Ocean News

Let’s start then…..

2nd August 2008

A small explanation to begin: The Floating Point (FP) is where anything marine related heads to be digested. Films, books, research, The FP retains an open door policy in an age where all forms of media have an ability to change the way we humans perceive and interact with our environment, be it "natural" or "human made", for better or for worse. This blog will therefore aim to present a rough guide to what’s out there in that vast ocean of online information, while dishing out a little opinion and keeping you up to date will all the goings on at SOSF.

To tee off, and by way of an example of what’s to come, let’s glance over some recent attempts by various environmental organisations to harness the power of online video, be it the Surfrider Foundation’s "Tomorrow is right around the corner", WWF’s sun powered billboard and "It all comes back to you" campaign, or Conservation International’s latest PSA with Harrison Ford.

What’s striking in all of these examples is the deliberate lack of factual information: back in the day, environmental campaign groups appeared to be very focused on informing and educating the public, while the online strategies above feel very much as though knowledge is no longer the problem; it lies in an inability to connect the dots, to place action and consequence within the same visual field. These campaigns therefore appear to tackle this by attempting something far more subtle: to trace out the shape of ideas within those vast constellations of known environmental information, in order to urge us towards more positive modes of environmental behaviour.

SOSF has had one its greatest impacts with a similar strategy utilised in its award-nominated "Rethink the Shark" campaign. Although our film does provide shocking statistics to back up its message that humans are a far greater threat to sharks (we are thought to kill up to 100 million sharks every year) and themselves (by wanting toast so badly that we tend to stick forks into faulty electronic goods) than sharks will ever be to humans, it could be argued that the campaign is as much about the re-contextualising of such facts as the facts themselves; in this case, getting us to reinterpret the weight we apply to various "risks" in order for us to "rethink" our biased attitude towards sharks. Perhaps the range of these imaginative campaigns also shows that environmental organisations are now fully aware that online video holds the potential for countless new production and access points for such reinterpretations, providing another valuable tool for those who’d like to see positive changes in our environmental interactions.