Every month, it seems that we are met with yet another alarming result of climate change. In just 2016, we’ve found out that Earth has reached new temperature highs never before seen, that climate change may have contributed to the Zika virus, and that animals like the polar bear may just become extinct in our lifetime if we don’t do something to combat climate change … fast. Although all of this news is certainly upsetting, as with many of Earth’s issues, it isn’t constantly on people’s minds. Just as is the case with deforestation and the dire state of the ocean, for most people, these issues are out of sight and out of mind, only brought back to focus through a reminder.
Activists choose to remind people about climate change in several different ways. Some create art, some take powerful photos, and if you’re Olympic weightlifter David Katoatau, you dance. Katoatau’s mission is to get the attention of the crowd and viewers at home with his cheery moves, and then use the attention to send a powerful message about his Pacific island homeland nation, Kiribati and its vulnerable position against the rising sea levels.
“Most people don’t know where Kiribati is,” Katoatau told Reuters. “I want people to know more about us, so I use weightlifting, and my dancing, to show the world. I wrote an open letter to the world last year to tell people about all the homes lost to rising sea levels. I don’t know how many years it will be before it sinks.”
Katoatau hopes that his dancing moves will get people around the world to wake up and realize that without some help, Kiribati and other low-lying islands in the Pacific are at constant risk due to climate change. “I beg the countries of the world to see what is happening to Kiribati,” he wrote in his open letter. “The simple truth is that we do not have the resources to save ourselves. We will be the first to go. It will be the extinction of a race. Open your eyes and look to the other low-lying level islands around the Pacific — they will soon fall with us. In the not too distant future, we will all drown.”
While the island of Kiribati may seem like a completely different world, there is actually a lot that people from far-away locations can do for Katoatau and his people. Considering that animal agriculture is the major driving force of climate change, one of the most important choices you can make is to eat more plant-based meals.
“The real war against climate change is being fought on our plates, multiple times a day with every food choice we make,” says Nil Zacharias, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of One Green Planet, ”one of the biggest challenges facing our planet, and our species is that we are knowingly eating ourselves into extinction, and doing very little about it.”
As the leading organization at the forefront of the conscious consumerism movement, it is One Green Planet’s view that our food choices have the power to heal our broken food system, give species a fighting chance for survival, and pave the way for a truly sustainable future. By choosing to eat more plant-based foods, you can drastically cut your carbon footprint, save precious water supplies and help ensure that vital crop resources are fed to people, rather than livestock. With the wealth of available plant-based options available, it has never been easier to eat with the planet in mind.
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Lead image source: Washington Post