhere else can you find such an enclosed sea, nowhere else can you find in one geographical location so many different countries, so many nations, so many religions and so many different political systems all crowded together.

And nowhere else has so much industrial pollution been poured into the water and nowhere else for such a long period of time as in the Mediterranean.

I am quite aware that that the problems in other oceans (because of all the pollution from the USA, India, China, Brazil …) are as great, if not greater than in the Mediterranean.
But the size of these oceans is so great that the consequences will become apparent later.

And why does (almost) nobody recognize the Mediterranean as a huge problem?
In the last few months I have tried to verify my hypothesis by asking different nationalities the same question:
”What is your first impression when I mention the word Mediterranean?”
Their answers like: ”ahh holidays, warm sea, Sardinia, beautiful Croatian beaches, Crete …” were somehow expected.

And why did nobody mention the polluted sea, dirty beaches and poisoned fish?
People are predictable. It’s easier to think on beautiful things and to forget the bad.
Because otherwise we would have to deal with them.
And that is difficult.
It’s easier to think about nothing or focus only on beautiful things.
It’s easier to survive like this.

Survive? Yes we will, but what about our children? You see, this last question concerns me.
I am afraid that in this time when everything is changing so quickly, when governments and economies are falling apart, when major and minor wars are being fought – and while water still flows from our pipes – the question of clean water will be one of our last priorities.

Until it will be too late.
By this time all our water will be contaminated (think about the fact that only 10% of the water from the Alpine rivers is still ecologically intact) and the rest will be owned by multinational companies.

To illustrate my concerns about this problem at least watch the trailer of this movie (1,34 min):
“Bottled Life – The Truth about Nestle’s Business with Water”

Why this huge change in civilization should take place precisely in this tiny boiling pot, in this centre of the Earth (Medi-Terra) where great civilizations (and great Wars) were born – why this transformation in our minds and our actions that only from here can we disseminate (copy paste for computer freaks) to the whole world – I will tell you some other time …

Bogdan Kladnik

Ljubljana, 12.12.2011