You are suffocating. The organs you rely on to produce oxygen are giving and when the toxic level increases we can no longer breath. Do you feel it? Maybe you can imagine how it might feel like but you cannot really know since it is not actually happening to your own organs. The organs I am talking about are the ones you share with the entire earth in systematic connections. I am talking about the oceans.
Over 70 percent of the earth is covered by oceans and the same amount of our oxygen comes from these oceans. This might come as a chock; why are we then fighting to maintain the Amazon, rainforests and forests around the world? Firstly, it is correct that the Amazon turns carbon dioxide into oxygen and produces 20 times more oxygen than all humans can consume. But not a single one leave the forests. The water that the trees and vegetation are absorbing creates a floating river that goes to the Andes. Here the gas condenses and makes a river, which subsequently erodes the nutrient-rich rocks. When the river finally enters the ocean it's enriched with the substances from the mountains. Nutrients work as a fundament for new life in our oceans. It enables diatoms (the secret of Earth's oxygen supply) to reproduce.
Not only are the oceans the lungs of our planet but they also regulates the climate, gives us food, cleans the water we drink and are a great source of medicines. But all of this only works if the oceans are functioning. Plastic pollution, high amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, chemicals and unsustainable fishing damages the oceans normal conditions. This is resulting in climate change all around the world. A difference in fauna in the water, the oceans, is affecting the food chain and more than 2.6 billion people are depending on the ocean to provide them with protein.
The theme for the World Oceans day 2019 is gender: Gender literacy and to create greater oceans. The United Nations motivates this with: “to promote gender equality in ocean-related activities such as marine scientific research, fisheries, labour at sea, migration by sea and human trafficking, as well as policy-making and management." to discuss the topic and try to change it. (1) This is a rather unreached issue and especially in relation to oceans. But to work with empowering women and girls is one of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals that is also strongly connected to a sustainable future in all aspect of human life and the environment.
We can see a rising awareness of plastic pollution. ‘Play it out’ is a campaign to prevent plastic from going into the oceans. Today, 13,000,000 tons of plastic leak into the oceans every year, damaging and killing 100,000 marine animals annually. This affects our living conditions directly. Of course the climate can handle more than we sometime think. We have had different climates during the early stages of this planet. What is happening now though, is altering the circumstances of our living conditions. For example, the oxygen level in the atmosphere has stayed on 20,9 percent during a long time working as a prerequisite for our form of life, a higher level oxygen can lead to a burning earth instead.
Celebrate this day by thinking about something else than yourself. Grab a bag – preferably not plastic – and go outside to collect plastic waste that has ended up in the nature, by the ocean, it doesn’t matter. The most important thing is to get the plastic pollution to stop and to deal with the damage we humans have don. This might seem pointless when there is only one percent of the plastic in the oceans that we can see. But sometimes the small task can make a difference. The policy-makers and politicians need a mass of people to enable the society accordingly. This is also strongly associated to the power of the consumer. Ergo, the work of making the oceans sustainable is equal to a sustainable future where everyone can participate.