Many marine conservation groups have been pledging not to accept sponsorship money from the fossil fuel industry. Youth leaders and activists among them brought the divestment campaign on university campus. Recently, across the nation thousands of college students have joined the force, campaigning to get their universities to divest from fossil fuel companies as well.
The greatest impacts of fossil-fuel fired climate change on our ocean and coastal regions include ocean warming and sea-level rise, increased erosion, runoff and coastal flooding, more intense hurricanes and El Nino events, melting sea ice and glaciers and ocean acidification that will weaken the survival all shell forming critters, from certain planktons to oysters to vast coral reefs. A warmer, more acidic ocean will also hold less dissolved oxygen. This will reduce fish population that provides both marine biodiversity and food security for over a billion humans.
These changes are already putting millions of people and billions in property at risk along with the marine ecosystems we all depend on. It’s time for blue groups to stop taking money from fossil-fuel companies that are driving this negative change. It’s as if a medical convention on how to reduce heart and lung disease were sponsored by coal and tobacco companies. We need to make climate a blue issue by educating the public on why we have to make a rapid transition from fossil fuels to clean non-carbon renewable energy as part of our greater effort to protect and restore our blue marble planet. Not taking money from big oil is a minimal step we all can commit to.