Last night, BBC Two broadcast a powerful film and inspiring film on the ongoing ecological threat to Hawaii entitled, "Hawaii - Message in the Waves", featuring contributions from a number of Hawaiian surfers, such as musician Jack Johnson, who are playing an ongoing role in protecting the ecological riches of Hawaii.
One of the sequences showed Johnson touring Hawaiian schools to teach young children about the importance of sustainable development by employing his skills as a musician though simple songs such as "Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle" to bring that message home.
In another sequence, we were taken to the most northerly Islands in the chain which, although declared a national park and protected by law, also contain some of the dirtiest beaches in the world as various forms of throw away plastic products from other countries, some dating back to the 1960s, wash up on the shores there after years of circling the Pacific ocean. This rubbish is also leading to the decline of Albatross numbers in the area as chicks swallow a variety of plastics such as cigarette lighters, toys and toothbrushes leading to starvation as they subsequently have less space in their stomachs for food or water. One of the contributors spent an hour walking across one of the beaches collecting detrius from the decaying carcasses of a number of these chicks and then laid it out neatly on the sand. The results were horrifying as the contributor simply explained that we are all responsible for this rubbish.
In a third sequence, dolphins were filmed playing a favourite game of theirs where they race through the waves, balancing a fallen leaf on their fins and passing it from dolphin to dolphin except now they play the game with discarded plastic bags. Depressing and inspiring in equal measure, this programme encouraged viewers to each play their part in making this world a cleaner place to live in for all creatures great and small and pointed out that it is a privilege to play in our oceans and that privilege comes with responsibility. It is a form of stewardship that the Ancient Hawiians understood very well and that Hawaiians of today through the the rediscovery of old values are beginning to realise is still just as relevant.
Image Credit: Albatross © Rebecca Hosking
2003 - Witnness 2003, a comprehensive review by Brian Kelly of the 2 days of what transpired to be the last ever Witnness festival (in 2004 it was rebranded as Oxegen when Heineken stepped into the sponsor shoes).