What do you want out of the #newnormal?
As you were? Something else?
It’s still very early days since the Covid spring, but so far it feels like the major positive changes in the short/medium term might chiefly be ideological ones. As if significant shifts in our thinking might well endure, even if things appear to be reverting to type.
In all likelihood, most things will probably resume to pre-Covid levels asap in order to keep the wheels greased on our V shaped recovery (project restart at Primark suggests that many consumers are intent on making up for lost time).
“Personally, I’d mud wrestle my own mother for a ton of money, an amusing clock and a sack of French porn”
Meanwhile, all those planes that’ve been grounded will try and get back up and fill our skies again, road traffic seems to be desperate to replenish particulate nasties and get the air quality back to black, asap.
But rather than those top down changes, blanket bans and forced closures, perhaps the best outcomes from lockdown might be a bottom up shift in our individual and shared values.
It already feels like people are more emboldened, like folk are more willing/able to speak out, and less willing to preserve the status quo.
Don’t you think?
Surfrider Foundation Europe says non, non, non to wave pools
The Surfrider Foundation, which has been around for decades but sometimes feels a bit hidden in plain sight, has stepped up recently to call out wave pools for environmental reasons.
It’s a sentiment echoed by the great Matt Warshaw in an interview we did with him during early stage lockdown (“If all the wave pool projects around the world crater, that wouldn’t be a bad thing”), and a topic that feels relatively under-discussed.
Like, why exactly are we madly intent on hollowing out the earth’s surface and installing electrically generated waves with zero biodiversity as quickly as we can, everywhere we can?
Surfrider’s objections, in brief, are due to 3 factors: Energy and water consumption, and the ‘artificialization’ of land.
To put it another way, waves in the ocean come from wind (itself comes from solar energy), you literally can’t get more renewable than that. The littoral zones themselves are (should be) thriving ecosystems. Surfing’s pretty good, au naturale.
Do we really need to be building plastic theme park surf in the 21st century?
The current scrambling to build wave pools all over the world is a symptom of our problem, not any kind of cure, and if the marketing gumpf from a wave tank project tries to tell you otherwise, your bullshit detector should probably be glowing hotter than this June’s record Arctic temperatures.
Read the full Surfrider article
Surf Scientists Find A New Way To Save Coral Reefs
“My colleagues and I are tired of writing obituaries for coral reefs” – Jack Kittinger
“SERFSUP DUDE (Social-Ecological Research Frontiers: Solutions to Unsustainable Practices from Deeper Understanding of Development and Environment) is a group of surfing scientists that convene once a year — typically in a beach community with a good surf break — to ask the really tough questions about how to save the world’s coral reefs,” says Jack Kittinger on SeaShepherd.org.
A recent study by the group has been focusing on how to save damaged reefs around the world, which essentially come up with a harsh but practical assessment, perhaps analogous to a mountaineer cutting the rope.
Seriously degraded reefs are basically beyond saving, according to the group’s findings, and conservation efforts should be instead focused on reefs that we can have great effect on; the ‘B list’ reefs, those that have been impacted, but are still productive.
“We’ll get the biggest conservation gains by implementing no-take marine protected areas that prohibit all human activities” said Kittinger, presumably without meaning to state the blindingly fucking obvious.
Read the full feature here, and if you dig the Sea Shepherd message, be sure to check out the podcast episode we did with real life action hero Captain Thomas Le Coz of Sam Simon.
Save The Waves Film Festival
As the chess Grandmaster Jonathan Rowson – who might be one of the cleverest, articulate people to have ever breathed air – noted in his interview in one of my favourite eco/comedy pods Sustainababble, it’s not so much the message but the messenger that tends to make the difference in cutting through.
Hence the important role films can play in getting messages across in a more creative, entertaining, inspiring way than say, I don’t know, a wizened surf hack writing ‘The End Is Nigh, Everything Is Fingered‘ type features, or even that self satisfied in-law that brings her own wooden straw to a family barbecue.
During the latter part of lockdown, Save The Waves launched a film festival with daily showings of a selection of environmental films, all of which can be found here
There’s a really cool selection focusing on the folk making real positive impacts, and a variety of ocean and surf centric projects and campaigns around the world.
From plastic to corals, megafauna to seed saving, the format of curating a bunch of shorts and putting together on long play Vimeo reels so you don’t need to faff around searching and swearing at autoplay ads etc, it’s the stuff of mid-week, post dinner coma couch bliss, as far as I’m concerned.
Meanwhile, if you’re involved in a local campaign that you’d like to see given a bit of awareness, let us know by dropping us a Tweet @wavelengthmag, email [email protected] or DM us on FB/ IG @wavelengthsurfmag
There’s a bunch of cool local focus groups popping up all the time and new energy being injected into greener futures at the grass roots level.
All the very best activism of course, starts by your gates.
I just joined a FB group called ‘National Association of Tree Protectors – Basin de Boudigou-Bouret Chapter’, which refers to a few hundred mature trees located between two tidal creeks about a cricket ball’s throw from my street.