Monday, November 14, 2011

The DaVersity Code

A popular solution bounced around in brainstorming sessions between ecologists is, in so many words, "education." The semantics may vary but ultimately derive from the formula of "[We] need to educate [students/people/other laymen] about [ecological issue X] so they will support our cause and the wheels of change will turn." However, when asked, if at all, how to carry this out, the usual sound off of political activism, congressional lobbying and the most popular, "tell them," happens.
Without giving too much away (words can't quite capture it, you should really see it), this, Harvard Center for Health and the Global Environment sponsored, late 2000s cartoon takes some artistic liberties and compares the current biodiversity crash to The DaVinci Code in a very concise and almost tongue in cheek display of cheesiness, and a new breed of Viral Activism, starring "Robert Penguin and Sophie Minnow." The cartoon brings up the inter-connectivity of all life on earth, using the endangered cone snails and frogs as proxies for pharmaceuticals and disease control, and cautions against thinking that humans are separate from this "Priory of Species."(really, you should see it.)
Is it cheesy? Yes.
Is it strange? Maybe a little.
Is it copyright infringement? That's debatable.
But what isn't debatable is this is an honest effort on the part of an organization that isn't known quite as much for activism so much as science, to reach the masses in a new, and relevant manner (that is, unless Conservative Dan Brown fans take this to mean that Pandas are in on it).