Blue Hearts, Purple Skies
Sylvia Earle's prizewinning TED talk has received a lot of well-deserved acclaim. She supplemented her spoken message with beautiful, stunning visuals and devastaing stats on the decline of the oceans. Garr Reynolds has done an excellent analysis of her presentation, detailing some of her key visual images at PZ. As Garr says (and check out the image of the turtle eating plastic or the shark with its fins removed) these are powerfully visceral images.
Earle has a lovely style as a leader, raising awareness carefully before spelling out a clear way forward. Blending incredible expertise with enormous humility, she moves us to action as she calls us to protect the vital blue heart of the planet.
I love the idea of a blue heart; it connects with our sense of convention and disrupts it. A simple, novel image which invites our engagement and action. It feels like we can easily visualise a vast, complex ecosystem in a way that is enabling rather than overwhelming.
I'm reminded of Dave Hampton's 'purple CO2' image on his homepage at The Carbon Coach. Dave says that if carbon were purple the sky would have changed colour during our lifetimes. I think its another great image which gives us the feel for complex changes without simplifying them away - and prompts us to react in a meaningful way.
If I play with this imagery I find that I can't imagine how many balloons of CO2 I am responsible for each day but it feels like a better metaphor than a carbon footprint.