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Did you know that 29% of the Great Barrier Reef’s coral died last year?
Imagine a forest about the size of Germany, and almost a third of it dies in one year. That’s essentially what happened in the ocean next to Australia. And it’s been happening all around the world.
Coral is very sensitive to global warming and starts dying when the surrounding water temperature increases beyond a certain point. It’s expected that most of the world’s coral will be gone within 30 years. Since so many fish depend on coral reefs, that would ultimately mean the collapse of a huge branch of our tree of life. And yes, we apes are responsible for this.
There’s a pretty powerful documentary about this called Chasing Coral, which just came out today. It’s from the same team that made Chasing Ice a few years ago. If you haven’t seen either, I’d recommend both. The footage can be emotional to watch – you may be surprised to find yourself crying – but ultimately I think it will inspire you more than it disempowers you.
Here’s a trailer for Chasing Coral.
What’s the single most useful thing you can do to be part of the solution? Switch to a plant-based diet if you haven’t already done so. Skip the flesh, and eat lighter and cleaner.
Unless you run a coal-fired power plant and can choose to shut it down overnight, or you’re making documentaries like these to raise awareness, nothing else you can change is likely to have as much impact as modifying your diet to be less wasteful. Due to the all the negative environmental ripples created by the consumption of animal products, including a massive contribution to greenhouse gases, the choice of what you eat each day is your single biggest point of leverage as an individual. Going plant-based will have a greater positive impact than all of the other changes you could make combined.