Climate change is happening, no matter what Cheeto Satan says. And the ocean is currently bearing the brunt of the effects. Did you know that 50% of coral reefs have disappeared in the last 30 years? The new Netflix documentary Chasing Coral covers this and many other facts about why we should start caring about the planet and stop denying that climate change exists. The ocean terrifies me. The depth, the unknown, and its power all make me shake. But my fear for the planet is higher.
Richard Vevers was an English ad man who tired of the industry and realized he could be doing more than selling 2 or 3 ply toilet paper. He has been a diver since he was 16. He started to notice when he was diving that one of the sea creatures he loved, the weedy seadragon, were disappearing. This made him want to find out why they were dying and what else was being affected. He found that global warming is destroying the coral reefs. He assembled a team of divers and photographers including Zackery Rago to document this occurrence. They were able to put time lapse cameras into the water in more than 30 countries around the world. These locations included the Florida Keys, Airport Reef in American Samoa, and Hawaii.
Here are some factors to consider regarding coral reefs: 29% of the Great Barrier Reef disappeared in 2016 due to climate change. The ocean absorbs the warmth, which affects all living things that make it their home. Coral reefs absorb the temperature increase and become sick. They try to get rid of the sickness by pushing it out, which results in bleaching. The bleaching essentially leaves only the skeleton of the coral reefs. If the ocean didn’t absorb the warming, the average temperature on Earth would be 122 degrees. These coral reefs also supply food to one billion people and protect our beaches from extreme weather like hurricanes.
Towards the end of Chasing Coral the group of scientists and photographers present their findings and the effects of climate change on the ocean. The results were so extreme that it brought me to tears during the time lapse. The destruction of the reefs are so devastating that it is hard not to react. Not just because it will affect the human race, but because these reefs are a living, breathing thing that need to be saved. The passion and commitment these group of people have shown should not go unnoticed. It has moved me to continue to educate myself regarding this issue and do what I can to help.