This video is 40 seconds long. Please watch it.
You will never see one of these animals alive. The Thylacine, or Tasmanian Tiger, is extinct. This next video is of a creature that’s still alive, but is hard to find:
It’s footage from my friend Nic on a trip to track down this tiny frog on a wet Queensland night. There’s only a few of them left, anywhere, and they emerge to breed after very heavy rain. We were lucky enough to find this one calling. I have little doubt that, in 70 years – the time that’s elapsed since the extinction of the Thylacine – there will be none left alive. Pollution, climate change and habitat destruction will claim this unique species and hundreds of thousands of others, some well known, others undiscovered.
You could, right now, if you wanted, go somewhere – near or far – and see a species in the wild that simply won’t exist in 70 years time. You can take a camera and video it for others to see in the future – when that species is gone forever. Stop and think about that for a moment.
Seriously. Actually think about that.
You can make a Thylacine video all of your own.
The grandchildren of our generation will be able to watch our Thylacine videos and ask, “Why didn’t you do more to protect it? Why did you think it was OK to keep overexploiting the environment, even when you knew what the consequences would be?” Now reverse the situation: imagine that you are a 15 year old in 2080 learning about the decisions faced at the turn of the century, and what choices were made. What would you think of those people?
It looks like those walking the lofty corridors of power today will get away with it – they’ll be dead before those questions are asked of them. My generation will be the one to do the explaining. I know what I’ll say; to quote Frank Turner (language warning):
On the day I die I’ll say at least I fucking tried, and that’s the only eulogy I need.
What will you say? Or will we all start asking these questions now, loudly, to members of our families, to colleagues at work, to politicians and journalists and the businesses we buy from, on behalf of the future and ourselves?
If you like this post, share it. Email it, tweet it, whatever. But more importantly, share the idea. Talk about our place in the world. If we don’t take responsibility for our actions, who will?