We’re Not Just Losing Our Global Air Conditioner. We’re Actively Destroying It.

The science on the rapidly melting Arctic sea ice, our global air conditioner, was already bleak enough to warn us all to leave it alone. And yet, as a new study in Nature reveals that even the direst projections for ice loss have proved too conservative, ships are heading into the Arctic Ocean in increasing numbers to damage what’s left. The global effects include overheated oceans, storms, fires, crop failures, and disease. How much more catastrophe do we need before we decide it’s time to change our ways?

The Arctic sea ice is pivotal to our survival. It acts as a giant shield at the top of the Earth, reflecting 50% of the sun’s heat back to space. This helps keep our weather patterns stable, so we have the food, resources and infrastructure we need to live. But it’s been melting away for decades. Now, according to the Nature study, it’s vanishing even faster than scientists predicted. Only the worst-case scenario models considered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with the highest carbon dioxide emissions, come close to the actual rate of melt.

But as if that weren’t bad enough, commercial shipping traffic is on the rise. Ships made 935 voyages on the Northern Sea Route (along the Russian coast) through the first six months of 2020, compared with 855 trips in the same period last year. These are massive ice-destroying vessels, and they also bring more pollution. The ships carry oil, liquefied natural gas and other fuels, which if spilled or leaked, would decimate the surrounding Arctic ecosystem.

Our world has no business extracting or shipping these fuels anywhere in the first place. Their carbon dioxide emissions will only melt the ice faster, accelerating what scientists say is the Earth’s sixth mass extinction event—currently well underway. Standing by and passively allowing this destructive activity is tantamount to signing our own death warrant. Our world is losing as many as 200 species forever every day as a direct consequence of our own disconnected thinking that considers us as separate from Nature and each other. Unless we wish for Homo sapiens to be among the extinct, we must change our ways immediately. We must act now to remove the threat to the Arctic Ocean and get behind MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary.

MAPS is a 360º initiative to awaken interconnection around the world in order to preserve all life. By safeguarding the Arctic Ocean, it protects our homes, food and water supplies, and collective wellbeing. The all-volunteer international non-profit organization Parvati Foundation, led by its Founder and CEO, the award-winning musician, author and activist Parvati, created the international MAPS Treaty to protect the Arctic Ocean. The Treaty has been translated into all official UN languages, provided to the 193 UN member states, and shared with officials at major UN conferences since 2015. With signatures from 97 more countries, the MAPS Treaty enters into force.

“The world’s weather patterns are inherently interconnected,” says Parvati. “All life everywhere depends on Arctic sea ice. Its loss is already causing a chain reaction of suffering worldwide, affecting the safety and food security of multiple millions. MAPS helps keep our planet liveable. The entire world community must come together to support MAPS now, while there is still time.”

Citizens of all nations are urged to sign and share the MAPS petition at https://parvati.org, and to call on their governments to endorse the MAPS Treaty for the good of all.