A few days ago, Louie Psihoyos' Racing Extinction aired on the Discovery Channel (and continues to air in special encore presentations). Being a cord cutter, I was worried that it would be some time before I would be able to see it, but it became available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon (streaming) very quickly, and I watched it last night. As an underwater photographer, I've been involved in the marine conservation world for many years, and the movie was extremely moving. I've seen effects of the ocean's decline in the 13 years I've been exploring its waters, and being able to see the effects of anything on a global scale in such a short time is astonishing. Louie, Shawn and team gain access to the hidden world of the illegal marine animal trade and show the scale at which it is operating. The film is worth watching, even if you aren't a conservationist; hopefully, it will encourage a large number of people to think about what is happening.
Racing Extinction asks its viewers to #startwith1thing, which is a great idea. Many conservation campaigns ask people to do something big, which is hard for most people to do. Most people are concerned with the challenges of every day life, and while they may sympathize with a particular cause, standing up and doing something about it can be daunting. A few select people can give everything else up to try to do big things in the conservation world, but reaching a lot of people can only work if you ask each person to do something small—it all adds up!
I was also particularly excited about watching Racing Extinction because so many of my friends are either in it, or contributed to the movie in some way. I've known Shawn Heinrichs (one of the main characters in the film) since both of us started exploring oceans as careers. Bradford Schmidt (GoPro) is in the blue whale scene (and was DP for that segment) and is carrying a duct-tape GoPro 360 camera. Contributing artists included David Doubilet and Howard and Michele Hall, and Alex Mustard, Rob Stewart, Sea Shepherd, Wild Aid, and many others.