Every human need for the future -- fresh water, food, energy, medicine, security, and psychological renewal -- is dependent on a healthy, sustainable world ocean. The ocean is our cure. Why would we destroy it?
Now that the 15 year global warming "pause" is confirmed dead, it is fascinating, if at times painful, to look back at the sharp disagreements among important scientific figures in the climate community.
Increasingly, our compassionate acts are like band aids, more temporary and less effective every year. How else can we use our humanity to magnify our efforts, to change the trajectory of the destruction of our children, our future?
With Congressional partisanship reaching unprecedented levels and science too frequently under attack from a vocal minority, it's all the more vital to stand up for the basic idea that our choices should be informed by the best evidence and data available.
Must the destruction be measured only in massive political disruption? Or gross national product? Or vast economic loss? Or untenable cost of reconstruction? Or numbers of people killed or driven from their homes, never to return?
I sign all my email messages with the phrase, "The sea connects all things." What interests me is that the responses don't necessarily indicate agreement or understanding of what is a powerful, certain declaration. What does the sentence actually mean?
Here's a surprising thought to consider: unlike any other place on earth, a vast portion of the ocean remains outside the limits of national jurisdiction, the 15 to 200 mile territorial extension of proprietary rights that frequently overlap.
By joining these organizations and collectivizing concern and financial capacity, some steps can be effectively taken, but when the effect is calculated today through connection to and awareness of specific ocean issues, the outcome is wanting, almost negligible.
During the Pacific Island Forum, Australia, New Zealand and 13 Heads of State from other Pacific nations made a landmark declaration -- calling for the full phase-out of greenhouse gas pollution, acknowledging that current efforts to tackle climate change are insufficient.
Today we live with the weather as never before. The news is continuously driven not just by more sophisticated forecast but by the consequences of weather far beyond nearby locale, indeed the world over.
Whether the people of the Marshall Islands and many other Small Island States will ultimately be forced by climate change to leave their homes in search of higher and safer ground, depends largely on the actions we take -- the decisions that governments make -- in the next few years.