A Hollywood ending for the oceans?

Randy Olson, Ph.D.
University of Southern California 

Wednesday, July 9, 2003
Pacific Forum – 3:00 p.m.

How do we deal with the bad news? In Hollywood they give everything a happy ending. Makes you feel good when you leave the theater. But let's be honest about the oceans— every major ocean ecosystem is substantially worse today than it was 100 years ago.

For the past year, Dr. Jeremy Jackson and I have been running the Shifting Baselines project, focused on communicating "the truth about ocean decline." We believe there's a way to lighten the bad news without having to water it down, through a little humor, even if absurd, such as our recent, "Stinky Symphony for the Stinky Oceans."

I will show a few clips of the symphony, conducted by actor Jack Black. And I will discuss whether we might want to just give up on the oceans and instead make more Hollywood fantasy films which are assured of a happy ending.

Visit the Shifting Baselines Media Campaign at: http://www.shiftingbaselines.org

Next: Going with the flow: Methane oxidation and fluid flow