Communication is the Key to Sustainability
Last week, DotGreen attended two events: the Blue Ocean Film Festival and The Ocean In a High CO2 World, the third ocean acidification international science symposium, in Monterey, California. The team had the opportunity to hear first hand from leading scientists and experts about the many concerns of our planet’s oceans as well as latest sustainable ocean initiatives and innovations in technology.
The combination of the groups in a similar location made for a compelling assembly. Scientific research was balanced with creative ways to communicate the message that all agreed was the importance of working together toward creating a healthier ocean environment. The resulting lively discussion about the issues our world faces was encouraging as it was evident that so many across many disciplines of science as well as multiple industries are taking this approach of people working together for change.
On the first night of the Film Festival, keynote speaker Dr. Sylvia Earle, highlighted the opportunities for us to effect change through storytelling, saying “the most powerful [tools] we have are in communicating.” Dr. Earle continued with the hard facts and sobering science about the changes which are evident in our oceans today, yet she offered an encouraging outlook towards many of these issues. She focused on the resources and unique opportunities available to us, explaining that while there is much degradation and loss already in our oceans, the good news is, we now know, and we also know why the world has changed, and what we can do about it. Generations proceeding us, she said, can teach us valuable lessons about how humans altered the ecosystem, and how we can rethink previous practices and design new systems that promote ecological well-being. Earle is adamant that we communicate and spread awareness of the issues and the solutions to protect our “life support system” which is what she refers to when speaking about the planet’s oceans.
The ocean acidification international symposium brought hundreds of the world’s leading scientists together to discuss their research and insights into our ocean’s changes. They discussed impacts of ocean acidification on marine organisms, ecosystems, and biogeochemical cycles, as well as the socio-economic outcomes of ocean acidification. One invitee, PhD student Sam Wilson, of Scripps Oceanography Institute shared his enthusiasm about meeting with other scientists with similar interests, saying, “It’s a great opportunity to share what I know, and learn from the studies of others in my field. This week, I’ve connected with scientists, filmmakers, and conservationists, and it’s an inspiration to see how we’re all working toward a similar goal, and finding ways to support one another.”
Wilson, and other attendees united for their love of the ocean and belief in the significance of its role as a life support system. The ocean is our most critical resource, and must be considered a large part of the green movement. As Dr. Sylvia Earle has said “No blue? No green”, indicating that our oceans are a key factor in global sustainability and the green movement.
Jean-Michel Cousteau echoed his sentiments for ocean health, and explained that the ocean is a common thread connecting humanity. He said, “Today, there is one people on this planet, and our waterways and new communication channels are what connects us all. The ocean is our common life support system”, and like his father, Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel exudes intense passion when he says, “We can no longer afford to use our oceans as a universal sewer and garbage can!”
His advice is powerful, “learn from the past rather than criticize it,” and inform earth’s current population about the challenges and opportunities we face. He identifies the combination of scientific evidence and emotionally compelling media as a key to this goal, saying, “Everyone has a heart, and if that’s what we reach, we can make a difference.”
At DotGreen, we wholeheartedly believe that communication is an incredibly important component in shaping the world we want. The purpose of the proposed .green Top-Level Domain for the Internet is to provide a common location in cyberspace called a “domain name space” for the green movement to thrive, and for environmental discussion to take place all the time! As .green domain names are used and affixed to all things, information, and businesses that are working toward going green it will be a global flag for the movement – thus spreading awareness. There are scientists, filmmakers, nonprofits, businesses, and green living advocates who love our oceans, and want to work together for the common good of our environment. Spreading the abundant knowledge already accessible to us is the crucial next step toward a better future. We look forward to continuing to advance the green movement with the participation of all people – together!