This week I watched a movie called “Racing Extinction”. It made me depressed for the week. I’ll tell you what: I think that us, the human race, are a bunch of idiots. And I am being polite.
This movie explains with disconcerting simplicity, using several angles or little stories, what we all should or do already know to some extend: we are destroying the planet at such a rate that 40 years from now it will look like a desert. FORTY years. I’m not talking about when your grandkids will be old, I will be there in FORTY years and a lot of you will too.
In 40 years, our grand-kids will have never seen a shark, a tiger, a rhinoceros, a manta ray, a gorilla. And when they will ask “where does the tiger live Grandma?”, you will have to answer “Well sweetpea, tigers used to live in the jungle, I saw one only once in a zoo when I was a kid like you, but now they are all gone to heaven in the sky with the sharks and the elephants. Oh yeah and the jungle is gone, too.” And you’ll feel like a moron. It’s a bit like when I was a kid and asked my grandma if she had ever seen a dinosaur, except that I will have seen a tiger and a shark. And then us, as a specie, will have exterminated them, knowingly. Not me, not you and you over there specifically, just us as the human race.
Before I have grand-children, we will have used so much fossil fuels, emitted so much CO2 and methane, emptied so much the oceans and destroyed so many forests that there will be as much biodiversity on the planet as in a pond. The oceans will not produce enough oxygen anymore. The rise of waters will bury some cities and some countries. (and they are somehow cautious in this movie, they do not mention the overpopulation of the planet, because true it’s not very nice to tell people not to have 6 babies, but we are already too many for the resources available).
So it got me depressed. Why? I’ll tell you: because I feel like I am doing what I can (and I could do more, don’t get me wrong, I am like every single one of you: I am not a super hero), but what I can will not be enough. It will not be enough to turn down plastic bags, to pick up trash underwater every day, to turn off the lights, to choose what I eat, to recycle what I can, to reuse, to buy less, to give money to people that are more brave than me and go out and do stuff about all this. Maybe it would be enough if we all did all these things, only maybe. Probably not.
So friends, I suggest you watch this movie, maybe it will give you a good kick in the butt and maybe that is what we all need. There is footage where Indonesian fishermen slaughter a beautiful manta ray because somewhere in China someone is willing to pay a lot of money for its gills (and we all know that is no medical use): it made me cry. I am not even going to tell you about the cute little frog that is the LAST of its specie, and a guy is doing photos of it for a “Noah’s ark” in photos so we can look at them when they will be gone. Not super sexy the little frog as the symbol of a cause, but it is THE LAST ONE. THE LAST ONE.
So let’s give ourselves a good kick in the butt. Kick also your friends, parents, neighbours’ butts, be that annoying person. Let’s look a bit further than our little selfish square lawn in front of us. Let’s stop using plastic for everything, let’s buy electric cars or a bicycle, let’s eat less/no fish and meat, let’s not buy strawberries from Chile because it’s not the season here, let’s recycle, reuse, buy less buy better stuff. Yes you still have to dress, go to work, travel around and all the rest. But you can all do this less, or better.
If all of this is just a rant to you (you probably dropped reading 5 minutes ago), well you can still buy yourself a clean conscience by giving a big fat check to people that are actually doing something (like Sea Shepherd, Wild Aid, Marine Megafauna, Surfrider, to name only a few).
It doesn’t change much but hey, it makes me feel a tiny bit better to get it out. Or maybe I hope that it will change one thing, one person, and that’s always a drop and several drops make a tiny river and then they make an ocean. The organisation behind “Racing Extinction” thinks that too and they have started a campaign called “Start With 1 Thing”. Go on then, just pick one so I haven’t wasted my time today.
Next week I will be nicer, promise.