How a bunch of ‘thoughtful larrikins’ want to save the world
YOU don't have to be world class waverider to defend Australia’s coastline and the surfing lifestyle from the threat of climate change.
According to Byron resident and former pro surfer Johnny Abegg, 40, who along with longboarding champion Belinda Baggs, founded Surfers for Climate, everyone who loves the beach can play a part in helping the ocean, the beach and the planet.
Abegg said the group which launches today is taking on the crucial challenge of bringing the Australian surf community together to protect the coastline from future threats.
He said while this is a very serious matter, he hoped Surfers for Climate “would help lighten the load people might feel about getting involved.
“We take the approach of a thoughtful larrikin as so often the messaging can be so heavy,” he said.
“So we are walking people whether they are surfers or not through small steps they can make to create a difference and these are easy to do.
“Such as growing your own food, riding your bike rather than a car and choosing to bank where they do not invest in fossil fuels.”
Getting the message out there start the conversation
“For surfers, the ocean is life,” Baggs said.
“Climate change, fuelled by the burning of fossil fuels, threatens everyone’s way of life.
“For the surfing community, this is a red alert, everything we love is under threat.”
Australian surfers found their collective voice seeing off the Norwegian oil giants seeking to drill the Great Australian Bight in February this year, and have now come together to take on an even bigger challenge, climate change.
“Surfers for Climate will bring surfers together in a positive, fun and inspiring way,” Abegg said.
“The ocean has shaped our country, now, we must stand up and do what we can to create the future we all want.”
Giants of surfing including pro surfers Adrian “Ace” Buchan, Laura Enever and Pacha Light have joined swimmer and ironman Ky Hurst, actor and director Simon Baker, surf filmmaker Jack McCoy, and musician Jack River as ambassadors for Surfers for Climate.
The surfer-led organisation’s launch today coincides with a remarkable collaboration between Jack McCoy and Paul McCartney, who have created a new film clip to McCartney’s evocative homage to the ocean, “Wine Dark Open Sea,” featuring Baggs surfing.