The Oceans and Climate Change with Captain Paul Watson

May 23, 2019

Honored to join my colleague, Rep. Michel in welcoming Captain Paul Watson, world-renowned environmental activist, co-Founder of Greenpeace, Founder, President and Executive Director of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, at the State Capitol, to discuss the role of oceans as climate regulators and what humans must change to restore balance to destabilized ecosystems.

“The Ocean is the primary life support system for the planet. The phytoplankton within produces the oxygen we breathe, it provides food, it cleans and recycles our water and it regulates climate,” said Watson. “Winter is coming, and it’s going to be very warm if we don’t act now!”

The oceans are the Earth’s largest climate regulators and the biggest sustainer of life, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and in turn producing about 50 percent of the world’s oxygen via phytoplankton. In addition to climate regulation, over 3 million people globally depend on biodiverse oceans and coastal habitats for health and wellbeing.

Without protecting the oceans, life will not thrive, and already, the sixth massive wave of extinction is underway with about 1 million plant and animal species at risk of extinction in the coming decades. The United Nations reports that the rate of species extinctions is rapidly accelerating, and “eroding the very foundations of our economies.”

Monumental change at the local, national and global levels is necessary to reverse the course of human destruction to aquatic, coastal and terrestrial ecosystems.

Every industry must partner to reorganize current systems and modes of operating to reverse climate change, and restore the health of all ecosystems. I am proud of the steps our state is taking to address it.