-Video Review Assignment-
The documentation “Racing Extinction” produced by the Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Louie Psihoyos in 2015 and published by Oceanic Preservation Society is showcasing a closer look at the climate crisis we are facing. The film examines human’s role impact and its multiple factors causing and leading towards the next major extinction event. On the 24 of January 2015 the film makers celebrated its world premiere at the Sundance film festival. I watched the documentation at an online library. The total duration of the documentary was 1:36 minutes. Online Streaming gave me the option to re-watch certain parts of the film for a better detailed understanding of the subject matter.
The Documentation starts with the producer Louie Psihoyos explaining that one day when he read the Financial Times who stated that “mankind might be causing extinction”, he noticed that it was written on page 6 which made Louis Psihoyos realize that this was an indication of a lack in priority for this critical issue in society.
The Documentation follows with the first mission where Louie Psihoyos and his team additionally supported by the police starting an undercover mission where they send two female detectives with hidden cameras into a sushi restaurant to unveil their violation of serving whale. This is just the start of unveiling different cases where humans practice the business causing harm to endangered species on Earth.
Louie Psihoyos explains about his field of work and mentions that he goes to all these beautiful landscapes where on one of them he finds dinosaurs skeletons which gave him the feeling that this time period had to be a long time ago but he demonstrates further that everyone including himself is missing what is happening in the world right now and that we as a society are not far from similar outcomes such as the wipeout of the dinosaurs.
Dr. Stuart Pimm, a conservation ecologist from the Duke University reveals that each year one in a million species expect to be expire naturally in the next few decades. Due to massive human distortion, the rate most likely will be increasing by a significant of 1000 times faster; furthermore, in a 100 years we are expecting to lose up to 50% of all species on earth. A statement concerning extinction as a tremendous problem by Dr. Michael Novacek curator of Paleontology indicates, that it is difficult to exactly determine when the world will be instinct, however many indicators show that a significant amount of resources have been depleted leading us to an urgent and fast change in our lifestyle.
The next chapter conducts about the whaling industry. The producer Louie Psihoyos makes a reference to the still existing whaling business in China. The whales are facing extinction just like the dinosaurs. Whales have been hunted down to near extinction to 90% of its population. He states that he committed his life to show the beauty of these animals to have a realistic chance to safe them. He talks about one of the encounters he had on a trip to observe the whales. While he was swimming a fisherman comes up to him to ask if he could take a buoy he found back to the owner. This specific buoy was a recording system. When he looked at it, he recognized the owners name written on the buoy. This scientist that operated those buoys studied whales for a long time. He proved that they were able to hear themselves across the oceans. These records where stored at the cornel biostatical laboratory which has the largest selections of animal sounds in the world. Many sounds recorded by these buoys have been stored in the library and analyzed. Numerous kinds of animals have gone extinct already showcasing the massive rate of extinction that is happening right now. Those records are the last memories we have of many different animals that are not living anymore.
The Documentation leads over to the five-massive extinctions on the planet. Starting with the first named Ordovivian then second the Devonian then third Permian, then Triassic-Jurassic and lastly the K.T. Cretaceous-Tertiary. Even though it is very difficult to comprehend so many years back there is a way to bring it into perspective. If we take it on a 24 hour clock the mankind would only be a few second before midnight.
Dr. Kirk Johnson the director of Smithsonain National Museum of Natural History explains that the new Anthropocene is leaving a significant mark on our planet. Humanity has become the destroyer of our planet. Humans are able to identify the problem and in some cases, there are positive changes. As an example, the Hump Sushi restaurant that only operated a few days further decided to closed due to one person who put a screen in front of the restaurant showcasing the cruelty of whale hunting and their business operations. This is just one example but many other cases show that there are people dedicating their life’s and careers to help the planet; furthermore, changing mindsets and business to operate differently such as that whale hunting business in Mexico that changed to a tourist business with sharks instead of killing them for business.
The documentation further focuses on places like china which still practices massive shark fishing. Sharks are the rare species that survived 4 major extinctions. An undercover woman who wants to remain anonyms and the undercover team from the hump sushi restaurant went to a Hong Kong facility showcasing thousands of shark fines being shopped off to create awareness all around the world through the media. Another important part demonstrated in the film is the help of underwater photographers who are sharing their experience over the years photographing the development such as the great barrier reef in Australia, creating awareness for critical issues such as coral reef destruction though climate change and acidification. The oceans who control the climate are changing and causing major changes. The change in ocean chemistry is killing off coral and phytoplankton; additionally, focal fuels are used tremendously by our everyday uses. 1/3 of carbon dioxide gets absorbed by the oceans. The Co2 reacts with water to form carbonite acid making the oceans more acidic destroying the reefs and creatures dissolving or bleaching them leaving major damages behind.
The Documentation touches the importance of our diet. Many things that we are eating are not available in the near future. One of the greatest impacts to help the world of going instinct would be to become a vegetarian. Livestock is the biggest of all the factors destroying natural habitat into land for food. The immense Co2 and methane that is caused by the life stock industry is the biggest factor for emissions. Methane is 22 times more potent then Co2 showcased by an experiment with a cow attached to a bag filling up a tremendous amount of methane in just 2 hours. The amount of emissions caused by the livestock industry is worse than the whole transportation factor combined.
The filmmakers show though an experiment our huge impact on the earth. With the help of a high definition forward looking infrared camera that includes a special color filter, the filmmakers are able to make carbon dioxide and methane emissions from transportation, breathing and factories visible for a better understanding of the human impact. When they show other people the footage they collected, many of them were shocked and sad to see the immense negative impact we are causing.
Cites a Chinese convention for regulation on endangered species only has a few species on the list for protected animals because many of the regulators are in the fishing industry. The international exotic wildlife trade including sharks and Manta rays are sold as food or as medical remedies creating immense problems.
Frozen methane has been trapped for millions of years but now due to climate change those trapped sources of methane are slowly coming out. In the movie, they are demonstrating the power of methane by lighting the methane on fire after breaking the ice and letting the methane come out though the surface.
The filmmakers started another campaign by which a 15,000-lumen mobile projector build into a Tesla Model projects images of critically endangered and extinct species onto public facades. Since 80% of all the greenhouse gases come from commercial buildings, they projected them on the Wall Street, Headquarters of the United Nations, but also on the Empire State Building creating extraordinary awareness in public.
Our responsibility is to stop buying endangered animal product. Dramatically reduce or eliminate animal products in our diet. The usage of solar panels and the contribution in green environment. The film ends with a quote “Better light the candle then curse the darkness” That candle stands for creating environmental conscious movements.
My overall impression of the documentary was very positive considering the depth that the film is getting into.
What I would have liked to see in a contrast would have been a view on the new species that are occurring nowadays. It would have given a great perspective on how the world is changing but also developing in some areas.
1) Your overall impression of the documentary? Did you like it or not and why? 2) Did the video satisfy your expectations?
3) Was the video effective in presenting the material, issues, and/or opinions? 4) Did
Having been Vegetarian 10 years and vegan 3 years the documentation gave me a new reason to stay this lifestyle reminding me the importance of diet and its impact in our world; additionally, it reassured my passion for wanting to make an impact even if it only has a small impact on the bigger picture. Every day I try to inspire people by showing that it is easy to be vegetarian and that you can life a very healthy lifestyle. I hope that everyone who watches the documentation will take a lesson out of it by trying to make small changes in our daily habits making our lifestyle more sustainable and more suitable for our resources that we have.
I think that the documentation relates immensely to our class content due to the different areas we learned that impact climate change. From the coral reefs to hurricanes and deforestations. These subject where covered in class and extended in the documentation.
Many different topics such as: coral reefs, whaling, shark killing and mantas killing, methane issues and animal extension where covered. Issues concerning the impact from western countries where only slightly touched. In my opinion the title was appropriate because it was simple to understand and brought a willingness up to learn more about the topic. Since I have been very interested in environmental impacts the level of understanding was easy and thoughtful to follow.
The strong points of the documentation was that no matter how small we think our impact is, that it still matters. Inspiring people though images and knowledge can have a huge effect on human behavior creating a chance for improvement. The week points where that the fault was mostly pointed at countries like china and not at western countries who have a huge contribution to the problem. The information in the fil was very up-to-date and accurate however those topics could be forgotten easily if we don’t remind ourselves. I would recommend the video to other and I think it would have been beneficial to watch the film in class to raise a discussion afterwards.
In a conclusion, I can say that the documentation was very informative and presented in a very understandable matter. Different angles and ideas where presented to showcase the issue that we are facing. The movie combined old and new technologies to educate people around the world.