And you tell me over and over and over again my friend .Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction—Barry McGuire
In Al Gore’s 2006 film, An Inconven ient Truth, there’s the tale of the boiling frog. If a frog is placed immediately in a pan of boiling water, it will freak out and jump out. If the water is cold and it is being heated oh so slowly, it will be too late for it save it self from being cooked to death.
That frog is us.
In 2009, Frannie Armstrong came out with a film called The Age of Stupid with the late great Pete Postlethwaite—asking mankind—if we already know things we are doing are harmful and can kill our planet, why are we still doing it?
To remind us once again that everyone on the planet has a role in saving it, documentary filmmaker Louie Psihoyos and the Discovery Channel bring us Racing to Extinction.
In words of Psihoyos: “There has never been a more important time in the world than to be alive now—the decisions we make in the next few years will impact the Earth and animal species for millions of years.”
The documentary starts out with hidden footage taken at underground markets where endangered species body parts are sold for perceived medical benefit. It is heartbreaking to view the footage of shark’s fins being harvested—that single image of a shark desperately trying to swim in a panic after having it’s fins cut off stays with you.
Everything is connected to everything—be it as a result of outright killing or the loss of habitat, the death of species disrupts a healthy balance for the planet that affects the air, food and water supply we have.
Racing to Extinction also reminds us of the five major mass extinctions in the Earth’s history. These are periods where abnormally large numbers of species die out simultaneously or within a limited time frame.
The most popular one is known as K-T a.k.a. because it took out the dinosaurs. In one mass extinction, 96 percent of all species got wiped out. We begin to ask—are we on the eve of another or can we still do something about it?
Global leaders including ours have gone to the Paris Climate Change Conference—who knows how much of the accords they will adhere to. Everyday people like you can me can also take on some lifestyle changes like:
1. Meatless Mondays (or any other day)
Did you know animal agriculture ALONE is responsible for 18 percent of global GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions? This is more than the emissions from every single car, train, and plane on the planet combined.
2. Cut down on electricity usage.
And save money too. Do you really need all those lights and Christmas lights on when no one is there? Also cooler weather this time of year should encourage people to turn off the A/C.
3. Cut down on seafood consumption and push for responsible fishing.
Apparently, if the fishing industry goes on like it does, by 2048 were looking collapse of the supplies our waters can give us.
4. Bike, walk, carpool.
It’ll clear the air, ease traffic and save gas. Now if only the government can do their share in making the streets safe and healthy for those who want to do their part.
Racing Extinction will go on a campus tour, you can go to www.racingextinction.com for more information on how to participate.
Racing Extinction premiered on Wednesday. Catch the encores on December 5, 12 a.m. and December 6, 10 p.m.