Drop in the Ocean?

Drop in the Ocean?

2015, Environment  -   17 Comments
Ratings: 8.77/10 from 132 users.

In less than 50 years, ocean life as we know it could be completely done for. This not only means dead oceans, but a dead ecosystem, and mass deaths of all who depend on it. That means us. Does this sound far flung? So does the idea that vertebrate life in the oceans has decreased more than half in the past 40 years, but those are the statistics released by the World Wildlife Foundation's 2014 Living Planet Index. In 1990, governments began to meet and discuss what we can do to reduce carbon emissions and avoid global warming.

According to information provided in a Drop in The Ocean, there are now 61% more carbon emission in the air than there were back then. What does it all mean, and what can we do now to improve things for ourselves and generations to come? These are the questions examined in this film.

As the film points out, many modern luxuries like global travel and the production of technology contribute to global warming. Should we give these up, or are there smarter approaches to take towards reducing carbon emissions? What might those approaches be, and how can governments get on board, inevitably leading countries full of citizens who have already expressed interests in these sorts of activities on the same path? The answers exist, at least partially, in the form of major institutions such as hospitals that use immense amounts of energy, and small towns where community run wind industries can offer real solutions to those who would opt for natural energy alternatives but simply can't afford them at the going rate.

There is as much scientific evidence behind the dangers of climate change as there is behind the link between smoking cigarettes and cancer. While authority figures can deny climate change all together, or at least put off any direct action to improve things until it serves them some sort of direct benefit, the reason most everyday people don—út carry climate change issues at the forefront of their minds is quite different. Think about it, how often are we affected by what happens in the natural world, and to what extent?

Ireland being close to, and in some places, (including its ports) at sea level means that it is at a particular risk, but it is not the only place. Factual information being relayed to everyday people and direct action from our governments can change things. Those who stand to benefit from a system that means financial gain for the few at the cost of dangerous climate change and rising oceans for all of us have different priorities than the great many of us. Whatever end of the spectrum you fall on, this is a film worth watching, and a conversation worth engaging in.

More great documentaries

Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
suzanne petersen
2 years ago

I thought the oceans were supposed to rise due to global warming, not drop. Theses conflicting theories are the reason no one takes climate change alarmists serious ly.

2 years ago

This really does not give any facts about the ocean. Very misleading title.

6 years ago

Thorium nuclear plants, which don't carry the risk of nuclear meltdowns and contamination, would greatly reduce air borne pollution and slow global warming. This would buy us some time to work on the problem, and the technology has been tested and proven on a small scale. It can be scaled up. Before you jump to uneducated opinions on thorium power, you should watch some of the documentaries on this web site. They'll clear up some of your ignorant misconceptions about the utility and safety of thorium power.

DC Jones
7 years ago

Western civilization depends on the economic and physical infrastructure that it has built. The fractional reserve banking system that provides the currency and credit that sustain the economic system that sustains the lives of everyone, depends on economic growth, and not just now, but far in to the future. The recognition of climate change does not bode well for big business, and governmental policy by any of the major players in the developed world for actually doing something meaningful would turn all the other governments against it. Any plan requiring the significant reduction in the use of fossil fuels in the near future means less energy in the future, and economic growth will not only stop, but contract, and keep on contracting. As debt is repaid at a faster rate than it is being issued there is less and less money available for day to day commerce and less money available for everyone and businesses to repay their debt. The value of of shares on the stock market are determined by the predicted profit/earnings of the corporations they represent, far in to the future. Less energy available to society means less work can be done, which means all the money borrowed that economic growth was suppose to generate to repay the loans, won't be made and the debts can't be paid. The whole economic system crashes because, it all runs on borrowed money that only economic growth can repay. The debt can never be repaid as it is, but all across the world it is in everyones interest to pretend that it can, so they do. But the illusion has limits, and any significant reduction in the use of fossil fuels by western governments would destroy the illusion of wealth and reveal the nature of the empty promises that the status quo use to keep exploiting everyone else. In the best case scenario living standards for all the developed countries would only plummet, but there is simply no way people would follow these liars voluntarily, and voluntarily making the sacrifices necessary would be the only way to pull it off, and near impossible even if people had good reason to trust their governments leaders, which of course they don't because all their lives they have been taught they can have their cake and eat it too. Excluding war, the most realistic scenarios are all nightmares of marshal law if it succeeds, or worse if it doesn't. The economies of the developed world can not function on increasingly less energy and that's all there is to it. The more dependent on fossil fuels people are, like those in America, the more catastrophic the population die off will be. There is no going backwards for a civilization designed to go only forwards. What we have built is unsustainable, was unsustainable from the moment industrial civilization started, and the sacred ideology of progress has always in reality been the exponential depletion of the time remaining that the civilization we were building could exist. Every year that industrial civilization progresses the faster the rate of the time it has left is depleted and this simple equation is as simple as what grows must die. Faster and faster we have burned up our tomorrows on todays, and we can't stop. Virtually all the baby boomers in America chose to believe that America was great, just like the good old Gipper said when he addressed the American public and told them "that we're too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams. We're not, as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline. I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do" America was so great that even though its oil production had been falling for ten years as predicted in the 1950's and it's dependence on imported oil made starkly clear during the OPEC oil embargo, faith in fantasy that defied physics and common sense was chosen over reality then, and it still holds today. Nothing is going to be done about global warming because nothing can be done. The best chance to slow it down is a sudden collapse of the economy, and the mass starvation and self annihilation of the populations that can't concieve an end to what inevitably, as a mathematical certainty, must end.

7 years ago

Oh yes, "veggie oil for transportation".
Every calorie of US-farming, like veggie oil, uses 10 calories of fossil fuels.
How would you take care of algae blooms, Doctor?

7 years ago

People still think climate change isn't a thing... amazing.

Big CoLi
7 years ago

Very good doc.I live in the north of Ireland and there's not a lot of media info about how climate change will effect us here.Most docs deal with the US or Bangladesh and if the UK is mentioned its always London. I know Belfast is in trouble when sea levels rise because its a port city just like Dublin. But from all the stuff I've watched and read I think we passed the point of no return a long long time ago...

7 years ago

Pretty good, but they neglect to mention the fact that animal agriculture is one of the most serious offenders when it comes to climate change.

Tom Carberry
8 years ago

No solutions offered except begging the rich. The small local wind farm makes sense, with people pooling resources for local benefit, much like people used to help each other build houses and barns.

Rich people own the central governments and all the major polluters, so I don't see the sense in begging centralized governments for help. People will have to act locally and individually and, i believe, accept the inevitable and plan for it.

The issue comes down to inequality, more than "climate change," a movement started by the Rockefeller brothers. The harms to the poor around the world have a solution -- money in the form of reparations. Of course, that will never happen. Ask any of the victims of the rich over the centuries, from slaves to Native Americans.

The rich will have no problem with climate change. Even if Manhattan floods, they have homes in Aspen and Vail where floods won't happen. But the poor will take it in the shorts. Remember Hurricane Sandy or any other major disaster, like in Nepal.

Right now we have perpetual war between the car owning countries and the non-car countries, with the car owning countries winning because they own all the jets and drones, too.

The internal combustion engine must go. It has caused a century of wars, starting with WWI, the first war for Middle East oil to fuel the new navies of the west which all had switched from coal to oil. JRR Tolkien wrote his entire Lord of the Rings trilogy as an allegory against the internal combustion engine.

And the wars for oil have contributed as much to pollution as the cars themselves.

While global warming may or may not kill us all, something I doubt, pollution and war I believe have a much better chance of killing us all. This documentary says 350,000 people die a year, without explaining the figure. But more than that die from wars. Over 500,000 Iraqi children died from US sanctions alone, according to our secretary of state.

The Military Industrial Complex causes more pollution than virtually any other industry. They spread radiation and toxic chemicals wherever they go. They burn fuel at an enormous rate. They spend more on air conditioning than the entire NASA budget. The navy kills whales with its sonar experiments.

But you never hear the 'climate change" people talk about war, the favorite pastime of rich westerners. Because most of them believe in war, most of them support the troops.

Follow the comments on topics like climate change and then on politics and you see that most people who oppose climate change vote for the democratic party, one of the two parties of perpetual war. You read articles about republicans denying climate change, but look at what people do, not what they say. Both parties support all the worst polluters in the world, because those polluters own every single member of the two parties.

I don't know how it works in Ireland, but I suspect much the same. I remember seeing a speech a couple years ago by a pregnant MP denouncing Irish politicians as in cahoots with war criminals and torturers, but suspect those war criminals and torturer lovers remain in power.

8 years ago

People ought to realize where the oceans came from or how it materialized considering a primordial Earth got no hydrosphere. How did it become so huge, enough to cover more than 3/4 of the planetary surface? There can be no life as we know it in the absence of water so the answer to this puzzle gives hope that the many lifeless planets we observe today can one day host our species too.

Dr. Williams
8 years ago

historically CO2 levels have been significantly higher and life flourished (especially plant life). CO2 is not a pollutant, it is necessary for life. What is more alarming than CO2 levels increasing is that O2 levels are decreasing. Take care of algae blooms, use advanced geothermal and thorium for electricity and used veggie oil for transportation.

~Dr. Williams

8 years ago

The global warming could also be caused by the dams humans build. The dams prevent the rivers from flowing back to the oceans thus increasing the salinity of the oceans. The higher salinity would melt the polar ice also bring changes to the ph. level and who knows what else.

8 years ago

It's hard to be a drop in the ocean, who pays attention to ya...who, in fact, cares? The willful ignorance of climate effects, and our 'dull' majority (it seems) who are too challenged with living to get off the couch once a day of work is done will have to be eased or forced into participation, we no longer have time for 'education'. Same is true of the big corporations, they will not change, and can only be negotiated with 'after' they are brought down. Sustainable and renewable programs for all new 'anything' is the only way forward. All renos, and new builds must be green & carbon neutral & sustainable (built to last is something we used to know how to do); all vehicles, all new ships, trains, trucks, roads... largest % of food must be grown locally, same for other goods and services. Maybe, maybe technologies (a solar airplane is right now preparing it's first trip around the world) will catch up down the road and we can expand our home base again then - right now it is time to regroup and face a crisis that is already upon us. Good Luck to Ireland, and to all of our grandchildren...