The Ice-Cold Truth Straight From "Blueland"

The Slippery Slope of “Blueland”

Our co-founder and chief scientist Kevin Whilden, is now in Greenland on a one-in-a-lifetime expedition. But before he left we caught up with him to get his thoughts on why SeaTrees is going to the far north and what we want to accomplish on this trip.
Q: Hey Kevin, where are you headed this week?
A: Greenland! Or as I like to call it, “Blueland” because it’s the blue frozen ice and ocean that dominate the landscape up there.
Q: Why Greenland?
A: I'm stoked to be participating in the Blockchain x Climate Change Expedition with a colorful cast of like-minded entrepreneurs, artists, and scientists. But what’s really driving me to go, is the opportunity to experience first-hand (as Nat Geo puts it) what rapid climate change looks like at “Ground Zero”
Greenland is the perfect place to hold an expedition like this because it allows us to see climate change almost in real time. The arctic region is warming 4x faster than anywhere else on earth, and the negative impact it's having on our global ocean is an existential threat. Case in point – due to all the ice that is melting in Greenland (and Iceland), the ocean’s “circulation system” is actually starting to slow down – or even worse, break down.

Q: The ocean circulation is breaking down? That doesn’t sound good.
A: It isn’t good! There is now so much freshwater entering the ocean in the North Atlantic from melting glaciers, it’s changing the salinity of the ocean, which completely alters the way the entire ocean circulation belt functions. If this conveyor belt of ocean current circulation were to break down, the effects would be disastrous for everyone on the planet, including bringing extreme cold to Europe and parts of North America. We can't let that happen on our watch. 

Q: So why is our organization exploring “Blockchain” technology as a tool?
A: I’m genuinely excited about the potential usefulness that blockchain technology could provide, to help us better track the impact and transparency of our various SeaTrees projects around the world. Because these coastal ecosystems (mangrove & kelp forests, coral reefs, and coastal watersheds) are ground zero for reversing climate change.
In its simplest form – a “Blockchain” is really just a system for recording information (like how many mangrove trees we're going to plant in 2022) on a shared, public-facing database. Which can help provide additional transparency and accountability about the positive impacts we are creating. It records information in a secure way that makes it impossible to change or hack.
Q: Are you excited to go?
A: Yes! Not only will this expedition provide some real value for us to communicate what we do to our supporters, but I actually studied glaciology in grad school, so it's like going to “Mecca”. It will also be an ever-present reminder about the importance of the work we're doing as an organization to turn the tide on climate change – and reverse the impacts of global warming.
Q: Anything else you want to say before you take off?
A: We calculated the entire carbon footprint of the event by collecting data on attendees’ flight, train, and ground transportation as well as hotel stays. The total footprint of the event totaled 83.2 tons of CO2. The best part about this is we have actually wiped out this entire footprint with our SeaTrees tokens, making the expedition completely #oceanpositive.

UPDATE: Kevin has landed in Greenland! Check out this video of him explaining ocean circulation live in person from the Greenland ice sheet.
  Photo Credit: Benjamin Von Wong | @vonwong

We have another exciting event coming up this month!
This weekend on Oahu is the start of Duke’s Oceanfest - Hawaii’s premier ocean sports festival, and SeaTrees partner Head High Wines is a sponsor of the event.

SeaTrees co-founder Michael Stewart and ambassador Zane Kekoa Schweitzer will be surfing in the Legends Invitational alongside Head High Wines owner Bill Price. Michael will also be speaking at the Pinot & Poke Sustainable Reception at the iconic Outrigger Canoe Club. If you’re on the island and looking for that end-of-summer Aloha spirit, come by and check out the Head High Wines tent  – featuring a custom cork board from Timber Surf Co., one of our many ECOBOARD Project partners who also plant & restore SeaTrees as a lasting legacy of the surfboards they create.