By 2050, the world and its’ oceans may face irreversible damage due to climate change. That is according to a recent climate report by an Australian thinktank that suggests that a global temperature increase of 4℃ will result in a near-apocalyptic scenario1.
Read a related post: Environmental Volunteer Opportunities in NYC
“Oceans are really the best thermometer we have for changes in the Earth,” states Zeke Hausfather, an energy systems analyst at the independent climate research group Berkeley Earth2. This makes the world’s warming seawater ground zero for climate change scientists and activists who are lobbying politicians across the globe to embrace a carbon-neutral future.
In 2016, the world came together and signed to reduce the carbon footprint of industrial countries and protect vulnerable states. However, nearly 3-years after it was signed, support has begun to diminish as major industrial nations like the United States and Brazil have threatened to remove themselves from the agreement. Such a move would place the globe firmly on the path to the apocalyptic scenario outlined by the National Centre for Climate Restoration.
To protect the oceans, prevent increasingly violent storms, flooding, and the potential displacement of over a billion people, people around the world will need to work together to make their politicians understand that our carbon footprint is approaching catastrophic proportions. To join the fight against climate change, get involved with these three organizations.
Join the Fight to Protect the Oceans
Founded in 1971, Greenpeace has engaged in peaceful protest to fight the systems that destroy the environment. Currently, the organization is calling on the world’s corporations to reduce their plastic footprint. Over 12-million metric tons of plastic ends up in the ocean every year, killing all forms of marine life, and threatening every level of the ocean food chain.
Greenpeace has petitioned the CEOs of Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Unilever, Starbucks, Procter & Gamble, and McDonald's to phase out single-use plastic and save the oceans.
The organization has also taken a stand against overfishing and plans on establishing ocean sanctuaries in 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030. This process will help mitigate what scientists have named, “the worst wave of extinction facing the ocean since the dinosaur age3.”
Earth Day Network
Earth Day Network advocates for environmental justice and democracy year-round by working with policymakers to protect the environment, fight climate change, and inspire citizens to take action. From protecting North Atlantic right whales from seismic testing to saving the coral reefs, the organization is actively trying to save the world’s oceans.
Around the world coral reefs are increasingly endangered, threatening humans and other species who depend upon the reefs for survival. To help protect the reefs, Earth Day Network is calling on people across the globe to reduce their plastic consumption, petitioning sunscreen companies to remove the harmful chemical oxybenzone from their products, and stemming the use of toxic pesticides and fertilizers that lead to deadly runoff into the oceans.
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) recently approved permits that allow oil and gas companies to utilize seismic testing off the Atlantic coast. These coasts are home to the already critically endangered species, the North Atlantic right whale. The sonic sound waves emitted by seismic testing can cause disruptions in migratory patterns, result in loss of echolocation hearing, and even death. The organization has taken a stand with nine attorneys general from East coast states who have filed a lawsuit against the NMFS.
The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) was founded in 1970 by a group of law students and attorneys to ensure that all people have access to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. Since then they have become one of the country’s most prominent environmental activist groups and helped pass the first U.S. law to create a network of marine protected areas.
They are currently advocating for legislation to protect the seas from offshore drilling, plastic pollution, acidification, and commercial whaling. The organization has also collaborated with multiple government agencies to protect ocean ecosystems and develop a comprehensive strategy to protect America’s shores.
Supporting environmental advocates like the NRDC, Greenpeace, and Earth Day Network will help create and enforce legislation that will protect the oceans and prevent global temperatures from rising. Doing so will prevent over a billion people from being displaced by climate change and save the planet.
Subscribe to the NYXT newsletter
Learn about upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and new organizations looking for your help.