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"None to Spare"

environmental issues The title of my article today is actually taken from a film I produced over 30 years ago back in California. The film depicts a father and young son walking down a secluded beach on the northern California coast. The boy is looking in the ocean tide pools and asking his father various questions about the environment and who protects it. The questions unfortunately are the same as what we are asking today.

This in itself is sad as you would think by now things would have changed after 30 years, however that was not to be. Today the problems have multiplied 10 fold. ‘Shark Finning’, one of the cruelest, inhumane acts of today's society. Cutting the fins off of sharks and then throwing this magnificent animal back in the sea alive to meet its watery grave. All for a bowl of soup.

‘Ivory’ is still being sold in Asia at an alarming rate. Hundreds of tons still being exported. Elephants and Rhinoceros are being exploited to the brink of extinction just so some people can make a dollar. ‘The killing of Whales’. Many whales as we all know are endangered, but this doesn’t seem to stop the endless killing of this gentle giant. Do certain populations in this day and age really need whale meat?? ‘The slaughtering of Dolphins’. Probably the most important film produced this year shows the cruel behavior of a small section of the human race towards one of the most intelligent animals to inhabit this planet. The film “The Cove” takes the viewer to the darkest side of animal cruelty ever witnessed.

environmental issues ‘Ghost Nets’. Floating throughout our oceans are hundreds of miles of discarded fishing nets. These nets indiscrimately trap and drown sea creatures such as turtles and sharks to name a few. They get entangled on coral reefs and are a complete menace to our marine environment. These nets do not go away and they are not biodegradeable so they are floating in our seas forever. ‘Coastal developement and dredging throughout the world’. This doesn’t look like it will ever stop. Dredging and coastal runoff is by far the fastest way to destroy local coral reefs. The reefs are smothered, coral dies and marine life disappears.

‘Global Warming’ as we know is another threat that doesn’t seem to be getting any better. Our earth is getting warmer and many animals are fighting for survival. Case in point the Polar Bear. Ice flows are vanishing at a rapid rate thus making it impossible for the polar bear to hunt for its food source. At this rate it will not be long before this beautiful animal becomes a thing of the past.

So I look back after 30 years and see that the film is still timely today and the same questions are being asked only with greater urgency. When does it stop?? When do we finally realize that life on our planet cannot exist if we continue on this path of environmental abuse. We are approaching a “None to Spare” point and time is not on our side.