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Learning from Sherman the Shark

September 9, 2010

Cartoonist Jim Toomey created the comic strip Sherman’s Lagoon, a wry look at underwater life starring Sherman the talking shark. As he sketches some of his favorite sea creatures live onstage, Toomey shares his love of the ocean and the stories it can tell.

The video embedded here is from the TED website and can also be accessed from here.

The innovation of this video is the use of art, here cartoon characters, to help inform about and understand issues related to environmental change. Art and entertainment are often much underestimated tools for driving change in attitudes and behaviour.

A similar  point was made at an event I attended this week-end with Angela Palmer, the artist behind the Ghost Forest.

But if we cry out for change when we see trees being cleared out, we hardly never see the damages done under the water surface of the oceans or rivers. How many people realise the heavy consequences of the BP oil spills a few months ago?

Toomey’s talk added a significant voice to aquatic biodiversity conservation and I really encourage anybody who has a bit of time to spare to check it out.

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