Between overfishing, climate change and the constant influx of plastic pollution, the world’s oceans have been put in dire straits. In fact, a new study funded by the Royal Society shows that nearly 25 percent of all of the world’s marine life is currently under threat of extinction. While this might seem shocking, species all across the world, marine and terrestrial, are facing similarly alarming rates of decline, leading scientists to believe that we are in the world’s sixth period of mass extinction. Where the last large-scale extinction was caused by an asteroid, this one is being driven by human actions.
In their new film (which just premiered at Sundance), Racing Extinction, Oceanic Preservation Society explores the relationship between human actions and this shocking drop in the world’s biodiversity. The Royal Society’s study hints at the fact that aquatic species have not been given as much attention as terrestrial when it comes to examining extinction rates and to remedy this, we need to devote specific attention to the oceans. This clip from Racing Extinction certainly lends itself to this conclusion.
Looking into how man-made carbon dioxide emissions have impacted the world’s coral reef population, this clip shows how the ocean ecosystems have been dramatically altered in the past two decades alone. Without coral reefs, we stand to lose a quarter of the ocean’s biodiversity and the marine ecosystem will fail to function as it has for thousands of years.
To stop the destruction of the coral reef and the countless species who rely on these structures for survival, it is clear that we need to curb carbon dioxide emissions, sooner rather than later.
We can all play an influential role in seeing this happen by being mindful of our carbon footprints. While minimizing the amount we drive and being mindful of electricity consumption are important things to keep in mind, you can half your carbon footprint just by removing meat from your diet.
The battle against marine extinction starts on our plates. So let’s start eating like it!