Heroes

The shocking footage these filmmakers captured reveals why the Earth is in serious trouble.

It's fast-paced, action-packed, and visually stunning. It's better than "The Avengers!" (Or so I say.) In any case, this is not your average save-the-whales video.

Louie Psihoyos isn't your average filmmaker.

He's best known for his 2009 documentary "The Cove," which took home an Oscar for its investigation into dolphin hunting practices in Japan.


Whale and dolphin meat on sale in Tokyo. Image by Stefan Powell/Wikimedia Commons.

Even if you haven't heard of the film, you still may have heard about its infamous, gut-wrenching scene depicting a brutal dolphin massacre in the waters of Taiji, Wakayama.

How did Psihoyos get so close to the action without tipping off the fishermen?

"The first time I saw a slaughter, I was hiding across the cove, hanging from a rope on a cliff in full camouflage and face paint," he told The Humane Society of the United States.

So, yeah. Not your average filmmaker.

Now, six years later, he's back with a new film. And he has his sights set on an even bigger target than the dolphin-meat industry.

He's taking on the world's next mass extinction.

Science says there have been five big mass extinction events, or periods when abnormally large numbers of species die out simultaneously. Psihoyos and many others say we're on the verge of the sixth.

When he decided to explore the issue through film, though, he wanted it to be something everyone would want to watch — not just environmentalists. So he and his team, as they've done before, went undercover.

Using technology straight out of a James Bond movie, Psihoyos and his crew conducted covert operations to take us inside the back rooms of the endangered animal trade, to the front lines of carbon dioxide emissions, and underwater to witness the destruction of the world's oceans — giving us an unprecedented look at how humanity is driving entire species to extinction.

And, more importantly, what we can do about it.

While the film hasn't seen a wide release yet, early word says the effect is powerful.

Ecowatch is calling "Racing Extinction" a "must-see documentary." And it's not hard to see why. It's got everything.

High-tech gadgetry.

Stunning images of nature's beauty.

High-octane explosions.

And a message meant to inspire the next generation to change the world.

Trust me, if you care about the fate of the world at all, you aren't going to want to miss "Racing Extinction." And if you're just in it for the spy missions and the daring getaways, that's cool too.

To find out when the film is coming to your town, check the film's official website.

And here's the trailer to get your blood pumping!

P.S. If you think nothing can ever be better than "The Avengers" (and that is a great movie, BTW), you can still feel OK about thinking this is awesome (and important) too.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

When schools closed early in the spring, the entire country was thrown for a loop. Parents had to figure out what to do with their kids. Teachers had to figure out how to teach students at home. Kids had to figure out how to navigate a totally new routine that was being created and altered in real time.

For many families, it was a big honking mess—one that many really don't want to repeat in the fall.

But at the same time, the U.S. hasn't gotten a handle on the coronavirus pandemic. As states have begun reopening—several of them too early, according to public health officials—COVID-19 cases have risen to the point where we now have more cases per day than we did during the height of the outbreak in the spring. And yet President Trump is making a huge push to get schools to reopen fully in the fall, even threatening to possibly remove funding if they don't.

It's worth pointing out that Denmark and Norway had 10 and 11 new cases yesterday. Sweden and Germany had around 300 each. The U.S. had 55,000. (And no, that's not because we're testing thousands of times more people than those countries are.)

The president of the country's largest teacher's union had something to say about Trump's push to reopen schools. Lily Eskelsen Garcia says that schools do need to reopen, but they need to be able to reopen safely—with measures that will help keep both students and teachers from spreading the virus and making the pandemic worse. (Trump has also criticized the CDCs "very tough & expensive guidelines" for reopening schools.)

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