Activist 2.0 – Teaser

Here’s a clip from my upcoming short documentary on the group The Black Fish, launching my “Activist 2.0″ series. A taste of what’s to come…

Toronto Star column mention…

Got a mention in the Toronto Star column today, read till the end….
Published on Sun Dec 29 2013

As one who teaches environmental studies, I am sometimes tagged as a pessimist, a “prophet of gloom” cheerlessly sprinkling facts of species loss, rainforest destruction, water pollution and runaway climate change.

In other words, a professional “wet blanket.” (Definitely someone you think twice about inviting to your next party.)

When this happens, I wonder if environmental studies has displaced economics as the “dismal science,” the phrase coined by 19th-century polymath Thomas Carlyle.

Yet while there are certainly forbidding ecological facts and alarming environmental trends that need to be highlighted and confronted, there are also myriad positive developments that are equally deserving of attention.

As we progress toward the New Year, three such signs of hope on the creation front come to mind.

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University of Toronto Magazine column

Activism 2.0

I dreamed of a lush, green rainforest. The type you see in a Disney movie with an explosion of flora, orangutans climbing the heights of the jungle and a host of dangerous critters. But on the island of Borneo, where I was campaigning against deforestation, this is a fantasy.

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Losing Nemo – New Short Film

Just last month I filmed them campaign of The Black Fish against driftnetting off the Mediterranean coast. Today, they have released a new animation video on the issue. I offered my voice & narrated this film.

NYC + Economy 2.0


This weekend I’m attending reRoute in New York City, a youth convergence for the “new economy.” Why does this matter to an environmentalist like me? Quite simply: it’s Activism 2.0 in the making.

For my documentary series, I’ve been following the next generation fighting ocean and climate related issues. But for a another component of our generation’s fight, I’m looking at how youth are challenging the very system we live in – the economy.

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Global Power Shift


Travelling an hour outside of Istanbul, I met up with the trainers of Global Power Shift as they prepare to launch an ambitious climate campaign. Chart paper and ideas flowing, a global mix of young people are training themselves for the beginning of a new global fight against climate change.

Global Power Shift (otherwise called GPS) is a youth climate summit to create a new strategy in our collective climate crisis.  For when it comes to the double C word, the environmental movement is at an impass and our traditional tactics are no longer working.

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Next Stop #OccupyGezi

4I’ve just arrived in Istanbul where the Turkish Spring is still continuing. What started off as an environmental protest to protect the last vestige of green space in Gezi Park has erupted into a nation-wide anti-government movement. The park has turned into a central battleground of resistance against the State.

Arriving here, I can immediately sense this is a place unlike any other. It is a mosaic of worlds at the intersection between Europe and Asia. I had been up 24 hours travelling from The Black Fish Campaign (at an undisclosed location) to Turkey in order to prepare for the next campaign I’ll be filming…

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Here’s a video from The Black Fish while we were filming their campaign this summer. The video spells out how their using ‘peace drones’ to track and stop illegal driftnet fishing. This is Activism 2.0 in the making…

3Today was a day for Activism 2.0. The Black Fish campaign took the next level in their investigation into driftnetting by using emerging technology of drones (otherwise called Unmanned Aerial Systems“UAS”) for positive social change.

The UAS gives the campaign an extra edge by flying over sea and into harbors to document with a small video camera the illegal fishing operations. The kind of birds eye view that they could otherwise never achieve on their own…

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2The scene here at the activist house with The Black Fish has been a world of its own. We have a diverse group, from a banker, an ex-cop to a bus driver. Activism comes in all shapes and sizes.

Our host has provided us an apartment on the Mediterranean Coast, but its jammed packed with all of us. There are 11 people in total with The Black Fish Crew, The ShadowView team using the drone technology and my media team (me and my camera-man Mark). We’re all staying in 3 bedrooms, some sleeping on the floor with mattresses. To boot, where we are sometimes the electricity and water turns off, leaving us with the resources we have.

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