Chris Burkard

This is how surfers can help keep the U.S. committed to climate

As the United States joins Syria and Nicaragua in not committing to the Paris Climate Accord (195 nations have signed on and joined), surfers and environmentalists wonder how this will affect the oceans and the environmental future of earth. With the U.S.A. producing 6,870 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, the withdrawal relieves pressure for America to meet standards set in previous years.

While this action could allow economic growth for the pillars of last century’s energy staples oil and coal, speculation is that new technologies and a booming alternative energy market would be ditched in favor of cheaper, dirtier sources of energy. These antiquated sources pollute the planet’s air, soil and water.

On the heels of Trump’s action many groups have set out to rally the public to get active and do something for the future of the planet. Here are some suggestions from the website Another, surf-focused group, Save The Waves, issued the below call to action.

As many of you saw, U.S. President Trump decided to withdraw the Paris Climate Accord, and side with Nicaragua and Syria, rather than the rest of the world’s countries in fighting global climate change. With ocean conditions already changing and ice sheets melting, corals bleaching, coasts eroding, seas rising and storms intensifying, this is disastrous news in the 11th hour. We as a globe cannot afford this to happen, and we must take action.

There are two things to do: first, examine your own actions. Are you complicit in making climate change worse? I know I am. I still fly excessively, I leave lights on, and occasionally I drive when I should walk. Many of us are guilty of this. If I am committing these smaller sins doesn’t responsibility for our climate crisis also lie with me, who should know better? If we are aiming to stop or slow this crisis and we must take responsibility as individual and organizations for our part.

Second, let’s fight the battle on the beaches. As you know STW has taken on Trump before and we’ve highlighted his hypocrisy on climate change. In his effort to build a 2.8km wall around his golf course in Ireland, he justified his proposal to protect his course from “rising sea levels and increased storm frequency and wave energy associated with global warming”. The Trump Organization will be soon back in Ireland with a new proposal, using climate change when convenient. We’ll need to be proactive in pushing back to highlight this hypocrisy when the time comes and we’ll need you. Sometimes a good offense is the best defense, so feel free in supporting us or other local organizations so we can be prepared.

We have been complicit for too long, and the hour for action is now.


Nik Strong-Cvetich
Executive Director


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