How is climate change affecting the ocean? In this episode Sierra talks to scientists at the COP20 in Lima, Peru, about deoxygenation.
Voces por el Clima, Voices for the Climate, bustled with Peruvians from all ages coming to learn about climate issues. The event featured sections dedicated to education about various environmental issues—sustainable cities, forests, mountains, clean energy and the oceans. Education displays combined traditional museum style exhibits with text with interactive art, touch screens, video, building activities and more. Students from the local University presented each display to visitors engaging them with the content and answering questions. Children ran through a forest of brightly painted trees, laughing gleefully. An elderly women moved robotically in front of a human sized ipod screen with remote sensor technology, her face pursed slightly in concentration. A little boy reassembled pillows made to look like stones, piling them carefully into a dam. Animated presenters attracted the audience with charisma and a message of us, the people, acting now to save our planet.
Building G at COP 20 is filled with several hundred exhibitor booths. From 9 AM to 9 PM delegates stroll, peruse and learn. But almost none of these booths focus on the ocean. An important exception is the Hot, Sour, and Breathless Booth, sponsored by Plymouth Marine Lab, UK, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and CMBC, USA, and the Univ. of Santo Tomas, Chile. Here, COP delegates and observers can learn how excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is warming, acidifying and de-oxygenating the oceans. One-on-one conversations with delegates, press and observers allow us to have detailed, country-specific discussions of change in the ocean and the ecological and economic consequences. Our goal is to have the ocean highlighted in the negotiations and appear in the declaration text.
Yesterday, I was finally able to sneak away for a few minutes to peruse the other booths at the COP. I was interested in which other students were at the COP and what they were doing, so I ended up at the University of Michigan booth and was pleased to walk away with an invitation for a student mixer hosted by Vermont Law School and Washington University School of Law. With hosts like those, we were a bit hesitant to join as non-law students, but we’re glad we did.