Climate change is arguably the single, most important global issue of our time. No matter who you are or where you live, you and your loved ones are directly affected by how we approach protecting our environment from this day onward. Defending our natural resources is more than just a good idea, it’s critical for our survival. Life on Earth depends on inhabitable land, access to clean water and air, and a safe range of temperatures and weather patterns. Without those things, we will cease to exist.
We understand that the topic of man-made climate change is a charged one. It is such a vast and overarching concept, it can be hard for us as individuals to understand it’s scope and impact. Despite the fact that we must take critical action now, before it is too late, it’s almost reflexive to be detached. Everywhere we look, news stories about global warming and pollution are discussed dispassionately, in ways that foster a disconnect to the damage being done to our planet. Outrage fatigue, the emotional exhaustion we experience when repeatedly exposed to terrible things beyond our control, injures our capacity to relate to the devastating images and accounts of systematic environmental eradication. In many countries, our environment has sadly become politicized, relegated to being just another point on a budget checklist. Agencies and organizations do their best with what they have, but ultimately that will not be enough.
It’s with those heavy considerations in mind that SUNI was created.
When we look at turning back the clock and healing our damaged ecosystems, the bottom line is that we need more involvement. The PARIS Climate Agreement is an example of the large-scale guidance we need on an international level, but we are still missing the key to inspiring action on a personal basis. There are numerous roadblocks which hinder our best and brightest minds from taking charge and enacting change. Some of the most common ones are:
Cost of materials, operating expenses, and a lack of the financial security to pursue unpaid work complicate accessibility in low-to-middle income areas.
Difficulty finding and connecting with local projects to approach eco-friendly goals within a community, or lacking the ability to find others to help enact your vision both stem from a lack of scalable networking platforms to build project visibility.
Finally, and we think most importantly, the immensity of the issue makes it hard to see how any one person can cause an impact on a global scale. Many of us have the drive and desire to help save our planet, but don’t know where to start. This understandable uncertainty has obstructed the single greatest weapon we have in the fight against climate change; the individual.This is where SUNI comes in. We are using blockchain technology as a means of finding revolutionary ways to enable anyone who wants to contribute, acting as an intermediary between the population and their environment. By addressing the hurdles above and more, we are sparking a movement which will kickstart meaningful change anywhere and everywhere. Furthermore, we are deeply passionate about teaching communities how to defend their rights and their homes. All over the world, from the biggest cities to the most remote villages, SUNI will aid others in standing up to those with no regard for the future, those who would take from this Earth and give nothing back.
Let us walk you through a few real life examples of how SUNI can help.
DEFORESTATION — The permanent removal of trees to make room for something besides forest
To say our forests are irreplaceable is an understatement. Forests have over 80% of all species on earth.They serve not only as a home for this life, but also are the beating heart of our planet, providing fresh water, oxygen (over 20% of the world’s supply from the Amazon alone), resources and food, and even impact weather patterns.
Every second, enough forest is cleared to cover 1.5 acres / 6,000 square meters / 3.6 football fields
Clearing of forests contributes 12–17% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions
At this rate, in 100 years there will be no rain forests on Earth
Deforestation is destruction on such a large scale it is impossible to quantify. So how can one person make a difference when we are up against something so immense?
Meet Forest Man. In 1979, Jadav Payeng learned about soil erosion and was deeply troubled by the implications for his home. Armed with a little knowledge and a lot of passion, he started planting trees, and he didn’t stop. Now the forest he single-handedly cultivated over the course of 4 decades is larger than Central Park, NY (842.6 acres / 2.11 square km / 1,112 football fields)
Very few of us have the ability to stop what we are doing and plant a tree every day. Between the cost of the tree itself, the equipment to plant it, the transportation to and from the location, the ability to take time off of work, and more, even the most motivated person would struggle. So this is where SUNI comes in. By submitting a tree-planting project, you can receive the support and backing of an entire community which has the same priorities as you. SUNI will review your project and help you bring it to life. Once your project is complete, you upload proof to the social networking platform and are rewarded with SUNI coin, a cryptocurrency with real dollar value, in return for your accomplishments.
WATER POLLUTION — When harmful substances contaminate a body of water, degrading its quality and rendering it toxic
There is a reason that we celebrate every time we discover a new planet with evidence of water. It’s the same reason we continue to dive into the vastness of space in tireless search for these cosmic anomalies. Water is life. The surface of our planet is 71% water, and is home to up to 80% of all living things. Even we, ourselves, are 60% water, with it imbued into every cell of our bodies. There is nothing more synonymous with our essence than the image of our world from the International Space Station, with its deep blue oceans glimmering beneath swirls of clouds.
80% of the world’s wastewater is released back into the environment
There are approximately 500 “dead zones” in the ocean which are so toxic that no organisms can live there
Over 100,000 marine mammals die annually due to plastic pollution
It’s impossible to miss how our human presence has changed the water on our planet irreversibly. Not only is there pollution in every major ocean, lake, and river in the world, scientists have recently discovered trash in the deepest parts of the ocean. If this is the case, is there anything we can do?
24-year-old Boyan Slat is a university dropout whose invention may change the course of history. He is the founder of The Ocean Cleanup organization, a group of like-minded individuals who are passionate about the ocean skimmer Slat created. His vision, a floating boom with a tapered 10-foot-deep (3-meter-deep) screen, is able to collect garbage while marine life swims undisturbed beneath it.
People like Boylan Slat are currently an untapped resource. In order to be considered for grant money and other traditional means of funding, one is often expected to follow the path of linear education. The launch of SUNI is how we revolutionize this exclusionary practice. With the ability to receive community backing, creators will no longer be restrained by a system which disproportionately rewards a formal education over the caliber of an invention. By submitting ideas like Slat’s skimmer, anyone will be able to breathe life into creations which will change our lives.
AIR POLLUTION — The presence of substances in the atmosphere that are harmful to the health of humans and other living beings, or cause damage to the climate
What we refer to as air isn’t a single thing but rather a complex equation of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and 5 other main elements. These are the exact proportions we need to survive, and when any of these balances are disturbed, we feel it. Weather is crucial in promoting a healthy ecosystem. In a world without wind, many plants, including the ones we rely on for food, would be unable to reproduce.
Nearly half of the world’s population live where the air quality is considered severely unhealthy
About 25% of urban ambient air pollution is from fine particulate matter is contributed by traffic
Air pollution kills 800 people every hour, or 13 every minute
Transforming pollution into renewable energy sources is one of the hottest topics of the day. This is truly the best way to evolve and clean our environment, and we aren’t just talking about wind-powered turbines. The University of Antwerp and KU Leuven have invented a tiny device which can convert polluted air into one of the cleanest energy sources we know of, hydrogen fuel. As the project continues to grow, they are looking at wide-spread implementation in a similar way to how solar panels are used today.
Even well-resourced institutions often have their hands tied when it comes to supporting groundbreaking projects. They are forced to work within the bureaucratic constraints which ultimately edge out concepts which aren’t in alignment with the current trends. SUNI doesn’t have those boundaries. Students and faculty members alike will be able to submit an academic project for consideration. This will open up more experimental possibilities for utilization while also continuing to have them connected to an accredited source, which is a win-win.
EXTINCTION — The death of the last individual of a species
A world without animals is a world without humans. We rely on them to provide us sustenance, labor, companionship, and even entertainment. Some are so absurd that they fill us with childlike wonder. Unicorns are mundane in comparison to giraffes with necks taller than the average basketball player, deep sea squid with no bones and eyes the size of soccer balls, or a mammal with a duckbill which lays eggs and has venomous barbs on their back legs, the platypus. We share this world with over 8.7 million species of animals, and the web which interconnects us is as vital as it is complex.
At this rate, ⅓ to ½ of all animals will be extinct by 2050
99% of the animals on the verge of extinction are endangered due to man-made causes
Because of the complexity of ecosystems, the number of animals going extinct will rise exponentially moving forward
If you are reading this article, you are old enough to remember the Northern White Rhino. Rhinoceros, with their iconic horn, are hard to forget. Sadly, due largely in part to habitat destruction and poaching, most Rhinos are on the edge of extinction, with the Northern White Rhino being the most recent casualty. Without a serious change in course, rhinos will join the ranks of the Tasmanian tiger and Amazon river dolphin as a devastating reminder of our failure to protect them.
Wildlife rescues are one of the ways humans are stepping up to the plate and fighting against animal extinction. They serve as stewards of the habitat their animal lives in, defenders of the animals themselves, while also sharing knowledge and sparking the desire for action in others. These efforts are crucial, but the majority of them are constantly hovering on the edge of closing their doors forever due to funding issues. Luckily, SUNI is ready to intervene. Through our platform, established wildlife conservationists will be able to reach out and find the support and resources they so desperately need. Whether these projects are for opening a new rescue or assisting an existing one through troubled times, SUNI will provide a fresh array of options to enable the champions of animal rights to prevent other species from suffering at the hands of global expansion.
These are only a few examples of how SUNI plans to be the driving force behind the future of climate health. We are a project born from necessity and a sense of duty, but we are enacting our calling with passion. As we get further and further into the 21st century, we are encountering obstacles we never could have imagined and we have no choice but to face them head on. Maybe someday we will find ways to inhabit other planets, but until then, life on Earth is not optional. We all bear the heavy burden of reversing the unimaginable damage caused by years of unfettered expansionism. Our belief is that the impact we made on our environment does not stem from any sort of bad intentions or malice, but rather from a lack of consideration and deliberate thought to our surroundings. This is why the concept behind SUNI is so powerful. As we form a collective awareness of the world around us, we are able to devote ourselves to becoming the healers our environment so desperately needs. Whether it’s as small as planting a tree in your backyard or as large as starting an international initiative, every action matters. We at SUNI are ready to blaze a new trail, one which allows everyone, not just a privileged few, to take part in reclaiming the future for our children and grandchildren.
Healing the planet is in our hands.