GlobalMET and The Living Blue Planet 2015

NL 52 GlobalMet and the Living Blue Planet 2015

smIman Fiqrie
Lecturer, Malaysian Maritime Academy

 

“Courage is the most important of all virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently” – Maya Angelou

Blue Planet Bon Fire
Bon Fire of the Earth, courtesy of Global Warming. Digital image Facebook

The World Climate Change Conference and Living Blue Planet

The Living Blue Planet; At the World Climate Change Conference 2015 in Paris on 30 November 2015, Prince Charles was quoted as saying that world leaders at the conference “…will not only decide the fate of those alive today, but those of generations yet unborn” (Vaughan, 2015).

The Living Blue Planet, the world we live on!

Over the past couple of years, the GlobalMet Newsletter has highlighted any number of important issues concerning “The Living Blue Planet,” a phrase coined to describe the planet we now live on; everything from Global Warming (GW) and Climate Change (CC), Marine Pollution (MP), Ship Energy Efficiency Management Planning (SEEMP), to issues and concerns dealing with the Polar Regions. Even so, probably no other organizations than the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) have done more to help understand climate change; 

 put in print, words, graphics and pictures. They put numbers behind the massive amounts of data and theory in a format all can understand more than any other – save the IMO.

Accordingly, WWF’s report, “The Living Blue Planet Report 2015” (LPR) is a leading scientific-based analysis on the health of our planet and the impact of human activity upon it” (LPR, preface). The report goes on to definitively suggest that the state of the Living Blue Planet is in exceptionally grave danger and unsustainable! I commend it for your reading.

Care for the Living Blue Planet

As much, in this particular issue, I’d like to not only highlight several back issues of the GlobalMET Newsletter in the hopes of providing another resource, and suggest that we indeed care and understand the issues as they relate to our environment. We have an obligation to make a positive difference and leave a lasting legacy for which our children can be proud of; primarily, however, in this issue of the newsletter I would like to spend most of the time discussing what we may be able to do to help reverse current unsustainable trends and practices regarding CC.

As much, GMET newsletters (NL) NL 21-22, NL 24-32, NL 35, NL 38- NL 41 all discuss different aspects of the aforementioned on the environment and can be gotten directly from the globalmet.org website archives linked here, GlobalMET Newslettershttp://www.globalmet.org/Services/ view_news_letter.aspx.

Shrinking Lyell GlacierShrinking Lyell Glacier, Yosemite National Park. Source U.S. National Park Service, 1883 photo: USGS/Israel Russell. 2015 photos: NPS/Keenan Takahashi

The reason for pointing out the GMET Newsletter back issues is to emphasize that as mariners we must continue to be actively engaged in the conversations, actions and solutions for saving our Living Blue Planet, if not for us, for our children?

Involvement and action important for the Living Blue Planet

As a matter of record, the number and volume of contributors to the GlobalMet newsletter (articles) could be much better! Appreciating of course those who have contributed or have given of their time in the way of interviews, knowledge, or reading. In keeping with the goals aspired by the IMO (safety, security, energy-efficiency, cleaner oceans), CC, GW, WWF and ZSL — positive change seems bleak and elusive.

Maya Angelou, Presidential Medal of Freedom Poet, basically said it best, we do what we know how to do and when we know better, we do better! Civil Rights Activist and late great Dr.  Martin Luther King Jr., once said that a man who doesn’t believe in something enough worth dying for isn’t worth living himself. As harsh as that may sound, our children and children’s children may depend on these facts.

The state of the Living Blue Planet

Back on point about the state of the planet, the global population is expected to increase by more than 2 billion come 2050, more than half the world’s coral and one-third of its seagrass have been lost; shipping traffic has more than quadrupled over the past two decades; billions of subsidies encourage over fishing and irresponsible behavior, Figure 1 shows some consequences of pollution.

Oil Soaked Bird
Figure 1. Oil Soaked Bird from Ocean Under Pessure, Living Blue Planet Report 2015

Mangroves important to the Living Blue Planet

Deforestation of the planets mangroves by man– mangroves by the way, are responsible for more than an abundance of life and ecosystems– has hastened their spiralling demise by some

3-5 times the expected rate; the LPR 2015 states that more than 8 million tons of plastics are dumped in the oceans per year; and that more than 80% of all tourism is based near the sea. Surprisingly, also according to the LPR 2015, a moderate-sized cruise ship on a week’s voyage generates about 795,000 liters of sewage, 3.8 million liters of grey water (not black water or sewage), more than 500 liters of hazardous waste, approximately 95,000 liters of oily bilge water and 8 tons of garbage. Multiply the aforementioned by what you can only imagine; all this and seemingly we can go about our daily lives as if nothing is happening to our Living Blue Planet (LBP). As a consequence, future generation’s fate seems sealed and destined for certain doom. Seems “the children” may have to lead us to the “Promised Land of a sustainable future”?

COP 21/ CMP11 bears the fate of all mankind on the Living Blue Planet

In conclusion, as Prince Charles stated, the fate of all mankind is at stake, sounds a bit melodramatic, but no need to “sugar coat” it. The conference was from 30 November thru 11 December, the schedule is full as well as the agenda for Paris. You might see this conference referred to as COP 21/CMP11, this stands for Conference of the Parties 21 which is specifically being held in Paris. Previous conferences, like COP 15 occurred in Copenhagen and COP 1 in Berlin. Along with COP is the acronym CMP which stands for COP serving as the meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (a 1992 International Treaty committing parties to greenhouse emission standards).

And finally, what kind of work holds mankind’s fate in the balance? • Status of the ratification of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocols • Finance and budgeting audits and programs • Reports on national greenhouse gas inventories • The international assessment and review process • Loss and damages associated with Climate Change • Capacity building • The development and transfer of technologies • Frameworks for various approaches. This, to name a few. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to check out globalmetblog.imanfiqrie.com and leave a comment!


 

References

“Living Blue Planet Report 2015.” WorldWildlife.org. World Wildlife Fund, 15 Sept. 2015. Web. 6 Dec. 2015. <http://www.worldwildlife.org/publications/living-blue-planet-report-2015>.
Vaughan, Adam. “Prince Charles Opens Paris Climate Talks and Calls on World Leaders to Act Now.” Http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/30/prince-charles-opens-parisclimate-talks-calls-on-world-leaders-to-act-now. http://www.
theguardian.com/, 30 Nov. 2015. Web. 5 Dec. 2015.

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