Photo Credit: @erinhogue

Dr. Meade Krosby

Washington State, USA

Years Surfing: 12

Fave Board: I love all my boards! I like to mix it up and surf everything from shortboards to longboards, but I definitely have a soft spot for longboarding.

Instagram: @pnwmeade

Surf travel story or goals? There’s nothing more exciting than a surf trip, but my surf travel goal is to focus on surfing where I live: the beautiful Pacific Northwest. A string of devastating climate reports and climate-fueled natural disasters over the past year really put my climate urgency into hyperdrive, and flying is the single most carbon-polluting thing we can do as individuals. Globally, only a small percentage of people are wealthy enough to fly, and one long haul flight emits more carbon dioxide than people in many parts of the world do in an entire year. So I’ve been trying to be very thoughtful about flying – do I really need to take that trip? My family usually flies south for warm-water surf over spring break, and lately even that one annual trip feels like too much. Given other travel obligations for work and family, limiting surf-related flying is one way I can significantly lower my carbon footprint while demanding climate action by my government (through voting, marching, contacting elected officials, etc). I hope one day soon air travel will make the jump to renewable energy, but until then I’m going to focus on surfing close to home.

Who are your surf heroes and why? I’m so happy to see famous surfers like Belinda Baggs (already one of my surf heroes) starting to really sound the alarm on the climate crisis and our role in it as a community. Surfers typically have much higher carbon footprints than the average person and also have so much at stake as ocean and coastal people. There’s a lot we can do to lower our own carbon footprints while demanding climate action by our governments and industries – raising awareness is an important first step. If you want to know what you can do right now to help, it’s simple: talk to your family and friends about why you’re concerned.

Favorite spot to surf? The cold waters of the Pacific Northwest. It isn’t always epic, but it’s beautiful and it’s home.

How has your surfing life in the water affected the rest of your life on land? As a scientist who studies how climate change affects our natural world (and what we can do about it) surfing is absolutely key to my emotional well-being. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the climate crisis, to get lost in fear and despair over what’s happening and what’s coming if we don’t take action, to be constantly enraged at the appalling injustice of it. I can carry so much grief and anger with me to the beach, but the ocean can take it – surfing washes it all away, and that momentary reprieve helps sustain my resilience in working toward a better future for the people and places I love. At the same time, the ocean has been absorbing huge amounts of heat and carbon dioxide from our atmosphere, protecting those of us on land from even greater warming but at enormous cost to marine ecosystems and the people who depend on them. So being out in the water also reminds me what’s at stake: life on this achingly beautiful planet, the only home we’ve got. Women and girls – particularly indigenous women and women of color – are disproportionately affected by climate change, and have also been leading climate advocacy all over the world. I’d love to see the surf community take a bigger role in advocating for climate action while addressing its own outsized carbon footprint, and to see female surfers help lead us there.