I wasn’t born a tree hugger.
I was late to this party, showing up now after everyone started, playing “green scene” catch-up and just trying to hang with the enviro-cool kids. But I was born by the beach, and therefore, saddled with a lifelong love of all things aquatic. As a kid I sported pruny fingers from hours of swimming off the Rockaways in New York City. Getting older, and bolder, my love of the water had me venturing out into the icy February surf to ride the winter waves. As an adult (or at least a convincing imposter) I’ve realized the need to care for, stand for, and fight for what you love. So I’m fighting for the ocean, now.
Our world has a problem. As Thomas Friedman wrote, our earth is getting hot, flat, and crowded. Global climate change is a real and imminent threat to every aspect of our lives. The evidence is everywhere. Ice sheets are shrinking. Sea levels are rising. Oceans are warming and becoming more acidic. Global temperature is rising. Extreme weather events are becoming more common.[Don’t believe me? Ask a rocket scientist!]. As a society we’ve allowed ourselves to indulge in and perpetuate unsustainable behaviors: be it our addiction to fossil fuels, the industrialization of our agriculture, the contamination of our clean air, or the pollution of our seas.
This isn’t a Republican or a Democratic issue. This isn’t even an American issue. Global climate change is just that - GLOBAL. But North America, one region in a world of seven billion people, takes the cake for disproportionate bad habits. The U.S. and Canada make up about 5% of the worlds population, yet we are the culprits for 31.5% of the worlds total consumption. The equation is simple: we have an exploding population and limited resources. We are reaching the end of the rope, fast.
We simply cannot continue our wasteful ways. Americans recycle less than one third of their garbage. And guess where all that junk ends up? Landfills, which can pollute our groundwater and release toxic fumes. Or worse still, it ends up in the ocean. There is a giant trash ball the size of Texas floating in our seas. [Seriously.] And that junk is going to live a lot longer than the people who put it there, a few generations longer, infact.
The health of our earth influences the health of everyone. We are the first generation whose life expectancy and quality are expected to be worse than the previous one’s. But doing good things for ourselves will create more good things. Example: riding a bike instead of driving. Exercise, check. Clean transportation, check. Money saving, check. Ecological friendly behaviors aren’t just a trend; they’re good for you, your neighbor, and your country.
The solution is simple, but getting there will be difficult. For The Ocean is a call to protect our planet by our own individual choices, as well as asking our political leaders to take action NOW. I’m here to provide insightful information into environmental issues ranging from the food on our table to the fuel in our tanks. I welcome comments, critiques, and constructive criticism.
Check back in for environmental news, commentary, book reviews, and calls to action. If you just can’t wait, start fighting water pollution now by signing an online petition. Its amazing how little actions can make a huge difference! FIGHT FOR THE OCEAN, NOW!