TAKE THE TIME TO LEARN, TO CARE AND TO ACT
1. Tell us about SeaBeams. When and why was it started?
SeaBeams was started circa 5 years ago but only became more of a structured approach to conservation, environmentalism and sustainability circa 2 years ago with the launch of its social media. Originally it was focused primarily on raising awareness about the plight of the seas and oceans of the world and the struggle they have with ocean pollution, plastics and coastal development. However, over time, this focus has broadened to encompass all aspects of environmentalism and raising awareness of the global challenge around climate change, biodiversity loss and mass pollution. The primary aim of SeaBeams is to both raise awareness of such issues and to actively contribute towards their solution through communication and direct action.
2. Why should the people out there take better care of the Oceans and seas?
A multitude of reasons including the conservation of aqua-based biodiversity, the maintenance of potential food sources for humanity, the inalienable rights of other species on the planet to exist and survive as well as humanity. This coupled with the inextricable link between humans and the oceans and seas from which we evolved and continue to have a natural affinity for. It is worth bearing in mind that circa 8 out of every 10 breaths we take involves oxygen which starts in the ocean. An ocean that is polluted to the extent we are heading towards will also mean a polluted food chain along with the fact that dead zones within those oceans will start to reduce the amount of available oxygen for land-based life such as humans, to use. Good luck with holding your breath!
3. We notice that there are many dangers to the seas from deep sea mining to plastic pollution, how do you think current global leadership structure can help in overcoming this?
It can't! The current leadership structure of the planet’s various governments is a major constituent part of the issue. What we need is real leadership and more importantly, vision. Most leadership models are based on the flawed notion of economics and more specifically the fallacy of infinite economic growth. Current solutions to problems such as polluted seas etc. are based on market forces and global spend patterns and not on the actual actions needed to solve them. Making products more marketable so we will spend our money in a given way to support half-hearted attempts at preventing actions such as pollution take too long and result in nothing but making a new cohort of humans rich. The actual problem needs to ignore the “economic reality” and move to action that gives demonstrable solutions. Most humans appear to have not yet learnt that money in the future will be irrelevant. Mechanisms for trade will be irrelevant, the only thing that will matter will be survival as life is going to become very difficult. Current leadership models are vacuums that use lip-service to deceive the many through their sound-bites and platitudes rather than taking hard decisions which we may not like but certainly need.
4. How do you think the people starting from household level to corporations can reduce pollution arising from plastic? How best can they get involved in protection of the oceans and its inhabitants?
Firstly education. Any action needs to have a cause and a cause needs understanding. If people do not understand why action needs to be taken and subsequently how that action manifests itself, then no action will occur. Humans are visceral, tactile creatures that need a clear cause and effect to understand what is needed. Therefore, we need mass education of humanity to understand the gravity of the situation and how each and every one has both the responsibility and moral duty to do something. It is not enough to wait for governments to act (not that they will, as they have other interests in mind). We need to inform everyone about reduce, reuse and recycle. We also need to indicate what materials are environmentally friendly. We need to educate people to understand that no matter how far away from oceans and seas they may live, their actions matter. The seas and oceans are the lifeblood of the planet, if they die, we all die with them and Perhaps not instantly, but ultimately the same fate awaits us. We need to provide individuals with clear guidance about how they can change the way they live and their habits in order to support environmentalism and drastically reduce the landfill and sea-fill of plastic that is currently happening. We need to teach people why it matters and relate to how they live and how it ultimately affects them.
5. What have you done to create awareness of the crisis? Kindly tell us about any actions that you have carried out in your activism?
Most of the actions I undertake are through the medium of the Internet, sharing the actions of others, highlighting the current problems, sharing stories of activism. I also undertake personal activism such as engaging with various groups through the work I am employed into and I try to change that industry to become more environmentally focused. This includes working with colleagues at a local, regional and national level as activism can take place anywhere and at any level. However, my main focus is through social media which has the power to connect with billions of people so that I can share the messages that we all need to understand and act on if we are to stand any chance of saving our planet and the life that lives upon it.
6. Are there achievements that you would love to share with us?
Helping to highlight the work of fellow environmentalists is my greatest achievement and honor, I am hoping that further achievements will follow, however, this struggle isn’t about me or my achievements, and it is about our collective movement toward a solution and resolution to climate change and other environmental challenges.
7. What challenges do you face in your campaign for oceans and seas?
Mostly understanding. Many people do not understand and have a difficult time understanding why the seas and oceans are important to them and what the loss of those habitats mean. From plastic pollution, to oxygen dead zones through to biodiversity loss and over fishing, there are many issues affecting our seas and oceans but for most people they don’t understand what those challenges are and more importantly, why they should care and take action. We need to re-evaluate our education systems to include environmentalism, sustainability and conservation as core subjects which will become far more important than algebra or calculus in the future! It is going to be about survival of the species and the planet, people need to be ready for that but to get that engagement, and people first have to understand. That is the main challenge.
8. How do you think you can get others involved in the fight for the protection of ocean and sea?
At the moment, some people are engaged and willing to help. Others have yet to understand how important this subject is. For those yet to engage, a gradual dawning of reality will occur as the environment changes, as economic realities cease to be important, as environmental factors cause concern, inconvenience and worry will set in and eventually realization that this problem is here to stay. People make changes when they are ready to change, however, what we need to do is to ensure that all the pertinent information they need is readily available for when they are ready, so that we can educate and thus empower them to take action.
Being involved is easy, it’s as simple as thinking about how to reduce your power consumption, take public transport and leave the car at home, don’t use single use plastic, clean up the park if you see litter, petition your local political representative to support renewable energy, fit solar panels etc. There is no excuse anymore for anyone to state that they do not know what to do or how to do it. Such material is part of modern culture, is part of social media, and is part of the Internet and daily news. The important thing is that we are there to support one another, not to judge but to encourage no matter how large or small the action, it all helps.
9. Any message for the people out there.
Please take the time to learn, to care, to act. We all have busy lives and we all have life commitments, but the need to save our planet should be our highest priority. There is no act, no matter how small, that is insignificant in this struggle, future generations of not only humans but all life, depend on our actions over the next few brief years. We know that some damage to our world is now inevitable, but if we all act, we can mitigate that and prevent further damage giving us a chance to recover and perhaps one day develop the technology to return the planet to what it should be. However, it’s a long journey and we all have to change the way we live/work/play if we are to be successful. Remember, if you don’t care, who is going to and with no one to care and no one to act, the future is going to be very challenging.