Following the success of his sharks-aren’t-our-enemy documentary Sharkwater, Rob Stewart took off around the world to see what else was going wrong on Planet Earth. The result is this globe-trotting documentary about the worst problems, those well known, like deforestation, and stubbornly unknown, like ocean acidification.
The young eco-doc legend recently answered a few questions for us.
Your film is a smorgasbord of what’s wrong with the world. Did you get depressed making it? Is there any hope?
It’s all hope. The problems we face in society are cured if we all step up our game to tackle this issue together. There are millions of conservation groups around the world working for good. We have the ability to educate billions of people on the Internet and Facebook. I really think this is an opportunity to call humanity to the height of its potential to usher in a new world. We shouldn’t just be scraping by on this planet with degraded ecosystems and mass extinctions — we should be thriving. This should be paradise for us and millions of species, and it can if we educated everyone and designed it properly.
You also got to see some pretty amazing places on the planet. Where would you recommend someone go to see earth’s pristine beauty before it’s gone?
I’d recommend someone see Revolution. Not everyone is going to get to go underwater or see the kinds of wildlife we portray in Revolution, but we bring you theses animals and behaviors so you can fall in love with life, and hopefully fight for its protection.
Where do you get the industrial footage of tar sand pits, and fish processing, and deforestation? Do you take any of that yourself?
The industrial fishing and deforestation we shot ourselves. The tar sands is from Greenpeace.
Does it seem like people are starting to care about ocean acidification? That seems like perhaps the biggest threat that no one knows much about.
Ocean acidification is the biggest issue facing humanity right now. The oceans give us food, most of our oxygen, and are home to 80 percent-plus of life on earth. Four out of five mass extinctions in the past that wiped most life off the planet were caused by acidification. But most people don’t know what it is — its our hope to educate the masses.
What’s your next project?
I’ve got to see what happens with Revolution, how the public responds, and then make a plan.
Revolution screens on Sat., Jan. 26, 7 p.m., at the Lobero Theatre, and on Mon., Jan. 28., at the Metro 4.