Wednesday, October 1, 2003
Hollywood Celebrities Make Off-key "Music" Public Service Announcement for the Oceans
Bad symphony to bring attention to declining state of ocean ecosystems
Scripps Institution of Oceanography / University of California, San DiegoHow bad are the oceans these days? With the decline of coral reefs, the collapse of world fisheries, and the appearance of large "dead zones," ocean ecosystem deterioration can be likened to a symphony of off-key musicians. That message is the core of the Shifting Baselines ocean media campaign and its newly released public service announcement (PSA).
The PSA features Henry Winkler on harp, Madeleine Stowe on violin, Tom Arnold on drums, Josh Lucas on cello, and fifteen other actor non-musicians all led by actor-musician Jack Black as the conductor. The PSA, which is being distributed to 1,000 television stations nationwide, draws the comparison of lowered standards for the oceans to bad music. Shifting Baselines is a unique partnership of scientists, environmental groups, and the entertainment industry dedicated to increasing the public awareness about ocean decline. Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, is a partner in Shifting Baselines and Scripps Professor Jeremy Jackson, a distinguished marine ecologist, is a founding member of the project. Jackson recently led a landmark scientific study on marine ecosystem collapse that garnered worldwide attention. He has spent more than three decades studying coral reefs in the Caribbean and is now actively communicating the threats they face.
The Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution also is promoting the project through a thought-provoking new Shifting Baselines experience that asks: "Are we forgetting how
the oceans used to look?" The aquarium's Shifting Baselines display gives new meaning to the old adage that "one picture is worth a thousand words."
The Slow-Motion Decline of Kelp Forests
The term shifting baselines describes the tendency of people to perceive ocean life as abundant and ocean ecosystems as healthy even though they have slowly and steadily deteriorated. Project organizers say it's easy to fall victim to the "shifting baselines syndrome" because gradual declines don't register with the public mindset the same way a massive oil spill does, for example. Yet, accumulated over time, gradual declines have taken ecosystems to the same alarming endpoint that is more dramatically and obviously wrought by large destructive events.
The Slow-Motion Decline of Coral Reefs
For a deeper look at the changes in San Diego's kelp forests, watch "Ghost Forest," a short film based on the research of Scripps marine ecologists Paul Dayton and Mia Tegner. The short film, based on Jeremy Jackson's research, provides a unique historical perspective on changes in three coastal ecosystems. To learn more visit the Shifting Baselines website.
# # #
Please see links on right.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, is one of the oldest, largest, and most important centers for global science research and graduate training in the world. The scientific scope of the institution has grown since its founding in 1903. A century of Scripps science has had an invaluable impact on oceanography, on understanding of the earth, and on society. More than 300 research programs are under way today in a wide range of scientific areas. Scripps operates one of the largest U.S. academic fleets with four oceanographic research ships and one research platform for worldwide exploration. Now plunging boldly into the 21st century, Scripps is celebrating its centennial in 2003.
# # #
Note to broadcast and cable producers: University of California, San Diego provides an on-campus satellite uplink facility for live or pre-recorded television interviews. Please phone or e-mail the media contact listed above to arrange an interview.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at University of California, San Diego, is one of the oldest, largest and most important centers for global science research and education in the world. The National Research Council has ranked Scripps first in faculty quality among oceanography programs nationwide Now in its second century of discovery, the scientific scope of the institution has grown to include biological, physical, chemical, geological, geophysical and atmospheric studies of the earth as a system. Hundreds of research programs covering a wide range of scientific areas are under way today in 65 countries. The institution has a staff of about 1,300, and annual expenditures of approximately $155 million from federal, state and private sources. Scripps operates one of the largest U.S. academic fleets with four oceanographic research ships and one research platform for worldwide exploration.
Share This Story