Reef Resistance: The Environmental Impact of Pantone’s ‘Living Coral’
The nature of our climate is that it is an ever-present concern, and due to the perceived slow progression of its effects, much of media coverage is reserved for cataclysmic incidents that present an immediate danger. Case in point: the decaying of the coral reefs and the monumental effects on sea life, ocean temperatures, and weather that occurs in their absence, has historically received little publicity. Joining the company of popular documentaries like Netflix's 'Chasing Coral,' viral social media videos such as the infamous tortoise with a plastic straw stuck in his nose, and recent political dialogue surrounding renewable energy, Pantone's 2019 Color of the Year may be the next step in providing a heightened sensitivity to environmentalism and sustainability.
Back in December, The Pantone Color Institute named ‘Living Coral’ their 2019 "Color of the Year.” Selected after studying trends across different industries, the Institute describes their winner as “lying at the center of our naturally vivid and chromatic ecosystem, Living Coral is evocative of how coral reefs provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of color.”
Coral continues to remind us of the peril of our earth’s climate and environment. Proving as relevant as ever, it is no coincidence that the color evokes both the beauty and fragility of ocean life. The bright, ‘living’, coral is only possible when in a healthy, hospitable environment. Publicizing Living Coral is a plea to continue efforts in cleaner water, minimizing carbon footprints, and supporting policies that ensure environmental protection.
As a result of countless manmade disasters and systematic destruction of natural habitats, much of the world’s coral, is not in fact living, but reduced to skeletons and becoming bleached due to increasing water temperatures. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, 50% of the world’s coral has already been destroyed. While coral hues continue to pop up our social media feeds, it is imperative to remember that coral is more than a color, but a living, breathing (yes, really) organism essential to life and the world as we know it.