“Our house is on fire.” Fridays for Future. The Sunrise Movement. The Global Climate Strikes of September 2019. Young people across the world are rallying together to demand climate action. For generations, climate change has been recognized as an intimidating threat, yet substantial, preventative climate action has not been executed. The expense of a warming climate is great.
Yes, this is the burden saddled upon us and our future. Alarm and anger is justifiable. But for a second, if we shift our mindsets to a different vision, maybe we can grow a sustainable future in optimism instead of fear. In times like these where we observe how nature is recovering in our absence, we see resilience. Is this not a vision of hope? When we put our hearts and minds into the solutions of tomorrow, instead of a house on fire, we can build a bigger, healthier, greener, and bluer house for all.
Ever since my journey began with SOA, every Ocean Leader has given me so many reasons to be hopeful. The work all of us do is truly changing the planet for the better. It’s my honor to be the inaugural Chair of the Youth Policy Advisory Council. With an incredible group of policy-minded Ocean Leaders, we seek to advise, champion, and act upon SOA’s policy campaigns. Through working groups on campaigns like Seabed Mining or the Blue New Deal, YPAC seeks to provide valuable input on how we can best implement action according to each policy campaign.
Ultimately, the goal for YPAC is to facilitate the large-scale success of SOA’s policy initiatives. This network will not only emphasize what a blue, sustainable future should look like, but it is the exemplification of the power of youth and how necessary we are in policy advising. When we engage in conversations led by diverse and multi-talented voices, I am assured that the future of the health of our oceans is one filled with hope indeed.
~Mark Haver, YPAC Chair