COP27, Climate Change & the Ocean

by Bill Davis

Lots of news landing in my inbox today so with COP 27 starting on Sunday in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt thought this would be a good time for a blog post.

The first bit of news came from The Economist and addressed how keeping temperature increases to <= 1.5 degrees Celsius is just not going to happen so time for us to face that reality.  Not really a great way to start the day, but am certain the timing of this was intentional with COP 27 starting in a few days.  

Then came Surfrider Foundation's 2022 State of the Beach Report which in the introduction raised the challenges with climate change as overshadowing what is happening in the ocean.  And as we dive into the report that grades 30 coastal and Great Lakes states, plus the territory of Puerto Rico, it's highlighting that 22 / 31, 70%+, of our coastal and lake states "earned a grade of ‘C’ or less and are doing an ‘adequate to poor’ job" protecting their beaches. We can, and have to, do BETTER!  

This reminded me about the recent shutdowns of the Bering Sea snow crab and Bristol Bay red king crab seasons with the primary culprit being a warming ocean due to climate change and the possibility of overfishing also having an impact.  As a result, the crabbing industry in Alaska is bracing for a $400+ million hit which will cause widespread issues not just in 2022, but in the years to come.  Add in one of the hottest summers with droughts, fires, etc., the war in Ukraine which is having a devastating environmental impact and it's hard not to wonder if civilization is hell bent on destroying itself.

That being said, there is some good news on the horizon and that email also landed in my inbox today.  The Center for the Blue Economy sent out an email calling for public comment on the US Ocean Action Climate Plan by 11/18/22.  And if looking for ideas, here's The Center's Ocean Climate Action Plan as well as the Ocean Defense Initiative's Blueprint for Ocean Climate Action, both of which contributed to.  

This, in turn, reminded me of Patagonia's decision ~ 6 weeks ago to make Earth it's only shareholder.  And the more I think about that, the more respect I have for Yvon Chouinard because he just set the f_cking bar and I will bet no one comes close, unfortunately, just like with the late, great Bill Russell's 11 NBA championships. Yvon Chouinard is a man among men, why is a 1% for the Planet member given in 2021 Patagonia was voted the most reputable company in the US. 

Protecting our beaches, ocean, lakes, ponds, rivers and streams one baja hoodie at a time!