Saturday was one of the coldest days of the year, but that didn’t stop me from jumping into the icy waters of the Potomac River! Joined by Karl Hornerlaw (another brave Defender) and close to 200 other activists, I took part in the Chesapeake Climate Action Network’s 6th Annual Polar Bear Plunge to raise awareness and inspire action about climate change. Despite the chill, the event drew a range of folks willing to take the plunge. Congresswoman Donna Edwards from Maryland’s 4th District spoke passionately about the need to protect our environment and take action on climate change – before diving in herself.
Though we were there for a “polar bear plunge,” the impacts of climate change aren’t only felt in the Arctic. Every part of the globe is facing enormous challenges – and that means wildlife and the ecosystems we all depend on are all at risk.
Scientists estimate we could lose a third of all species over the next century due to climate change. If we want to live in a world we can even recognize, we must take action to limit global warming and help wildlife, ecosystems and our communities adapt to the changes our planet is seeing now, and prepare for those that will come in the future.
As a father of young daughters, one of whom came out to watch the event, I think about the future a lot, and what kind of world we are passing down to our children. So that’s why I waded into the Potomac, stepping over the ice that had built up right at the beach.
Call me crazy, or just committed, but you know, once you get into water that cold, you don’t feel much of anything. In fact, it wasn’t all that bad – everyone should try it next year!