Today’s episode is only depressing if you’ve already given up hope. Sure, it’s hard to worry about the end of humanity from an air-conditioned, Bluetooth-equipped car, streaming your favourite tunes on the way to a supermarket featuring fresh produce flown in from every corner of the globe. But if we’re going to solve the environmental crisis that threatens to wipe out every species on the planet, and then us, we have to find a way to make people worry even when their own lives are good. How do we do that? Storytelling. Empathy. Direct contact with nature. Yes, a few things we’re getting worse at every year.
Human civilization has so far wiped out 83 per cent of the world’s mammals, half the plants on earth, and 15 per cent of the oceans’ fish. But it’s happened so slowly most of us haven’t been impacted in the slightest. When we talk about climate change, we talk about forest fires and heat waves and adapting to a “new normal”—but that’s the language of acceptance, not resistance. But all is not yet lost. Author and journalist Arno Kopecky shows us that, if the story of a mother orca gone mad with grief for her dead calf can capture hearts around the world, then other stories that put us back in touch with the life around us can do the same thing—and enough of them just might change the world.