Episode 20 – Save the Whales and Free Willy

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Do we need to save the whales all over again? What’s the deal with celebrity animals? What does it mean to be a ‘flagship species’ for your ecosystem? This week, Elise explores how the early whaling industry led to the Save the Whales movement of the 1970s, with a few interesting family connections along the way. Then Olivia tells the story of Keiko, better known as the star of Free Willy, and how celebrity can be as toxic for animals as it can be for humans. We also discuss influential documentaries like Blackfish, diversity in high-budget environmental films, and how we’re dealing with our climate (and quarantine) exhaustion.

This is the tweet from climate activist Alexandria Villaseñor that resonated with us at the beginning of the episode.

You can learn more about Alexandria on the Earth Uprising website, an organization she co-founded. She is also involved in the Children vs. Climate Crisis lawsuit. (The lawsuit is international, not Oregon-based. Olivia made that up––sorry :))

Story #1: Save the Whales (Elise)
Maris Sidenstecker II holding the original t-shirt she designed at age 14. Via Savethewhales.org.

Calls from the deep: do we need to Save the Whales all over again?, The Guardian, Dec 2020
A Whale of a Solution?, The Solutions Journal, Feb 2016
A brief history of commercial whaling and Greenpeace, Greenpeace, Sept 2018
World Group on Whaling Votes Curb on Hunt for One Species, New York Times, June 1973
Save The Whales
Project Jonah: History
Nye Lubricants: History
The Mariner’s Museum and Park

Dead whales being dragged along behind the Russian factory ship Dalniy Vostok in 1975. Photograph: Rex Weyler/Greenpeace
William F. Nye clock oil, National Museum of American History
Story #2: Keiko, Free Willy, and Celebrity Animals (Olivia)
Keiko alongside Jason James Richter in the 1993 family movie Free Willy

Freeing Willy | Retro Report | The New York Times September 2013
The Death of the World’s Most Famous Whale by Sea Shepherd
Calls from the deep: do we need to Save the Whales all over again? by Sophy Grimshaw for the Guardian, December 31 2020
The Free Willy Story: Keiko’s Journey Home the 1999 TV Movie and its website.
About Orcas from the Center for Whale Research
Why freeing Willy was the wrong thing to do by New Scientist, April 28 2009

The Dump

Kiss The Ground (We have mixed feelings, but it’s worth the watch)

How To Save A Planet episode on regenerative farming

Lumenate meditation app
Meditation For Climate Activists

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Thanks for listening!

Ep. 30 – No Facts, No Information, Just Vibes: Cotton and Microfiber World Is Burning

This week, we're taking a closer look at the natural and synthetic materials you're probably wearing right now. How did cotton become the "fabric of our lives"? Elise explains the reasoning behind advertising a material rather than a brand, and tells us which policies we should be paying attention to in regard to cotton manufacturing. Then Olivia takes on the massive (but nearly invisible) problem of the synthetic material industry: microfibers. 1.4 million trillion of them. Other topics discussed: exciting life changes, the limits of individual action and systems-change advocacy, and TikTok Olivia Rodrigo theories. Subscribe/follow/press the button to keep up with new episodes every Wednesday! You can also follow us @worldisburnin on Instagram and Twitter, and check out our website worldisburning.com for extended show notes including sources and photos. — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/worldisburning/message
  1. Ep. 30 – No Facts, No Information, Just Vibes: Cotton and Microfiber
  2. Down The Rabbit Hole Minisode 3: Treaty People Gathering and Line 3
  3. Ep. 29 – Colonizing the Ocean and Mars?
  4. Ep. 28 – Lawn Culture and Mushroom Scams
  5. Ep. 27 – Why is Chevron So Obsessed With Steven Donziger?