Monday, August 07, 2017

Chasing Coral

We watched Chasing Coral on Netflix a few days ago. And it is scary. Scarier than Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth (Although I hear there is a sequel, so that will be one to watch out for). Scarier? Why? Because it shows you what's already happening,  the coral reefs around the world are dying because the sea temperature continues to go up, leading to coral bleaching and death of a whole ecosystem. Coral reefs hold 25% of the oceans' fish. And when the reefs die, the fish die too. A bit like having the whole Amazonian forest disappearing. And worse in a way, because most people don't have any idea what it's like, and probably don't care.
I just find it so sad that my young nephew will probably never get the chance to snorkel over the reef and see turtles, black-tip sharks and eagle rays swimming all around him. I know that many people have never had the luck to see this alien world on our blue planet, but believe me, it's amazing. There is nothing to prepare you for the feeling you get when you swim over the reef for the first time, and it's like you're floating in space. Or when you swim out of the lagoon and find yourself face to face with an eagle ray, who is as surprised as you are to see you there. Or the pure joy of snorkelling in a shoal of blue triggerfish.

Chasing Coral is basically showing how quickly that whole world is dying. And given how little our politicians, or most people for that matter, care about climate change, I'm not seeing a happy ending, unless we wake up and start taking action. There was a scene in the movie where the crew are filming on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. And when they come up to the surface to the base they've rented for the duration, it's a party platform where young people are drinking, dancing and flirting, with absolutely no interest in the reef itself. I found that scene so sad. Our world is dying and the generation who will be affected by it don't know and don't care.

Now, I'm not perfect. Despite my effort to walk rather than drive to the local shop, to eat less meat, to recycle and avoid unnecessary consumption, I found that my environmental footprint was 176% of the UK average!! Too many flights this year! But at least now I know, and I can try and do something about it. Why don't you try out the footprint calculator and see what your impact on climate change is, and what steps you can take to make our world a better place, a place where the next generation will be able to live, and maybe enjoy a swim/dance with all the exotic fishes on a coral reef somewhere.

Because let's face it, who wants to live on Mars?

1 comment:

  1. My footprint was 119 and I never go anywhere!!!