If you’ve watched any nature documentary over the past 20 years, you’ve probably had to weigh up whether seeing the beauty and wonder was worth the agony of hearing and seeing yet again about the scale of ecological destruction that these animals and ecological systems are facing.
We often feel helpless in the face of climate change and plastics pollution. Our little efforts to refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose and recycle, conserve our water and electricity and reduce our carbon footprint, seem pitiful when the news cycle shows us jungles burning, oceans ravaged, and wilderness being destroyed for the sake of profit at 1 stroke of a political pen. It’s like being a tiny sardine, watching a whale devour your entire family in 1 gulp.
But The National Geographic documentary Perpetual Planet: Heroes of The Oceans is a nature story with a difference. In it, marine biologist Dr. Sylvia Earle introduces us to a handful of people around the world who are, as individuals, leading conservation efforts and working to protect and restore Marine protected areas known as Hope Spots.
“Each of the Heroes is a champion for a Hope Spot around the world. And they have been identified – in part by a Rolex (which sponsors the Perpetual Planet movement) – as champions for what they're doing to make a difference. People ask all the time, ‘The problems are so big, and I'm just 1 person, what can I do?’ And by focusing on a number of individuals, who are doing something, who are making a difference, they can serve as models. If he can do that, if she can do that, what can I do?’” explains Sylvia.
As we travel around the globe from Australia to Antarctica, French Polynesia, Peru and the Gulf Coast of Florida in the US, we’ll meet Sylvia’s Heroes including whale shark conservationist Dr. Brad Norman, coral conservationist Dr. Emma Camp, bio-acoustician professor Michel André, scientific explorer Ghislain Bardout, and marine biologist Kerstin Forsberg.
You could be the next Hero.