I wasn’t going to turn this into a whole blog post, but the fire has been lit. Today is World Oceans Day. As I was typing out some thoughts to post on Instagram, I thought to myself, "'Conservatives for conservation' sounds pretty catchy! I'm sure this is already a thing." But then I looked it up. There are literally EIGHT posts on ALL OF INSTAGRAM tagged with #conservativesforconservation. Y'all. Not believing in climate change at this point (I'm not even saying it's directly caused by humans) is kind of like not believing in evolution. (And I know I'm going to make some of you mad with that statement. So be it). I’m kind of shocked that more Republicans aren’t admitting that they care about our world enough to feel like they can openly support conservation efforts. Back to the example from my "America: A Forbidden Love" post - why can't a Detroit-made pickup truck with an American flag bumper sticker have a 'save the whales' sticker right next to it? Whales are pretty awesome. And they wouldn't exactly fit in your hunting lodge, anyway.
To be a legitimate agent of change, I've decided to adopt the #conservativesforconservation hashtag. It’ll be my first official act of "breaking the silence to bridge the divide" as the Primrose Patriot. My brief explanation is below...I promise I will follow up on this with more facets, facts and details in the near future!
Since I can remember, I’ve always been in awe of the ocean and the mysteries that lie beneath the surface. (Watch the Netflix documentary “My Octopus Teacher” if you’re not already convinced how miraculous our oceans are!)
I strongly believe in sustainability: basically the idea that if we trash our oceans, rainforests, etc., we won’t be able to reap their benefits for much longer. For example, half of the world’s coral reefs have died during my lifetime. That’s crazy. 💔
NOT treating our world like a giant dumpster is common sense and shouldn’t be a partisan issue. But how do we get there?
Of course we can pass new laws and create business incentives, but some of the most inspiring change agents I’ve seen are making an impact from the ground up: non-profits working in small towns in developing countries. They provide funds and teach poor villagers the skills to go from, say, killing sharks by the thousand just to sell their fins, to starting a snorkeling tourism business.
I realize this is easier said than done, but let’s put politics aside, and take action to stop trashing our planet. 🌏
Because I want to snorkel among the coral reefs with my grandkids someday. 🌊
If you’re interested in learning more about the plight facing our oceans, from an academic, apolitical point of view, check out Ocean Solutions: a NOISE Lab podcast. I’ve learned about so many issues I never knew existed, like underwater mining, slavery on fishing vessels, etc.