Being here at the Blue Ocean Film Festival this year is magical. Magical because you (the lucky Blue attendee) walk around the Portola Hotel,where the event takes place in Monterey and you can see Ocean Minds as far as the eye can see. Yesterday I ran into acclaimed cinematographer Bob Talbot (Ocean Men,Otter 501), ocean activist and cartoonist Jim Toomey, The Cousteau clan (JMC,Fabien,Celine and their team read more here), and spent the evening listening to the godmother of our Oceans Sylvia Earle . The blue ocean film festival is a candy store and we, the attendees, are the kids.
Now with great powers (attending blue) comes responsibilities, responsibilities like communicating the importance of preserving our Oceans and doing as much as we possibly can to be less impactful, in our every day life, with our Blue Planet. One quote from Celine Cousteau “We don’t value human life enough” is echoing in my mind as I write this. She is spot on, by destroying our planet the way we are , we are destroying ourselves. If we did value human life enough, we would then value the importance of healthy oceans. When we kill sharks and whales, destroy entire marine ecosystems, we are eventually killing ourselves. So when is the madness going to end?
It seems this was the constant question,coming back in different forms, during the several panels entitled “Sustaining healthy oceans:How are we doing really?”. Dr. Sylvia Earle (Mission Blue) at one point in the conversation, mentioned that we, as a civilization, might not be as advanced as we might like to think hence the destruction and all the mistakes.
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Evolution happens in major shifts, with a succession of tipping points. After listening to the incredible panels at the Blue Ocean Film Festival, one would conclude we are about to witness such a major shift very soon. The question is, will we rise to the challenge and make it to next step of human evolution? I’d like to stay positive especially when talking to my generation of Ocean protectors like Christopher Chin from COARE and Samantha Whitcraft from Shark Savers. They fight day in and day out to make a difference, constantly in a plane to the next court room (for legal fights) or underwater to document what is happening under the waves. Check out Samantha latest film, screened at BOFF this year: “Now, More than ever Sharks Count”
Listening to actor Edward J. Olmos (the public face for a Thank You Ocean campaign) talking about his granddaughters, I became even more hopeful. Edward asked them what they were up to last weekend, they answered “We are going to pick up trash on the beach!”
Change is underway and not in a political sense. If you are wondering how you can help, head over to any of the links provided in this post or just go pick up trash at the beach.
<Update!!> find all the winners of the BOFF 2012 here!