We spend a lot of our time showcasing the extraordinary wonders of Knysna’s marine environment and sharing the incredible wild encounters that we so fortunate to experience on daily basis. But for today, in honour of World Oceans Day 2019, we are shifting focus. Why? Because we know that there has never been a more appropriate time in the history of mankind than NOW, to shine the spotlight on the current state of our oceans – our planet’s life-giving force.
Oceans around the world are in serious trouble and the rich kaleidoscope of life which it sustains is collapsing fast. But you probably already know this, because it’s everywhere; on the news, across social media, on wildlife documentaries. Everyone with access to the internet knows that the our oceans are crying. We desperately need to shift the status quo.
There does appear to be a slight shift in consciousness. There are positive environmental stories happening all over world as I write this. Humanity may finally be waking up from its collective zombie-like state. Waking up to the fact that our mindless, consumer-obsessed lifestyles are having rather disagreeable consequences – and not just for the thousands of animal species teetering on the brink of extinction. Nope, it turns out, according to a UN report on the state of the planet, the human species could also be heading up shit creek. Because as we know, in the natural world, everything is connected. The natural order of things is totally out of whack and we have only ourselves to blame. After years of unabated environmental anarchy, we are starting to take stock of the damage done. Is this the Oprah AHA! moment we needed to realise what we have done to the planet.
The health of our planet, or rather its ill-health, is without a doubt THE major issue of our times. We are standing at crossroads, poised at a crucial moment in time where things could go badly south, or, together (despite the odds stacked against us), we could help reverse the effects of climate change and restore the health of the oceans and the entire natural world. Nature has enormous capacity for healing, but it needs our help. We are running out of time. We must act now.
Why the health of our Earth’s Blue Heart is so damn important:
- The ocean produces over half of the world’s oxygen.
- The oceans are by far the largest carbon sink in the world. But they are absorbing less carbon-dioxide as marine systems change. Some 93 percent of carbon dioxide is stored in algae, vegetation, and coral under the sea. But oceans are not able to absorb all of the carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels.
- Climate regulation: Covering 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, the ocean transports heat from the equator to the poles. These ocean currents govern the world’s weather and churn a wondrous web of life.
Our oceans are dying. Overfishing, pollution, rising sea temperatures and plastic pollution pose a serious risk to the future survival of the planet. No matter where you are in the world, you will be affected.
Things won’t get better fast if only a select few tree-hugging, ocean loving, vegan-touting hipsters jump on the bandwagon to do their bit for the environment. It will take a monumental shift in our global society to make a difference. We ALL need to be mindful about how our daily lifestyle choices impact the planet.
What YOU can do, starting today, to turn the tide:
- Eat less fish. And make sure if you do eat fish, it is from a reliable, sustainable source.
- STOP buying bottled drinking water. Buy a filter, buy a reusable bottle and never buy bottled water again. It is that simple.
- Avoid single use plastic.
- Take reusable bags to the store.
- Say no to straws and balloons. Seriously.
- Pick up the litter you see on the beach.
- Lead by example. Spread the word about how to save the planet.
- Organise Beach Clean Ups.
- Cut your personal carbon footprint.
Be the change you want to see in the world. Stand with