Future of the Ocean Symposium: A Sobering Response to Upcoming Administration

Wishing Whale had the pleasure of attending the 12th Annual Future of the Ocean Symposium & Champion of the Ocean Awards Luncheon earlier today. The event, held at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey, included a variety of guest speakers, who discussed America’s Ocean Future, and what the priorities for congress and the Trump Administration are moving forward. This discussion was insightful being only about a month away from the Presidential Inauguration.

The mission of this event was to serve the University and the public interest as a forum for research, education, and collaboration that fosters the application of the best available science and policy to support stewardship of healthy, resilient and productive coastal ecosystems and sustainable communities. While we were unable to attend the entire function, some key points were discussed which stressed the importance of climate change and and what Americans can do.

 Christine Todd Whitman, 50th Governor of New Jersey and President The Whitman Strategy Group, a firm that specializes in energy and environmental issues, was one of the guests and honorees of the event. She served as Administrator of the EPA under the Bush Administration. Another honoree and guest was Donald E. Boesch, President of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

Primarily the speakers discussed how the new administration will affect the implication of sustainable practices and its growth. While still very early to tell, the possibly of retrogressing in regards to the progress the United States has made for combating climate change is a harsh reality many champions of marine conservation and environmentalists must face.

While it is easy to feel uneasy about the future, there is always hope.Only days ago President Elect Trump and daughter Ivanka met with Al Gore to discuss climate change. America’s younger generations have been exposed to the reality of climate change. While Trump has a history of climate change denialism, his children understand just how important this issue is. Whitman said at the event on Trump, “Listen to your daughter.”

Are Millennials Environmentally Friendly?

It seems that everyone, and that means everyone, has an opinion on millennials. Whether is be negative (usually) or positive, Millennials are creating quite the dialogue. Millennials are quite possibly the most studied generation ever. They are definitely the most technology intuitive, and their work ethic? Well we’re not too sure just yet on how that is when most of them are still in college.

But what night be an important thing to look into is the visual that millennials care about the environment more than older generations, and it’s also important to see if they actually act in response to those feelings. Are millennials more environmentally friendly? It seems likely. Many Millennials haven’t been around that long, but they have the most access to information at a quicker pace than any generation before. They are constantly reading and posting and learning about the world around them, and their domination of social media has made it quite clear that they make their opinions heard.

This information overload is likely what may help millennials guide their opinions on social and environmental issues. For example, it is likely that millennials will tend to seek out brands that are more environmentally beneficial or healthier for themselves. Despite their lack of funds, they have the information to know that other brands are out there that other generations might miss out on when looking at the Sunday advertisements for shopping ideas. Another possible correlation could also be that millennials inexperience with budgeting could lead them to buy more expensive products instead of buying what is the cheapest. Disposable income is the highest when there aren’t many bills to pay, so the frivolity in spending could definitely lead to buying more expensive items, even if it is for a good cause.

While millennials seem to care more than the average generation, talk is cheap, and when faced with daunting tasks such as recycling, According to a 2013 Eco Pulse survey by Shelton GRP only 33% of millennials participated. Millennials also slacked on reusable water bottles, minimizing water usage during showers or brushing teeth, and making sure electronics are unplugged when not being used. So while they may be talking about issues, they may not be as productive as thought. What is interesting however form this poll is the lifestyle choices millennials make. They were more likely to borrow or share items, shop sustainably, grow their own food and make their own cleaning products.

So when it comes to being environmentally friendly, millennials care, and they do what they can, not what they should, which could be said about any generation really. Millennials will be inheriting this world pretty soon, so with a little more action, our future looks not half bad.

Source: carbonxprint