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Chasing Coral Documentary: A Call To Save The Coral Reefs

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As humans we only think about the problems that are brought to our attention, we never think to look for other complications the Earth has occurring. Over the past 30 years, about half of all coral reefs have become extinct. In 2016 alone, 29 percent of coral on the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest collection of coral reefs died as a result of “coral bleaching.” The alarming and shocking documentary Chasing Coral directed by Jeff Orlowski includes scientists on a quest as coral reefs are being observed. This tragedy is led to one big question that is happening with the coral, why are they becoming bleached, and how they are being affected by global warming? The leading cause of coral bleaching is rising water temperatures due to the increase of CO2 in the ocean. The documentary utilizes ethos, pathos, and logos to help educate the audience on how it affects humans, and how we can save this ecosystem from being wiped from existence.

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Richard Vevers captures the devastating features by capturing the coral die slowly over time. The world’s leading coral reef scientists have gathered for the International Coral Reef Symposium, at the end of the film. A presentation was put together for an audience to view all the live photos and videos Vevers collected.” This has been a mortality event on a massive scale, 29% of the corals alone have died in 2015.” Losing coral animals in a single year is mind-blowing, viewers didn’t expect the bleaching to be so widespread. The presentation also wanted to inform people that the bleaching isn’t just taking place at the Great Barrier Reef but it’s a global massive event. “While it does pay beyond fair deference to the science behind coral reefs and their devastation, its real strength lies within the pathos generated by the visuals that showcase the exact nature of their precarious state.” The showcasing had a major emotional effect on the audience, hoping to get them to be more alarmed of the crisis.

An analogy was made between the coral reefs and the city, “the corals to are overcrowded, they support communities, there’s even traffic with certain movements throughout the day.” Meaning the link between coral and we should’ve made people care more. If things are happening in the city people are willing to make a change because it’s right in front of them, it’s something they think they can actually help. Unlike the coral reef, people pay it no mind because they don’t know how to fix the issue. The documentary focused on the topic of an advertising issue, they felt the damage of the reef to the people was “out of sight, out of mind.” What’s underwater is just as important then what’s above it.

The film use ethos, pathos, and logos to avoid scare tactics. It states constant facts and information that can be well supported and back up the situation of the coral bleaching. It avoids scare tactics by just broadly stating clear facts about global warming and the turn it has on destroying the ecosystem, rather than being overly dramatic. There are people who don’t believe climate change exists because they hide behind a lie that’s more acceptable for them to believe in. The intuitive lie that the temperature going up by one degree isn’t much, this is why logos came into place. The film used the information to try to convince people to help the coral reefs and to stop them from being in denial. “In 30 years 50% of coral reefs have disappeared.”

Chasing Coral was created as a sign of hope. If we act now as a whole we could be able to save the Great Barrier Reef. I believe a large amount of discipline should be applied to the situation in order for the change to occur. While being environmentally conscious makes pressures with specific parts of the ways of life we know, earnestness and good faith should be adjusted such that can impact positive change. From what I have learned from the film, this small change in temperature has affected coral reefs tremendously. The change will continue to make thermal stress and vigorous patterns in storms. That will eventually result in an increased runoff, more pollution from the land into the ocean, the coral reefs will encounter diseases and damage causing them to suffer more than they already are. 

09 March 2021

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