Painting Destruction By Numbers
Saturday, June 10, 2017
By Daniel de la Calle

1 In less than two weeks our good friend and Associate Producer Ben Kalina will be premiering his new documentary SHORED UP at the Monclair Film Festival. We are all equally proud and eager to watch the final result of over three years of work and dedication.
"Our beaches and coastline are a national treasure, a shared resource, a beacon of sanity in a world of constant change…and they’re disappearing in front of us.
Shored Up is a documentary that asks tough questions about our coastal communities and our relationship to the land. What will a rising sea do to our homes, our businesses, and the survival of our communities? Can we afford to pile enough sand on our shores to keep the ocean at bay? In Long Beach Island, New Jersey and the Outer Banks of North Carolina, surfers, politicians, scientists and residents are racing to answer these questions.  Beach engineering has been our only approach so far, but is there something else out there to be explored?  Our development of the coastlines put us in a tough predicament, and it’s time to start looking for solutions.

2 UCSB professor Debora Iglesias-Rodríguez and postdoctoral researcher Bethan Jones have discovered a line of marine organisms that in fact increase their calcification in waters with dropping pH levels. In the new study published by PloS ONE and funded by the European Project on Ocean Acidification they found that the unicellular marine coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi still manages to develop shells when exposed to waters with high CO2 levels.
Interview with professor Iglesias-Rodríguez:


3 A new study by University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science researchers focuses on the effects of Ocean Acidification on cobia fish larvae.  These large tropical fish are highly mobile as they mature and constitute a popular species among recreational anglers.  After exposing the larvae to different levels of CO2 they discovered remarkable resistance consistency in growth, development and activity under probable end-of-the-century pH scenarios.  The study also showed a significant change in otolith ("calcium carbonate structures within the fish's inner ear that are used for hearing and balance") size, up to a 58% increase in mass.  Photo: Cod Otoliths
When tested in a mathematical model of otolith function, the result showed an increase in hearing sensitivity and up to a 50% increase in hearing range.
The study is the first to report impacts of ocean acidification on a large, pelagic tropical fish species.
"Increased hearing sensitivity could improve a fish's ability to use sound for navigation, predator avoidance, and communication. However, it could also increase their sensitivity to common background noises, which may disrupt the detection of more useful auditory information," says  University of Miami researcher Sean Bigmani.

The PNAS publication

4 There will be two Ocean Acidification meetings in Scotland this summer:  The Third Annual Science Meeting of the UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme on 22-24 July, 2013, and the Second International Workshop of the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network on 24-26 July, 2013, both at the University of St Andrews, North Haugh.

5 The University of California in Irvine is to host a conference on "Ocean Acidification: Science, Law and Governance" on May 3rd, 2013.
"The program will focus on issues surrounding ocean acidification and its major impact on the West Coast of the United States. The emphasis will be on options for preserving the precious aquatic habitat and the threatened shellfish industry. The problem is global, but the threats are compelling and urgent in the states of Washington, Oregon, and California."
The event is free, but requires RSVP.  People interested in this event can fill out the form HERE

6 The Ocean Cleanup Array is an innovative prototype designed to palliate one of the oceans' saddest problems: plastic pollution of the world's waters.  This design by aerospace engineering student Boyant Slat looks like a giant vacuum cleaner equipped with floating arms to direct plastic trash along the water surface to a central filtrating structure. The Ocean Cleanup Array project claims to be capable of collecting seven million tons of plastic a year with the use of solar and tidal power to run this vessel nonstop around the 5 ocean plastic gyres.
This is Boyan Slat's TED Talk on the issue:


7 The segment on Ocean Acidification in "Revolution", a new documentary about human beings and the planet can now be watched on Youtube:

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Congrats Toby!!!
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Toby Shimin's last film, BUCK, has just been given the Sundance Audience Award for Best Documentary.  Toby was the editor of A Sea Change and all of Barbara Ettinger's previous films.  Congratulations, Toby!

Buck is directed by Cindy Meehl, here's a link to Sundance's announcement.
And a link to an article about the film
Go Toby!!! 
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We Need Your Help!
Saturday, June 10, 2017
We've just received word from Netflix that A Sea Change is officially a 'saved' film in their terminology. This means that they're waiting to see how many people put it in their queue before they decide if they'll carry it. With over 50 film festivals worldwide, a national broadcast on Planet Green and hundreds of community screenings we're curious what it takes to get accepted outright. But Netflix has a big audience and we want more people to see the film and learn about ocean acidification, so we see this as a challenge to our network of  If you have a Netflix account or know someone who does, please take a minute to put us in your queue and to ask your friends to do the same thing. It's free, it's easy and it will make a difference. Here's our link

Speaking of documentary film festivals, Barbara and Sven just returned (briefly) home after attending the screening of their film at the Chesapeake Film Festival, while here at the virtual office we were informed that the film had been selected for the Festival du Film de L'environnement in Kairouan, Tunisia, in early December. How nice is that?
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Teaching Moments
Saturday, June 10, 2017
By Ben Kalina

It’s been two years now since we filmed A Sea Change along the northern California coast and the  journey continues with screenings scheduled globally as we plan another celebration of World Ocean Day in early June.  As if ocean acidification wasn't enough and we needed another reason to wean ourselves quickly from oil, this year’s Earth Day disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is a stark reminder.

As the gruesome news comes in from the Gulf Coast it’s clear that despite the efforts of many, the oceans continue to pay a horrific price for our dependence on oil and other carbon-based pollutants. 

Just before the BP disaster I spent a week with my wife and our daughter in Northern California, visiting old friends and trolling along the coastline where we filmed A Sea Change.  We saw the molting elephant seals at Ano Nuevo, the beach glass combers at Davenport, and the baby goats in Pescadero.  I’ve been along that stretch of coastline many times before and it never disappoints.  The weather always seems to be sunny and pleasant, and you can’t drive a mile without coming across some marvel of nature or a dramatic scene of cliffs diving into the ocean.  The windy, elevated stretch of Route 1 near Pacifica will soon by bypassed by the Devil’s Slide tunnel, so you’ll have to get there soon to get that roller-coaster feeling in your stomach as your car slithers along the mountainside.   

On one rainy, misty day we took the opportunity to head down for a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which is featured on a couple of occasions in A Sea Change.  Once you get over the sticker shock ($29.95 for those over 12…at least it’s going to a good cause) there may be no better indoor space on earth to bring a child, especially one who has just woken up from a nap, has eaten and is full of energy and curiosity.  All the sea animals I remembered are still there: the sardine rotunda, the jellyfish tanks, the sea turtle habitat, the bat ray petting pool and the playful otters. 

The newest exhibit at the aquarium features Sea Horses, some of the most bizarre and mysterious little creatures around.  Some resemble the Preying Mantis, taking the color and shape of seaweed to blend into their surroundings.  Other species look more like what I'd imagined; upright ponies gliding along, propelled by a row of tendrils along their spine.  They are delicate and intricate, sublime in their evolution.  

This was my first visit to the aquarium as a parent, and I soon realized that there were exhibits I’d never even seen before, the kind of exhibits are invisible until your child runs to them squealing with arms waving and eyes wide open. 

These of course are the specially designed children’s play areas all around the aquarium, where kids press buttons that play clips of seal calls, dunk wooden fish in water and climb and bounce on all kinds of structures.  But beyond the collection of fish tanks and the playgrounds what I was struck by the most at the aquarium was the extent of the exhibits that have been built to educate visitors about climate change, sustainability, and specifically about ocean acidification.  I don’t know exactly when these dioramas and interactive displays were installed, but there seemed to be at least one in each exhibit.  They ranged from a mock kitchen illustrating how food choices contribute to greenhouse gas emissions to diagrams of renewable energy options to a graphic description of the threat of ocean acidification.  I suppose what I found most encouraging was that the aquarium could easily have taken the neutral position that their animal exhibits embody their educational efforts, and left it at that.  Instead, they clearly went to great expense, and perhaps some institutional risk, to display a series of exhibits that could invite hate mail or worse in an era when skeptics threaten scientists with violence and reject common sense at every turn.  As individuals, as governments, and as a global community, we all need to find the courage to take responsibility for the impact of our actions on this planet and to make change in our own spheres. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has given us one graceful example of how this might be accomplished.
-Ben Kalina, Associate Producer, A Sea Change

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An Early Report from the Royal Society
Saturday, June 10, 2017

This 2005 summary report from the Royal Society is a call for immediate reductions in CO2 emissions. 

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Sustainable filmmaking--discussion begins
Saturday, June 10, 2017

Before production, Barbara Ettinger,Sven Husby, and Ben Kalina talk about how to go about green filmmaking.From the paper in the printer to lights on the set: we can't takeanything for granted any more. Especially not if we're going to make afilm about the consequences of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

As we got started on our documentary about how carbon dioxide is radically reshaping the world's oceans we were eager, and maybe even felt a bit obligated, to try to reduce the CO2 footprint of our own filmmaking process.  In this 3 minute clip, filmed as production began in the spring of 2007, Barbara, Sven and Ben talk about their big ideas for making A Sea Change a sustainable film production. 

This will be the first of many blog entries focused on sustainable filmmaking.  As we chart the trials and tribulations of walking the walk of reducing our filmmaking footprint, we're eager to hear your thoughts on what we tried to do, what we might have done, and what you're doing in the film and video universe to reduce your impact on the planet. 

We've been working since the beginning of 2007 with the Greencode Project, an international collective of filmmakers based in Canada working to promote and establish environmentally friendly practices that willhelp create an International set of standards for the film and mediaindustry.  We're also working with Carbon Planet, based in Australia, who are helping us to conduct an energy audit to establish a carbon footprint for our film which will help us to estimate how many carbon credits we're going to need to buy to offset the mess we've made during the production of A Sea Change.

Special thanks to Josh Aronson for shooting.

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Greening your filmmaking
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Marie-France Cote headed up a green filmmaking panel at Silverdocs 2007. Greencode_greencoderBoth a film producer and co-founder of the Green Code Project, Marie-France spoke about the expanding, international assortment of people who are part of Green Code (Greencoders!) and what they are doing to come up with practical steps to give filmmaking a smaller "footprint." 

This video was originally shared on by Niijii Films with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

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Our green aspirations
Saturday, June 10, 2017

Ben Kalina speaks briefly about our plans to produce a film with a small carbon footprint and a big educational footprint, while making art in the process. Yes, and when we're finished with that, we'll be balancing the U.S. budget and drinking to world peace.

Thanks to Cameron Hickey from Pattern Films for shooting and to our carbon-free buddies Green Code and Carbon Planet.   

This video was originally shared on by Niijii Films with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license.

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