How many species are at risk of extinction in the next ten years?
E.O. Wilson, the great Harvard conservationist, estimated that we may be losing as many as 30,000 species a year -- it's hard to know exact numbers because we have no idea how many species are alive today. Scientists have only catalogued about 1.8 million species -- we don't even know within several orders of magnitude how many species we share the planet with. We do know that, with the massive loss of habitat, we are losing species faster than our ability to record their existence. This is like having all the world's knowledge in a single library and we're burning down the library before we can read the books.
What are three things that can be done to combat mass-extinction? What's actionable right away?
1. Get your home, school, places of work and worship, and government buildings off of fossil fuels ASAP 2. Explore a plant-based diet 3. Tell everyone you know to see this film The solutions are all upgrades. I've been driving an electric car for five years, and it never goes into the shop because there's only one moving part in the engine -- the rotor -- which lasts forever. I power it with solar panels, I don't pay for gas; in fact, my whole house and studio is powered by the sun. My license plate says "VUS" which stands for Vehicle Using Sun -- it's the opposite of an SUV. My local electric company (which OPS has been working fervently to overthrow) pays us to produce electricity because we generate 140% more energy than we use.
"The Cove" hit a nerve with a worldwide audience -- and clearly "6" will have as much, if not more, of an impact. What do you think has changed in the world that issues like this are now mainstream?
It's Evolution. Humanity is actually evolving very very quickly as information speeds up -- the combination of the internet and inexpensive gear has leveled the playing field. Every kid in the world who is a keen observer and has a laptop and a camera and can tell a great story can have as much reach and influence as a New York Times writer. We shot one of the best scenes in our movie almost entirely on GoPros.
What's next for you after "6"?
James Cameron told me that it's hard to talk about having another child when you're in the middle of childbirth. I guess we're still very much in labor. The screening at Tribeca is a work in progress screening -- we're not done filming yet, and we have a big event we want to pull off this summer for the climax of the film. And when you're done making a documentary, you're only halfway there...
Watch the trailer for "6" the Movie: