How is climate change affecting our oceans and how can we act?
A few weeks ago in the Soapbox Project membership community, we had a speaker come chat with us from the Marine Conservation Institute. Russell, who joined us for a fireside chat, gave a mind-boggling presentation that reminded us how little we think about the ocean when we have climate change conversations.
Russell from Marine Conservation said “it should really be called Planet Ocean, not Earth". One main issue on Planet Ocean is ocean acidification. The goal of this Action Pack is to get us to care more about what's going on under the sea. We have to internalize that the ocean matters; we have to think about it when we talk about how our climate is changing.
🎯 Action step 1 of 4: READ — Let's start by looking at a few articles together.
The bottom line: as climate change gets worse, so does ocean health. This is a massive problem, since most of our planet is… the ocean. Yay.
Most of the information below is pulled from this NASA Kids article. I chose this because everything else was honestly too overwhelming. So read the article and share it with your kids!
We can start discussing ocean acidification by answering four key questions.
1) What is ocean acidification?
2) How exactly is the ocean’s acidity changing?
3) Why does this matter?
4) What does climate change have to do with it?
In our LISTEN module next, we'll dive deeper into the relationship between climate change and ocean acidification.
👉🏾 Here’s the link to the article: https://climatekids.nasa.gov/acid-ocean/
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 1 of 4: READ.
🎯 Action step 2 of 4: LISTEN — we'll watch a short video or listen to a podcast to further expand on our topic.
Dr. Katherine Hayhoe, a phenomenal climate communicator and author of the recent book Saving Us, breaks down what exactly we're doing to the ocean through our industrial, global warming-causing activities. The 8-minute video is worth the watch, and a few takeaways are summarized below.
As we wrap up our LISTEN module, let's channel our anger/sadness/despair into action, coming up next.
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 2 of 4: LISTEN.
🎯 Action step 3 of 4: ACT — Now it's time to do something. Let's go!
Now that we learned about how climate change is destroying oceans and causing shellfish's shells to actually dissolve around them, it's time to use this sadness/anger and convert it into actions that bring us joy. Some ideas -
These are a lot of actions, but remember that the most important thing is doing the thing that works best for you!
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 3 of 4: ACT.
Before we go any further, it's time for you to pledge your commitment. It takes less than 30 seconds to pledge and we can bother you about it in a friendly way, so we can hold each other accountable. Pledge here!
🎯 Action step 4 of 4: REFLECT — what can you commit to? What fresh perspectives can we look at?
I wanted to revisit Seafood Watch from the Monterey Bay Aquarium from our ACT module. Many readers wrote in saying that this was the action that resonated the most, since food is central to our lives.
Seafood Watch is basically a portal for all things sustainable seafood. It’s SO fascinating, even for me, a non-meat/seafood eater. I’ve spent hours on it already.
Here are three key things I’m learning that are relevant as we reflect on our ocean-related habits. One member, Jamie, asked if anything we’re doing is actually making a difference to something as vast as the ocean, and in my opinion, the push for sustainable seafood is one of the big things we CAN do as individuals.
If you have an extra half hour this week and you’re a seafood eater (or your friends/family are), take some time to peruse Seafood Watch. I love how easily they’ve laid out all the info with facts, case studies, tips, and even ways businesses can get involved.
This concludes our bite-sized content on ocean acidification. Remember, all the links we've included are for you to explore and dive deeper based on what you want to learn more about!
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 4 of 4: REFLECT.
Check out our membership community for more resources like free weekly events with social justice experts, sustainable product discounts, pre-written email templates, a social impact job board, and in-person hangouts with new friends. Thanks for taking action with Soapbox Project!
Get our free bite-sized climate action plans before you go!