Feeling Futile in the Great Sea of Change

June 24, 2018


Authors write to tell a story, to express a thought or emotion, to entertain. Mostly, we hope what we do impacts readers in a positive way. My latest novel BACKSTORY is an outrageous, preposterous story about a woman trying to find herself after divorce, loss, and financial ruin. She's a mess, a bit of a drunk, cynical but funny as hell. But this morning, my author side feels futile writing such a silly novel, because of a documentary I saw last night that proves our world is starting to die from global warming.

Chasing Corals, A Netflix Documentary

My husband and I watched the Netflix documentary Chasing Corals, and I've never felt so frightened and sad for our planet's future. The gist of this film is visual proof that our ocean corals are dying, corals that serve as vast nurseries for sealife and protective barriers for our landmasses.

Did you know that in 2017, 50 percent of the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia bleached and later DIED? Article in The Atlantic.

Did you know that off Florida, over half of the coral has DIED from a combination of bleaching and disease? Article on National Public Radio.

Did you know that coral surrounding the Hawaiian Islands is DYING? Article in Popular Science.

Only a dedicated band of coral scientists and ecology writers seem to have noticed or cared, certainly not our current president and ruling political party. In fact, @realdonaldtrump removed the United States from the Paris climate accord and even tried to prevent Congress from funding clean energy initiatives.

Likewise, I've heard friends and relatives joke or deny the truth of global warming. When our winter temperatures dipped below freezing, they scoffed, "What we need is more global warming." Ha, ha, ha. Even my own granddaughter said things like this, having been indoctrinated by resistant naysayers.

It is tragic to hear such denial. Our great oceans are in trouble because they are absorbing 93% of the Earth's rising temperatures. Seas off the Australian coast reached 95 degrees during the 2017 bleaching event that killed one-half of an incredible coral barrier that is so HUGE, it would stretch the full length of the USA Eastern coastline.

I didn't even hear about this. And I felt futile when I found out. But the "Chasing Corals" documentary ends on a positive note, and encourages each of us to do what we can.

What Can You and I Do?

The time for denial is over. We must reduce carbon emissions. Does this mean using cloth bags instead of plastic at the grocery? Walking or biking to a nearby event rather than driving? Recycling plastics, installing radiant barriers or solar panels if we can afford to, even doing simple things like keeping more air in our tires...YES, these things we CAN DO NOW to help slow this horrific situation.

OUR WORLD IS AT STAKE. The astounding melting of our polar icecaps has been documented since the George W. Bush era as a more visible issue (he didn't believe in global warming, either). But we must look beneath the seas as well. Corals are animals. And the life that lives in and around corals are OUR life. The documentary's most astounding before-and-after photos revealed that when the corals died, the fish disappeared. Scientists in the audience wept. I did too.

Will You Help?

We can all do our part. Speak up! Don't let the relatives scoff or deny. At links below are some tips on what you and I can do. Please please share these articles. If you are a "giver," I've added a link to the CoolEffect, a Web site that hosts projects worldwide you can fund to help reduce carbon emissions.

How You Can Stop Global Warming: Natural Resources Defense Council

Global Warming Solutions: National Geographic

Worldwide Carbon-Reducing Projects: Cool Effect

Again, many thanks for reading and rating my work!

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© 2017 by Pat Dunlap Evans