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Sea Blind: The Price of Shipping Our Stuff

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Catalogue Number:  ABP001
Producer:  Sarah Robertson
Producing Agencies:  Arctic Bear Productions and Inuksuk Media
Subject:  Business Studies, Canadian World Studies, Consumer Studies, Documentary, Environmental Studies, Family Studies/Home Economics, Global Issues, Global Studies, Health and Medicine, Science
Language:  English
Grade Level:  9 - 12, Post Secondary, Adult
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  2016
Running Time:  60:16
Closed Captions:  Yes

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90% of everything we buy comes to us by ship. Ships bring us food, clothing cars, and our electronics. It is the vehicle of global trade. No shipping, no globalization. 80% of shipping takes place in the northern hemisphere. Most of us don’t think about the downside.

Due to their size and the immense amount of fuel they burn, ships belong to one of the most polluting industries in the world.  Ships are allowed to burn the dirtiest fuel on the planet.  17 of the largest ships emit more sulfur than all the cars on the planet. How is this possible?

As consumers, we have become used to the cheap and quickly delivered goods from around the world. We are ‘Sea Blind’ to the serious consequences of shipping our stuff. It costs just .12 cents to ship a pair of running shoes but the impact on the environment is far beyond that. Sea Blind is a powerful and convincing illustration of what increased shipping and heavy fuel oil could mean for both the Arctic ecosystem and climate change, and looks at what potential alternatives to heavy fuel oil (HFO) use in the Arctic might entail.

A powerful and enlightening documentary showing the impact of consumerism, climate change, energy transition, arctic development, pollution, globalization, international politics and legislation, big business and engaged citizenship. While the film informs about little known practices and the weaknesses of the shipping industry it does not point fingers of blame. We are all implicated!  Consumers, supply chain operators, energy producers, bunkering facilitators, ship owners are all part of the problem. 

The issues raised in the film are relevant to policy fields not only in shipping but also environmental sustainability, endangered heritage and the future of energy.

“Sea Blind shows that a powerful lobby keeps shipping polluting" - RTLZ

"Documentary 'Sea Blind' puts an unfamiliar climate polluter under the magnifying glass" - Vrij Netherlands

"It's message is unforgettable" - Salt Spring Island Exchange

"Chock full of dirty little secrets about the global shipping industry" - Times Colonist.

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