WWF-Canada Blog:

Motivation for the making of Revolution

 By filmmaker and eco-warrior, Rob Stewart. 

In every revolution in the past, it’s been the people most directly influenced or impacted by the atrocity that hit the streets and made change happen. And this time it’s going to be kids. By 2050 we’re facing collapsing ecosystems all over the board, and kids are looking at that and thinking, “I’m going to be there, front and centre,” and they’re going to battle for their future.

Revolution sharks

 “You’re told your whole life since you’re a kid, ‘Sharks are dangerous.’ You’re warned about venturing too far into the ocean. But then finally you’re underwater, and you see the thing you were taught your whole life to fear. And it’s perfect, and it doesn’t want to hurt you, and it’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen. And your whole world changes.” – Rob Stewart, Sharkwater

I can relate. Ever since I was a kid, I loved sharks. Sharks were like the last dragons and the last dinosaurs we had on the planet, and they were also enigmatic – they were tough to get close to, very difficult to understand, and we knew very little about them. I met my first shark when I was nine, and instead of being this vicious predator like I was told, the shark was afraid of me. What that did for me, for a kid who loved the ocean, was it gave me a whole new world to explore. I didn’t have to be afraid of the ocean anymore.

When I was twenty years old, I travelled to the Galapagos Islands on an assignment as a wildlife photographer to do a project on hammerhead sharks. Instead of finding sharks in all their majesty underwater, I found 100 kilometres of illegally set fishing lines and hundreds of dead and dying sharks. This killed me. I loved sharks. It felt like part of my family was dying. Something shifted that day, and I changed. I needed to make people love sharks the way I did, to see them through my eyes. And that’s when I set out to make Sharkwater.

Sharkwater pushed 80 countries to ban shark finning and brought awareness to the issues facing sharks, inspiring significant action around the world to protect them. But what is the point of trying to save sharks if the planet will not be able to sustain life if current trends continue? This is no longer just about saving sharks or the oceans. It’s about saving ourselves.

Sharkwater taught us that if we educate people, if they know what is going on, then they’ll do the right thing. They will fight for sharks and ecosystems. And that is what motivated me to produce Revolution. It is my hope that once people see Revolution and learn about what’s going on, that we will all be morally bound together to make better decisions.
The most important thing is talking about the issue. Only a few percent of people on the planet know what’s going on right now, and until everyone knows what’s going on, we’re not going to get the kind of monumental change we need in order to ensure a brighter future for humanity. A lot of our behaviours are destroying things that human life depends on. Shrimp fisheries waste 85 percent of what they bring to the surface, contributing to humans wasting 54 billion pounds of fish every year, while ten million people die of starvation each year. We need to watch our consumption – to be conscious of what we’re buying, where our stuff comes from, what we consume, what we waste, and what we throw away – because that stuff really doesn’t go away. For example, plastics contain chemicals that make their way through the food chain and bio-accumulate at toxic levels, particularly in top predators such as humans. The average human today has about a pound of plastic incorporated in their body tissues – so it isn’t just the environment that we’re polluting, we’re polluting ourselves. What we put into the outside world comes right back into us.

We have built a civilization over the last 250 years that is destroying the world we depend on for survival. It literally consumes our life-support system and our economic growth comes at the cost of life. Things would change drastically if the public knew what was going on. We don’t just need Priuses, light bulb changes, recycling, and environmental policy. We need a revolution.

We need big risks and big dreams right now. We need to change this world radically. If we’re going to tackle this, we’ve got to come together. We have to grow, we have to care about other people, other species, and ecosystems. We have to usher these things in and it could be paradise, here on earth, for us and millions of other species. All we have is our humanity – our emotions and our feelings. When we’re educated, we unleash the power of humanity to guide us. We’ll feel bad about engaging in activities that are destructive for life and feel good about engaging in activities that promote life and future generations.

Education is the most important part of saving our future, and that’s why I’m focused on getting as many people as possible to see Revolution. Please join me in my mission to ignite a revolution – you need to get involved. Be conscious of what you eat, where you put your dollars, and how you live your life. Nothing is more important than this, there’s never been an issue this big, and there’s never been an issue that needs your involvement more than this. You can use your skills sets and talents to change the world.

When looking for inspiration on how to make a difference, remember this: Don’t let “not knowing what to do” stop you from taking action. We have to think of new ideas, come up with new solutions, and come together to figure it out. I’m as excited as you are to see what you’re capable of.

Our change-the-world challenge to YOU:

1. Watch the Revolution trailer: http://youtu.be/UxcophNGLdg

2. Share the trailer with everyone you know!

3. Follow Revolution on Facebook and YouTube: