In a world full of exhaust fumes, marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols is like a breath of fresh air. But some of his words might make you choke.
"This is it," Nichols speaks candidly of global warming. "No kidding — this is our 11th hour. We have to rise to the occasion."
The local research associate for San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences is turning heads with a slew of other like-minded scientists in "The 11th Hour," Leonardo DiCaprio’s much-ballyhooed eco doc, which opened Friday. The film grabs the Save-the-Planet baton from Al Gore ("An Inconvenient Truth") and hands it off to the masses with the hope of sparking change in a world compromised after 200 years of industrial revolution.
More than 50 scientists and dignitaries — from Stephen Hawking to Mikhail Gorbachev — are spotlighted in a project that DiCaprio produced and narrates, and sisters/filmmakers Nadia Conners and Leila Conners Petersen directed.
Collectively these eco patriots issue a warning: The planet can’t be healed with a verbal bandage.
But Nichols, who lives in Davenport and has been with CAS for more than seven years, says that when it comes to global warming, "we are essentially talking about an ocean issue.
"Oceans make up 75 percent of the planet," he adds. "If the planet is warming, the ocean is warming. If the ocean warms, even a little bit, we are in trouble. As go the oceans, so goes life on planet Earth."
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