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In this minisode, Corinna walks you through our new website update including new features and then digs into Regenerating our oceans. She uses Paul Hawken’s new book: Regeneration: Ending The Climate Crisis In One Generation, as the anchor from which to talk about ocean regeneration.
Episode Highlights & Timestamps:
01:30 Site Update Information Download (begins)
02:00 Send Me A Voice Message! Tell Us What You Think!
02:30 Comments On Episode Pages
02:50 Join Our Facebook Group!
03:15 Category Browsing + Searching
03:45 Staying Listener Supported (no sponsors / advertisers)
04:25 Website Update Ends
04:26 REGENERATION – Oceans
05:30 Problems Of Imbalanced Ocean Ecosystems
05:47 Step 1: Stop Using Our Oceans As A Dump
06:40 Step 2: Create Marine Protected Areas
07:40 Seaspiracy, A Netflix Documentary
09:10 The Sea Shepherd, Activists Protecting Our Oceans
09:44 Step 3: Seaforestation (sea reforestation)
11:45 A Summary Of Needs To Regenerate Our Oceans
12:35 Call To Action: International Coastal Cleanup Day, September 18, 2021 — Organize a cleanup or do one yourself
14:12 Join Our Community + Movement
Regeneration: Ending The Climate Crisis In One Generation by Paul Hawken https://www.regeneration.org
Seaspiracy, A Netflix Documentary https://www.seaspiracy.org/
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/caremorebebetter/
International Coastal Cleanup Day: https://www.surfrider.org/pages/intl-coastal-cleanup-day
Blog for Cleanup Day (with additional resources): https://www.caremorebebetter.org/blog/plastic-beaches-a-cleanup-challenge/
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Care More. Be Better. is not backed by any company. We answer only to our collective conscience. As a listener, reader, and subscriber you are part of this pod and this community and we are honored to have your support. If you can, please help finance the show https://www.caremorebebetter.com/donate.
Hello Regenerators. Regenerator. Huh. What do you think of that?
If you listened to this week’s podcast, you heard Paul talk about what Regeneration means. He defined regeneration broadly – far beyond the world of agriculture – to all life systems and social systems. So heck, he got me thinking… Perhaps I should rename my podcast to Care More Be Better: A Regeneration Podcast.
As we discussed every cell strives to duplicate – so why not? Why not consider regeneration as central to both our social impact and planetary health? Is it time to turn in words like “social impact” and “sustainability” for something bolder, broader, bigger, and more audacious? Is it time to turn it in for Regeneration?
So, I’m going to try it on for size – we can be the generation that works to regenerate the earth. We can advocate for global cooling, for simplified production and reduced waste. We can build a better tomorrow. We can regenerate.
So as I we explore this possibility – I have some news for you.
Over the course of the last week, I worked tirelessly on a redo of my website. I had been frustrated for some time by the limitations and difficult customization posed by my Squarespace site and had been thinking of starting fresh on WordPress… But I do not have all the time in the world – so someone suggested I check out Podpage.
I found that most of the functionality I wanted was there – and a few extra bells and whistles. So there are two big changes to what you now have at your fingertips when you go to caremorebebetter.com (or alternately, caremorebebetter.org – heck both work now).
- You can actually record a voice message and send it to me. Now, this is just amazing. I can now change my podcast format a bit – and ask for you to pose questions for me or for my guests – and I can literally play them on the podcast. How cool is that! So… If you’re listening to this, and you’re near your computer or smartphone – will you try it out for me? Tell me what you love about the show – or even what you hate about it! I’m all ears.
- Every episode page has a comment section at the bottom. It’s powered by facebook – so you have to have a facebook account – but it’s a really nice feature. If you want to type a note or comment, it’s right there.
These are the primary differences you’ll notice. You can still easily sign up for our newsletter. There’s a contact form. There’s even an action page – and I’ll get into that a bit more when we talk about Regenerating our Oceans in just a few minutes.
Other changes are minor and kind of nice. For one, I can create guest profiles on the site and link the episodes to them in which they appear. I’ve already done this for a few of the shows – but more will come soon. You can also go to episodes you want to listen to by category. Say for instance you want to learn more about B-Corps. I can categorize the episodes that cover B-corps and you can just go to those episodes to learn more. You can also search for podcasts using the search feature.
Really – My hope is that with 40+ shows under our belt, this will make your experience of the podcast cleaner. I hope you like it.
In other news, I’m working to cover my costs for the show – which I’m not presently doing because I’m not interested in accepting advertisers. I really want to build a community here and remain listener supported. In order to more ably do this I refined my offering on our Support Page, from Patreon Partner Packages to simple donations via Paypal. I also launched an Etsy shop featuring cool Swag. So far we have a stainless Steel water bottle, a notebook, and a coffee cup. All 3 are on my desk right now – and I’ must say they’re nicely made. They are made to order and will drop ship to you when you order. Mine arrived in about 10 days, so I imagine it will be the same for all of you.
Since this show is 100% listener supported, a bit of that green will go to support the show. I hope you’ll check them out!
OKAY – That’s it for the site updates. I hope you’ll visit and please let me know what you think.
Let’s get back to Regeneration now, and the topic of the week – OUR OCEANS.
Paul Hawken defines Regeneration as: putting life at the center of every action and decision. So what does that mean for our Oceans.
To quote regeneration: Oceans absorb the greatest impact of human activity on the planet and receive the least coverage. Ten percent of the population directly depend on fisheries and three billion more rely on oceans for at least 20% of their protein. Yet most people are not aware of how rapidly oceans are changing as a consequence of global warming and rampant pollution.
Oceans are beginning to fall under the efforts of heating, acidification, predatory overfishing and unchecked pollution, both chemical and plastic.
Wow – we’re literally the first paragraph into this chapter on Regeneration – and. That’s a lot to unpack. So let’s start with the fact that our oceans absorb the greatest impact of human activity on the planet.
As temperatures rise, and the ocean takes on more dissolved carbon molecules, the ocean’s PH balance is thrown off, making it more acidic. A more acidic ocean introduces a cascade of problems that are challenging, but not impossible to reverse. So how do we reverse that trend?
Step 1: We need to stop using the ocean as a dump. This seems like a no-brainer – right? But cruise vessels and fishing vessels often use the ocean as their dumping ground. Most of the sea plastic in our oceans is actually comprised of discarded fishing nets and fishing equipment… not the plastics that you or I generate in our daily lives. Cleaning up the ocean therefore starts with not dumping there in the first place. This doesn’t mean you should stop efforts in limiting plastic use – the opposite in fact – but it does mean we need to begin enforcing against fishing practices that include dumping “ghost gear” in our oceans.
Step 2: We must create marine protected areas – which essentially means nature preserves on the open ocean, upon which no fishing takes place – and where patrolling is present. Presently, while roughly 5% of earth’s oceans are considered “marine protected areas” less than one percent of that is protected against seasonal fishing. Many environmentalists have begun pushing for that number to climb to 30%, as that is when true regeneration can occur.
While ocean life will regenerate quickly under the right circumstances, ensuring their protection can be tricky and problematic to enforce, since the open Ocean is a big big place.
For anyone who questions this fact – I encourage you to watch the documentary Seaspiracy – available on Netflix. It clearly shows how and why “dolphin safe” tuna isn’t really a thing – and how some fishermen have even begun seeing dolphins as competition for their food sources, slaughtering any they can, I know. Disgusting. Sad. Brutal. Yes. All of these and more. Even the worst words are sometimes not enough.
Did you know that an estimated 15,000 Dolphins are illegally fished and killed each year off the coast of Peru? Now this is in a supposed Marine Stewardship Council certified fishery – you know the Blue fish logo you’re encouraged to trust means the catch is responsible? Well what it doesn’t mean is that the fishery is safe – nor does it mean that the waters are constantly patrolled. They have standards, sure – standards that say “no by-catch” and “dolphin safe” and “we don’t trawl, or damage the seabed in our fishing practices” – but the reality is that we cannot guarantee that any fish from our vast oceans are caught without bycatch – or in waters where Dolphins, whales, sea turtles and other sea creatures not intended for food are safe.
The reality is that poaching fish and sea mammals is nothing new – even in protected areas or when the species themselves are protected.
Increased patrolling and onerous fines both help steer the ship in the right direction. It’s time to make these bad actors pay. If you watch the film Seaspiracy you’ll learn about a group of anti-poachers, the Sea Shepherd that works with local authorities to patrol and police international oceans, including those off the Somali coast.
Keeping our oceans fish population is absolutely critical. Fish and the animals that live in our oceans sequester carbon. They take up carbon and bring it to the ocean floor when they die, sequestering it for generations. What’s more, Seaforestation is critical since most of earth’s oxygen actually comes from the macroalgae – or seaweeds – that grow in our oceans.
Step 3: We need to reforest our seas – Did you know that per acre, Sea forests store 20x more carbon than an acre of forest. The first part of this step is simple, we need to stop damaging our sea floors…
Trawling destroys ocean floors, scarring the sea floor and damaging the ecosystem while capturing a ton of bycatch. Regulations can help – but ensuring we’re not supporting trawling fishing through consumption practices is also critical. And – we need systems in place to enforce against illegal fishing practices.
The Monterey bay is known for its kelp forests – indeed it’s where I learned to scuba dive and I’ve had the joy of being tangled in a web of kelp, wondering if that was a sea otter or a harbor seal tugging at my gear as I untangled myself. The ecosystem there is protected and largely in balance. The sea otter population thrives. But as you head south to Santa Barbara, and as the sea otter isn’t as firmly situated, guess what – the sea forests are weak. This is because sea otters aren’t there to eat Sea Urchins – and sea urchins eat the roots of Giant Kelp. The kelp therefore drifts away and dies, while sea urchins climb in population. Each ecosystem strives for balance, but without proper protections, in place, we just don’t get what we need. This ultimately means we go right back to Step 2. We need to ensure we have more marine protected areas.
Now, I realize today I’ve really only provided 3 steps to help us balance our ocean — and there really are many more. In Paul Hawken’s book, Regeneration, he also covers the need to protect and preserve our Mangrove Forests – one of the most carbon rich ecosystems that exists – and he talks about the power of Tidal Salt Marshes too – but to me, these all focus on one core element. We need more nature preserves and protected spaces in general – on the sea and on land – so that thriving ecosystems can exist. It’s especially critical to support those environments that sequester the most carbon. This includes thriving and protected fisheries, oceanic nature preserves that aren’t fished at all, seaforests, mangrove forests and tidal marshes. Ultimately when we consider the earth as a stakeholder in our decisions – we can begin truly regenerating. Earth is life, and Regeneration is the process of putting life at the center of every action and decision, after all.
I know we’ve covered a lot of ground, and I’ve given you a lot to think about – but it’s also the perfect time to act. As I release this podcast, tomorrow is International Coastal Cleanup Day, September 18, 2021. In honor of this day, I wrote a blog on the topic of Plastic Beaches: A cleanup Challenge – where I provide a personal story that I think you’ll enjoy reading and many resources including reputable not-for-profits that support beach and ocean cleanup.
This Saturday will be the perfect day to get outside with some friends and family, and honor Surfrider Foundation’s international effort to clean up our waterways. If you’re nowhere near a beach or shore, head to a riverbank or trailhead and tidy up the natural world around you. If we all take this approach each day, we will erase at least part of the problem.
My plan this Saturday is to take my boys to the beach in Santa Cruz. We will be armed with reusable bags and gloves, and we will both play, enjoy the sea breeze, and pick up some trash. It’s a great way to teach them about the health of our planet, about the consequences of carelessness, while connecting them to nature. I hope you’ll join me in this effort and act similarly.
I’ve also decided I’ll keep a cleanup bag and gloves in my car trunk at all times, and I’ll bring it with me on any hike. Breezes blow trash into our waterways, and it ends up in our oceans – and I can play a part. I can help. This may be penance in a way for me, because I did spend 16 years as a smoker – and mostly – I just squashed my cigarette butts underfoot and left them behind… So I don’t mind picking up trash – not at all. It’s one of the many ways I choose to give back – and I hope you will too.
Thank you listeners, now and always for being a part of this pod and community – because together, we really can do so much more. We can care more and be better.