Nereus research fellow Tyler Eddy (University of South Carolina) recently published a short article in the journal Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, entitled ‘Climate change drowned out by plastic’. In his article he discusses how marine plastic pollution is currently receiving an out-sized proportion of attention from the media, politicians and public regarding hazards to the ocean environment. With the current focus on marine plastic pollution, attention is being shifted away from the more pressing and existential threat to the oceans – climate change. He also discusses the scientific debate as to whether public campaigns, such as the anti-plastic straw #stopsucking, are doing more harm than good, by incorrectly convincing those who partake that they are doing enough to help curb human-caused damage being done to the oceans. In the end, Tyler calls for collective action to mitigate the harmful effects climate change is causing to the oceans in the form of carbon taxing and a shift to a renewable energy-based grid, and asks scientists to help close the knowledge gap associated with the public’s perception of climate change.
Eddy, T. (2019). Climate change drowned out by plastic. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 29(5), 848. DOI: 10.1002/aqc.3084