« Priced out of protection: Ana Santos Rutschman on the politics of vaccine distribution | Main | Looking out for each other: Nicholas Kristof on the resiliency of Hispanic American communities »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Kendall Roberts

Johnson's first proposal of major ways the oceans help provide climate solutions is through offshore renewable energy. The wind offshore blows stronger and more consistently than on land, so we could provide more reliable energy. Secondly, they propose restoring and protecting the marine ecosystems in order to increase the amount of carbon that the ocean already is absorbing. Third, they mention algae biofuel, which can be used instead of ethanol, and has a lot of benefits for the environments instead of fuel use. Lastly, ocean farming in mentioned to show ways the oceans help provide climate solutions. By focusing on growing seaweeds and filter-feeding shellfish, we wouldn't have to worry about wasting resources feeding them because they live off sunlight and nutrients in the water, and they can reduce ocean acidification and improve water quality. The option I find the most feasible is using the ocean to create wind energy. We already have test patches off of Rhode Island to test how much energy we can produce, and I think it is better than putting large wind turbines on land, which we already have done. I was most surprised by the algae biofuel. I wasn't aware we could create that from growing algae, and I am interested to learn more about how it works.

Princeton ROgers

1. The way the ocean is described by the media is when we hear about oil spills, pollution, agriculture, factories, plastics, etc. Johnson uses a template from chapter one when she states, “I was five and reveled in blowing bubbles and doing cannonballs.” When Johnson argues for a “flip” of the script, she means that instead of focusing on the negative aspects of the ocean, we should turn our focus to the pros of the ocean and the ways that it can improve our environment. Jonson argues that the ocean should have an important role in conversations for climate solutions and then goes on to list the various solutions that it offers.

2. Johnson urges the use offshore renewable energy because it could offer reliable, and a more efficient source of energy. She advocates for marine ecosystems because they can offer cheaper and better protection than a sea wall. She supports algae biofuel because it involves oceanic farming, which can improve local water quality. Johnson also praises regenerative ocean farming due to the reduction of local ocean acidification. I believe that offshore renewable energy is more feasible because her proposal for offshore wind turbines seemed to offer a more valid solution to produce a precise source of energy. I wasn’t necessarily shocked with any of her solutions.

3. When Johnson uses metacommentary, it helps her to grab the readers attention not only for reading purposes, but only to show the importance of her argument. It affects the clarity of her argument by making easier for the reader to focus on highlights of her argument and it also provides for a stronger argument. I think she makes the choice to use “we” in her statements to show that its not about her but for the entire globe, or any person that tales climate change seriously. I think it helps the reader make a stronger connection with her and her main topic.

4. The main economic benefit she describes is that the ocean can provide over 33,000 full time jobs. The focus of her other article is to address racism. She believes that climate change cannot be solved without people of color because the more ideas we have, the more innovative and progressive we can move forward with the climate change. I believe that Johnson is a very diverse and tuned biologist and advocate for all people.

Blue Wave Blog

As I read the blog by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, I agreed with all the things she talked about. The ocean is looked at as such a bad thing sometimes, people think of the garbage in it, the pollution from oil spills, plastics etc. But are turned off to what the Ocean can really do for us. She stated that the ocean offers us a way forward, a way to help out and a way to be a hero to help heal this earth we live on. The ocean gives opportunities to abandon fossil fuels, create a food system and renew offshore energy and algae biofuel. Along the shore, the winds are a lot heavier than in land, so if the houses on the shore were ran by wind farms, by 2050 offshore wind can go from providing zero percent of our national energy to over ten percent! What I learned from this blog is, the Ocean, if we put our effort into it, we can use the ocean to our advantage, and it can save our planet! Ayana Elizabeth Johnson said, “Instead of looking towards electric cars, and solar panels on top of houses and apartments, look towards the Ocean”!


I completely agree Johnson and gmt he idea is using oceans as a way to save our climate and environment. When it comes down to thinking of climate solutions, we shouldn’t just always automatically think of using solar panels and putting them on rooftops, or using electric cars rather than gas-fueled cars. We need to think of other ways we can help the climate, and using the ocean is very efficient and is beneficial for the environment, and not only on land, but sea life as well. Wind from offshore is blown much stronger and consistently than it does on land and about 40% of Americans live in coastal counties, so neighborhoods and cities that are along the coasts are powered by turbines from offshore wind and waves, results in more energy and is more reliable. According to the article, it can provide us with about 0% of national energy and increase to over 10% by the year 2050, if we were to follow through with this solution successfully. If we choose to do ocean farming that concentrates on seaweed and filter-feeding shellfish, it can decrease the amount of photosynthesis that occurs in oceans, which results in better local water quality. The coronavirus has created many struggles for people and is responsible for a great loss of jobs. I think these 2 solutions is great for us and is a wise thing to do. By going through with these climate solutions, it will create new job opportunities for people, and will make our environment cleaner and safer. Learning about the way these solutions can help, is somewhat fascinating to me and is something I had very little knowledge about.


In Johnson’s article, “To Save the Climate, Look to the Oceans,” I found it interesting that the oceans can serve the purpose of mitigating the negative effects of climate change. Johnson makes some valid points of how to combat climate change. One of her points was, the implementation of renewable sources of energy such as wind turbines in oceans, where the winds are stronger and consistent. Secondly, the preservation of marine ecosystems, which consists of wetlands, seagrasses, coral reefs, and more, help in minimizing the effects of climate change. As Johnson mentions in this article, “wetlands consume five times more carbon in their soils than a temperate or jungle forest.” This illustrates how wetlands are more efficient in consuming carbon than a temperate or jungle forest. Furthermore, Johnson argues that the production of biofuels such as ethanol use excessive resources and leads to more pollution. On the other hand, algae are a better alternative because they consume carbon dioxide more efficiently. Finally, she suggests the consumption of certain groups of algae and filtered filled fish, since they do not require a lot of resources and have additional benefits such as absorption of excess polluted gases and high nutritional value. Like Johnson, I believe that algae provides us with more benefits and will be essential in fighting climate change.


I agree with this article. I believe that we should use the oceans for their power more to help with our climate. The oceans provide many opportunities to improve our climate issues and this article explains them all. The first way we can boost our climate is offshore renewable energy. The wind blows more strongly offshore than over land, thus turbines could generate more energy. However, I believe that in doing this we must take care of our ocean ecosystems in order to install. Another way is algae biofuel which means we could grow 500 million dry metric tons of macroalgae annually, which balances to about 10 percent of national transportation demand. Regenerative ocean farming can improve many problems such as our local water quality. It is also important because it can provide many jobs and create ocean-climate solutions. Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, jobs are being lost and companies are closing. Regenerative ocean farming could support over 36,000 full time jobs offshore from Maryland to Maine. Closing this post, I would like to say that I completely agree with this article and if we can take advantage of the oceans natural power, we can create more positive outcomes and solutions to our climate changes.

Erin G

After reading the article “To Save the Climate, Look to the Oceans” by Ayana Johnson, I was introduced to many new ideas on ways we can utilize our oceans to battle climate change. I most definitely agree with Blue Wave Blogs post above that the ocean is often viewed in more negative ways and many times seen as a polluted dump. Johnson brought up many innovative ideas on what good the ocean can do for our planet. She urged the use of offshore renewable wind energy to have a more reliable and clean source of energy. She even spoke about not bothering marine ecosystems as they are much more effective than man-made structures for shoreline protection. I agreed with all of the points Johnson made in her article but even I myself can be blinded to the power and potential of the ocean. This was a topic that I did not know very much about, which made me want to read this article and learn about the oceans potential even more. After reading this article, I now realize how vital it is for our planet to utilize our oceans to their fullest potential.


From this article Ayana Elizabeth Johnson made some excellent points and reasoning in using the ocean's natural energy as a method in reducing climate change. The ocean is already known to be an excellent help in absorbing most of the world's carbon dioxide and in turn cools down the temperature. Johnson explains that the use of wind generated offshore are a great source of energy using the turbines and help power coastal homes. Though I do have concerns on the effect these installments will have on the marine life and habitat. More so with the turbines or burgeoning technology being underwater to grasp the current and wave energy. I believe that if it will harm the ocean's organisms and natural habitat it may create more endangered species then it shouldn't be installed. As for the macroalgae production for biofuel it seems efficient to more absorption and creating fuel to replace gasoline. Though the rapid production of algae can be an issue since the excessive nutrients can alter the growth of other marine life. The process of eutrophication is an issue since the extra nutrients will cause low oxygen levels dissolved in water and the rapid growth of algal blocks the sunlight from grasslands. As long as the production of macroalgae can be controlled and not alter the marine ecosystem it can be a great benefit. I do agree with Johnson on the regenerative ocean farming since it is true that the fish supply will not last and this farming is a solution in a seafood source as well as improve the quality of the water. This also gives the opportunity of millions of available jobs to people to help the recovery of COVID 19. The ocean does offer possibilities for climate change as well as the ecosystem recovery.

Celest Garcia

According to the article, “To Save The Climate, Look To The Oceans” by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, there are multiple ways the oceans of the world can help reverse the effects of climate change. At the beginning of the article, I enjoyed reading about the author's personal story. I related to Johnson when she mentioned always being told not the turn your back on a wave. This was a warning that I have been told many times in my life and it was interesting to know that someone else has heard these words as well. It is also interesting to mention how humanity has turned there back on the ocean and its environment. People over the years have contributed greatly to ocean pollution, to the point that there are huge changes in the ecosystems because of it. So as people contribute more to humanity's demise, the oceans may be the very key to preventing the ecosystem from collapsing. The author did an excellent job of explaining all the different ways the sea can be used to stop climate change. Johnson mentions that while people are focused on planting trees to suck in the carbon from the atmosphere, they fail to realize that marine plants absorb the most carbon on earth. People should make more efforts to save ocean life and work on trying to preserve areas that are affected by pollution. The author also mentions how the coast gathers the most wind currents, which can be useful for wind turbines. The wind turbines would be able to produce more energy because of the wind currents being so frequent. This would benefit many communities that make an effort in trying to become more environmentally friendly. I believe that the ocean is an amazing place and it has the potential to stop climate change.

Razi Kazmi

I agree with Pinkrose’s statement about how environmental activists shouldn’t immediately look to electric cars or solar panels when thinking of solving climate issues. There are many other ways that could also be more effective and specific to areas that need targeted help. Also, in addition to not immediately resorting to basic solutions, a lot of the solutions for some climate problems are right in front of people. The ocean for example can be used to do this. I do not know all the logistics to the ocean’s help but from reading all these responses and the original posts, it has many promising benefits that are overlooked.

Khalid Karrar

When I read the title of the article, at first I was thinking that the article would suggest that we should explore the vast ocean as I would possibly hold the answers to climate change. Little did I know that the answer is simply growing plant life in the ocean. To think that about half of the global photosynthesis occurs in the ocean is simply mindboggling. In addition, the potential of using algae as a biofuel is promising to future society as it could be grown virtually in any sufficient wetland. Another point the author made was the use of wind in coastal regions being converted into energy. Considering 40% of Americans living in coastal regions, this could prove to be very effective in the long run. Overall, I found this article by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson incredibly informative.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

By signing up you agree to W. W. Norton’s
privacy policy and terms of use.

About They Say / I Blog

  • New readings posted monthly, on the same issues that are covered in “They Say / I Say” with Readings—and with a space where readers can comment, and join the conversation.

Follow us on Twitter to get updates about new posts and more! @NortonWrite

Become a Fan