By Kassel Franco Garibay
Last week the Outside Magazine shook the world by publishing an obituary for the Great Barrier Reef. This satire article caused millions to share the news, oblivious to the sarcastic tone in the eulogy. I have to say that for a moment I was one of those people that missed the joke, and when the news reached me I was filled with a feeling of impotence that made my stomach turn and my eyes water. After some research, I was relieved to see it had all been a rather drastic attempt to get people interested in saving the Great Barrier. 2016 has been one of the worst years for this natural wonder (22% of the Barrier died just this year), but there is still time to save it.
“No one knows if a serious effort could have saved the reef, but it is clear that no such effort was made,” Robert Jacobsen wrote in his mock-obituary. And I can’t help but think about those 1.41 million people that shared this article accompanied by scandalized comments and crying emoji. Sure, a good portion of those people probably do their part, they recycle, they don’t waste water, they are environmentally conscious. But what about those that don’t?
I saw news related to the Great Barrier Reef all over my Facebook, and I knew that most of the people that shared the news don’t give two cents about the environment, but they didn’t have any problems pretending they do. Being concerned about our planet should not be about getting a few likes on your post, much less about looking “cool” for posting scientific articles. I believe that those 1.41 million people that shared the original obituary, and the many others that indignantly shared similar articles, along with the rest of us, now have a responsibility to save it. If you were outraged by the news, prove it.
Kassel is a freshman.
Graphic by Dominique Butler