Climate change is happening, no matter what Cheeto Satan says. And the ocean is currently bearing the brunt of the effects. Did you know that 50% of coral reefs have disappeared in the last 30 years? The new Netflix documentary Chasing Coral covers this and many other facts about why we should start caring about the planet and stop denying that climate change exists. The ocean terrifies me. The depth, the unknown, and its power all make me shake. But my fear for the planet is higher.
Richard Vevers was an English ad man who tired of the industry and realized he could be doing more than selling 2 or 3 ply toilet paper. He has been a diver since he was 16. He started to notice when he was diving that one of the sea creatures he loved, the weedy seadragon, were disappearing. This made him want to find out why they were dying and what else was being affected. He found that global warming is destroying the coral reefs. He assembled a team of divers and photographers including Zackery Rago to document this occurrence. They were able to put time lapse cameras into the water in more than 30 countries around the world. These locations included the Florida Keys, Airport Reef in American Samoa, and Hawaii.
Here are some factors to consider regarding coral reefs: 29% of the Great Barrier Reef disappeared in 2016 due to climate change. The ocean absorbs the warmth, which affects all living things that make it their home. Coral reefs absorb the temperature increase and become sick. They try to get rid of the sickness by pushing it out, which results in bleaching. The bleaching essentially leaves only the skeleton of the coral reefs. If the ocean didn’t absorb the warming, the average temperature on Earth would be 122 degrees. These coral reefs also supply food to one billion people and protect our beaches from extreme weather like hurricanes.
Towards the end of Chasing Coral the group of scientists and photographers present their findings and the effects of climate change on the ocean. The results were so extreme that it brought me to tears during the time lapse. The destruction of the reefs are so devastating that it is hard not to react. Not just because it will affect the human race, but because these reefs are a living, breathing thing that need to be saved. The passion and commitment these group of people have shown should not go unnoticed. It has moved me to continue to educate myself regarding this issue and do what I can to help.
I didn’t follow my own advice recently and read the comments when a friend posted that she stands with Planned Parenthood. One of her friends said she doesn’t and ranted a bit about her tax dollars going towards abortions. I responded (LIKE A DUM DUM) and told her that if she doesn’t want to have an abortion, she shouldn’t have one. She ranted even more and I just ended the exchange by telling her that she isn’t going to change my mind and I won’t change hers (okay, okay, I did say something else but thought better of it and deleted the comment). But with the current White House administration, I believe it is very important to support Planned Parenthood as they are having their funds taken away. This doesn’t just mean abortions won’t be performed. It also means many other services will not be available to those who need it. And even those who think shutting Planned Parenthood down means abortions will go away are wrong.
First and foremost, I want to say that our federal tax dollars DO go towards abortions. But those abortions are done only in the case of rape, incest, and if the mother’s life is in danger. This is detailed in what is called the Hyde Amendment. As for other abortions, I still stand by my statement. If you don’t want one, don’t have one. But don’t pretend to know what somebody is going through who decides to have one.
Abortion is at the forefront of the news when you read about Planned Parenthood but that isn’t all they do. They also provide birth control, emergency contraception, general health care, HIV and LBTQ services, mens’ health services, education, pregnancy testing and services, STD testing/treatment/vaccines, and cancer screenings in addition to womens’ services. There are over 600 locations and they are there for more than 5 million adults and children each year.
Access to Planned Parenthood services keeps birth rates down. Texas has learned this the hard way. Back in 2011 they cut family budget planning by 67%. As as result, 80 Planned Parenthood clinics closed. That lead to an increase of 3.1 percent in abortions. You can read about it here.
So that’s my spiel. I am pro choice but I understand that abortion is a very hot topic and people not agreeing with them. But Planned Parenthood is not just about abortions. They provide so much more, especially for those that are low income. I hope this sheds some light on an organization that has been unnecessarily controversial in recent years (and for the love of all that is good, please don’t bring up baby parts). The need for Planned Parenthood is too great.