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. 50 – The Hindenburg Explosion and Getting Stuck in the Suez Canal World Is Burning

We’re back for our 50th episode, and we're coming into the new year with a bang – Elise tells us how the Hindenburg airship explosion, despite some amazing survival stories, might have halted the potential for low-carbon air cargo (and cool blimps). Then Olivia revisits a phenomenon of early 2021: Ever Given, the ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal, and what it says about our supply chain and meme culture. Other topics include how the fossil fuel industry upholds itself, adding a comma for dramatic effect, and what we’ve been reading. 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. World Is Burning is hosted by Olivia Hamilton and Elise Nye. Our theme music is by Kaycie Satterfield, and our logo was made by Sonja Katanic. — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/worldisburning/message
  1. Ep. 50 – The Hindenburg Explosion and Getting Stuck in the Suez Canal
  2. Ep. 49 – Daylight Saving Time
  3. Ep. 48 – Bhutan and Information Overload
  4. Ep. 47 – Ratpocalypse and the Wendigo
  5. Ep. 46 – Free Leonard Peltier and People vs. Fossil Fuels