It’s been over ten years since my first panic attack. It happened in the middle of the night, which is good I guess because I didn’t freak out in public, but then again bad because I thought I was dying and no one was awake to talk me out of it.
It was April something in 2010 and I had just heard about the Deep Water Horizon oil spill. You remember, that awful explosion of a BP Oil rig off the Louisiana coast that killed 11 people and injured 17 and pumped about 60,000 barrels of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico…
I’d grown up along the west coast of Florida and the news destroyed me. I felt horrible for the families of the people who died. I mean to head off to work and not come back! Who did they say goodbye to and leave behind that day?
Then the reality of the explosion hit me. 60,000 barrels of oil a day pumping into the ocean and all people could say was, “It will be alright.” Well, let me be the first to tell you it didn’t end well and it isn’t alright.
That panic attack lasted a long time and it wasn’t the last I had over that explosion. I had many more sleepless nights when I couldn’t stop worrying about what was happening in that ocean.
Were fish swimming into the oil dying on impact? (Um… yes!) Were the dolphins I loved to swim with at the beach dying? (Uh huh!) How about the pelicans, the turtles, the herons, the swamp grasses? (Yup, dying!)
Why was I the only one concerned?
I guess that really bugged me. No one seemed to care as much as ME about all that oil dumping into the water and I felt helpless watching BP take their time capping the well. When it finally stopped spewing five months later hundreds of thousands of animals were killed and the effects of the spill still lingers. At least 1,400 dolphins and whales were found stranded and they still struggle with fertility issues to date.
Red Tide is more prevalent than ever in the Gulf and I’m convinced all that oil increased the speed of climate change heating the planet up faster than scientists predicted. Thing is, it isn’t the only environmental disaster that’s happened. Shit like this is happening all the time. The damage is cumulative and now scientists are telling us we’re facing a real emergency.
One Million Species Face Distinction… oh and guess what? Humans will suffer! Do I have your attention now? Our entire world depends on other species to live. Without the bees, butterflies and other pollinators the food we’ve become so accustomed to won’t grow. The coral reefs that feed the animals in the oceans are dying off and all those fish we rely on are going with them.
** There are fewer than 34,000 African lions left in the wild. (Photo: Dave Pusey/Shutterstock)
But hey, let’s keep those coal miners working and let’s keep opening up areas off our coasts and in wildlife refuges to drill more so people can keep their jobs or make their fortunes at the expense of the rest of us.
What the hell is happening?? I mean wouldn’t it be smarter and healthier to put all those miners to work setting up wind and solar power? Why can’t we spend our money getting a grid built to support clean energy instead of destroying national parks, wildlife refuges and coastal communities preserved for nature?
WAKE UP PEOPLE! This isn’t some sci-fi flick where everything ends with the little kids thanking some super hero for saving their world. This is our reality and it’s time we take control of it.
I’m overwhelmed and frantic and you should be too. Instead of freaking out, here’s some easy changes we MUST make to change our fate:
1. Write & Call Your Politicians
Demand they drop their day to day bullshit and actually work on fixing our planet. Tell them to help by signing legislation to stop oil drilling, mining and big farming. They MUST outlaw ALL pesticides, backyard bug zappers, Styrofoam, gas guzzling cars and anything that puts our ecosystem at risk.
Think about walking instead of driving your car to the local store or to work.
Too far? Get a used bike and ride instead.
Not physically able? Car-pool with a neighbor to shop or to work, or take public transportation if you live in a city. Truly make it a Ride SHARE by arranging your commute with a neighbor so more than one of you is in the car.
3. Bye Bye Beef
Cut back on your meat consumption.
Big Farms are big producers of CO2 and cattle alone contributes 14%-19% of the carbon emissions.
In the United States, animal agriculture accounts for 42% of the agricultural emissions meaning it isn’t just the tractors or trucks pumping out CO2 but that fuzzy heifer who doesn’t know any better.
If ya gotta eat flesh, buy small, farm raised meat and stick to eating it once or twice per month or try a great meat alternative by Beyond Meat.
4. Peace Out, Plastic
Stop buying all the shit that comes in plastic. Support companies who spend more to wrap their produce in burlap or the old string mesh bags. Stop buying cosmetics that come in heavy, single-use plastics and write or call your favorite stores and companies demanding they stop using plastic to contain and ship their products.
Think twice before ordering one item online and never demand overnight shipping. Your one, usually tiny, item could be flying across the planet in a plane, contributing the same amount of carbon to your footprint as driving your car an entire year.
Every time you eat out and see a piece of Styrofoam used for a take home container, a plastic straw, a plastic utensil or anything that doesn’t decompose naturally, complain to the restaurant owners. Tell them you won’t eat there until they change their suppliers.
Nothing gets thru better to a business owner than loss of sales.
5. Support Green Companies & Eco-preneurs
Click here for a list of our favorite eco-friendly ethically made brands and bloggers.
It’s no longer just the health of that marmoset in Africa. It’s your life, your kids’ lives and their children’s lives.
Support the organizations that are helping ME fight back against climate change deniers and legislation harming our planet. Even just a $5 contribution will help!
MAJAMAS EARTH favorites:
I’m tired. I’m so very, very tired but I know I’m still not going to sleep tonight. I’m going to wake up worrying about my daughters’ futures, everyone’s futures, the bees, the dolphins the list goes on and on.
Climate Change is REAL. We are ALL facing extinction and it isn’t a hundred years away. It’s close people. This isn’t just a call to action this is an emergency! Are you with ME now?
– Germaine Caprio, MAJAMAS EARTH Company Owner & Designer
TO HEAR FROM YOU
How are you helping prevent climate change?
Please share your own thoughts with ME – let’s get a conversation started in the comments below! Your comment may even win you a free MAJAMAS® EARTH garment this week!