Friday, 21 July 2017

Did We Wait Too Long?

It's not unusual for our girls to watch a movie and emerge at one time or another in tears.  They've recently been watching more than just Disney cartoons and have been exposed to the death of lovable characters and pets which is where the tears come in.  We watched another one of those tonight - the death of a lovable and central character in the film we were watching led to sniffles and sadness (and that was just me).  The movie?  Chasing Coral.  The character that died?  The coral.

This film was frightening in what it revealed of the impact of human caused global climate change on coral, and also what it revealed of how little people consider the impact of climate change on the oceans.

Some of the things we learned tonight:

1) Coral reefs are the foundational ecosystem for 25% of the ocean's life
2) Approximately 1 billion people worldwide depend on coral reefs to some degree for food or income
3) A temperature rise of just 2 degrees celcius is all that is required to make oceans unlivable for existing corals
4) 93% of the heat in the Earth's atmosphere is absorbed by the oceans
5) In 2016 the world's oceans experienced the most prolonged and wide-spread overheating and coral bleaching in recorded history.  Approximately 30% of the corals in the oceans were killed by this event.

So - did we wait too long?  Are we going to travel the world in an effort to showcase the beauty and diversity for our children but find only devastation?  An underwater landscape that matches the worst of the above water landscapes that humans have created?  Will our children have the joy of swimming with clouds of multi-hued fish among the live and thriving coral ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef or will they simply marvel at the algae that grows on the skeletons of the coral that once was there?

The cast and scientists in Chasing Coral left us hopeful that it may not be too late.   More than that, they touched a nerve in our children that may prove just the spark they need to get more involved in earth sciences and conservation, so don't be surprised if you hear more from us on the topic of our planet, the impact of human life on it, and what we can do to improve our chances of surviving.

If you're concerned in any way about climate change and the likelihood of your children and children's children thriving on this planet you should definitely check out the film on Netflix. 


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Janet. Your girls are so lucky to have you and Darryl for parents. Keep watching movies like these and have family conversations about them. You will probably have at least one marine scientist in the family.
    Haven't seen this movie but I will look for it.

    1. Thanks Reah. it was a good movie and caused us to think a bit about how we could use what we're doing to maybe make a bit of a difference... Thanks for reading!