Besides getting a fish to be their ambassador, the Oceans could not ask for a better advocate than Lewis Pugh.
As his United Nations biography states: “Lewis Pugh knows oceans. As an ocean advocate and a pioneer swimmer he’s been to the world’s most inaccessible places and he’s put his body through unimaginably difficult conditions.”
A former maritime law practitioner, he has seen the destruction of our oceans with plastic up close and is taking it very personally. If there is one fight we can help him with, since he’s the UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador, it’s to drastically reduce the use of single-use plastic items in our daily lives.
If Cape Town can reduce its water consumption dramatically within a short period, then so can every citizen, every day, by exercising a zero waste alternative when coming into contact with every piece of plastic.
And at a time when environmental, political and social gloom can seen overwhelming, Rebecca Solnit’s remarkable book Hope in the Dark offers a lucid, affirmative and well argued case for action, and hope.
Hope is not a substitute for action, only a basis for it. “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed unless it’s faced,” said James Baldwin. Hope gets you there; work gets you through. John Berger wrote “Hope is not a guarantee for tomorrow but a detonator of energy for action today.”
Hope locates itself in the premise that we don’t know what will happen and that in the spaciousness of uncertainty is room to act. When you recognize uncertainty, you recognize that you may be able to influence the outcomes – you alone or in concert with a few dozen or several million others.
Hope is an embrace of the unknown and the unknowable, an alternative to the certainty of both optimists and pessimists … both who excuse themselves from acting. It’s the belief that what we do matters even though how and when it may matter, who and what it may impact, are not things we can know beforehand … or afterwards either, but they matter … and history is full of people whose influence has mattered.
”The future belongs to those who prepare for it today,” said Malcolm X.
We salute those who are being the sea change they want to see!
(Acknowledgement & apologies to Gandhi).
Images courtesy of Lewis Pugh and The Daily News