Just Released: 'Ground Zero on Climate Change'

What does Blue Chalk have in common with Pope Francis? Here’s a hint: it’s got nothing to do with wafers and wine.

This spring, Anthro Digital, a social media marketing and communications agency, hired Blue Chalk to help engage Florida voters on climate change. Blue Chalk produced three videos: two about specific challenges to sustaining the way of life in Florida, and a third delivering a moral commentary on climate change from Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras, coordinator of the Council of Cardinals. Each is intended to raise awareness of climate issues and push for civic engagement.

Anthro Digital timed the videos’ release with the Papal Encyclical about the environment on behalf of their partner, ClearPath, a foundation that simplifies the oftentimes complicated and emotional climate change debate.

In the first film, Blue Chalk travels to Apalachicola Bay, FL, and profiles fifth-generation oysterman Rickey Banks who wonders whether his son will be a sixth-generation oysterman. In 2012, the bay saw its oyster harvest diminish 88 percent. The reasons are multifaceted, but high salinity caused by an unusual regional drought and sea level rise are primarily to blame. Both factors are likely linked to climate change.

From in-your-face alligators to soaring aerial views, the second film explains how fresh water filtered through the Everglades provides drinking water for 7.7 million residents of South Florida. Due to sea level rise, the health of the Everglades is threatened. Scientists and clergy agree that human intervention has contributed to the problem and must be part of the solution.

Finally, the third film, produced on behalf of ClearPath’s partner the Catholic Climate Covenant, delivers a commentary by Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras on the moral dimensions of climate change. The Catholic Climate Covenant distributed the video as part of its campaign for coordinated action at the 2015 UN climate summit in Paris.

Photo (above): Oysterman Rickey Banks from "Ground Zero for Climate Change: Apalachicola Bay." Photo by Jason Greene.