"We have to do everything possible, and we have to do it now."There's a decent chance you've heard of Sylvia Earle, the author of that talk, but it's quite possible you haven't, because in this culture oceanographers aren't astronauts; even a great scientist who's led at least 50 expeditions and spent more than 6,000 hours underwater is never going to have the name recognition of a Buzz Aldrin. And that priority gap is reflected pretty sharply in funding, too. As another marginally famous ocean explorer, Bob Ballard, commented in an earlier TED talk, "NASA's annual budget to explore the heavens . . . would fund the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's budget to explore the oceans for 1,600 years."