Who’s Gonna Stand Up? Global Day of Climate Action on Sunday 21 September

As world leaders gather for the United Nations climate summit on Tuesday 23 September, around the globe ordinary individuals will be making their voice heard this Sunday for a Global Day of Climate Action.

Sailors need to be part of this movement, as the places and the processes we treasure most are under threat from climate change: our ocean, those tropical islands we love, even the very pattern of trade winds we’ve relied on for hundreds of years.

The United Nations summit will be the last chance to confirm carbon cuts before a global climate treaty is signed in Paris at the end of 2015.

This week Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak said in a passionate video address to his fellow heads of state attending the summit: “Out here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, climate change has arrived. Our atoll nation stands at the front line in the battle against climate change.”

The low lying atolls of the Marshall Islands are barely six feet above sea level, and as sea levels rise, the beaches where Loeak used to fish as a child are under the sea.

Places like the Marshall Islands are already suffering the brunt of extreme weather events, such as droughts and typhoons, an experience shared by the Philippines. Climate commissioner Naderev “Yeb” Sano from the Philippines travelled to the Arctic this summer to see the extent of the sea ice melt for himself. Coming from “a typhoon-ravaged country,” he said, his visit was “like connecting the dots.”

“I was born over 8,500 kilometers from the North Pole, and yet I have come to realize that my future, and the future of my country, is tied to the fate of the melting Arctic.”

Connecting the dots of climate change is very much the aim of the Blue Planet Odyssey, linking the Arctic seas of the Northern route to the tropical low-lying islands of the South Pacific. Those sailors participating in the Blue Planet Odyssey are already working hard to raise awareness of climate change in their local schools and communities, even before they set sail from Lanzarote in November this year, and from Martinique and Key West early in 2015.

As President Loeak says in his film, “In the Marshall Islands we have a saying – Wa kuk wa jimer. It means that we are all in the same boat together. What is happening here is a mere preview of the havoc that awaits if we continue with our polluting ways. If my country goes, others will surely follow. We are the canary in the coalmine.”

We are all in the same boat together  – so where will you be tomorrow? Send us your photos. Even if you’re at sea, send a photo of the place we want to protect – the ocean!

In the words of Neil Young’s new song, sent to us by Tim Liveright, who is sailing the Blue Planet Odyssey on No Regrets:

Who’s gonna stand up and save the earth?

Who’s gonna say that she’s had enough?



President Loeak’s video on Youtube

Yeb Sano’s video from the Arctic

The Majuro Declaration on Climate Leadership

United Nations Climate Change summit

People’s climate march



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