Sunday, May 31, 2015

TED Talk: The Great Penguin Rescue

TED Talk by: Dyan deNapoli
Rating: ****
By: Erin James

In the TED Talk titled “The Great Penguin Rescue,” Dyan deNapoli describes the history of the African penguins, along with their struggles and how we as humans have affected this species as a whole. “Kill. Don’t clean. The survival rate of oil-soaked birds is under 1 percent. We, therefore, oppose cleaning birds,” is a quote said by Sylvia Gaus, a German biologist. In this TED Talk, Dyan describes how wrong Sylvia Gaus is and speaks about her life being “The Penguin Lady” and all that she has done in her life to help out the endangered penguin species. 

Dyan begins her presentation with explaining the horrible “Treasure” oil spill in 2000 and how penguin rescues have changed since a similar oil spill in 1994 around the same area between Robben Island and Dassan Island. The “Treasure” oil spill is the most successful animal rescue because they had saved up to 90% of the 19,000 penguins that were oiled. She goes on to explain that there were thousands of willing volunteers to help clean up the thousands of oiled birds, but they were inexperienced and needed penguin experts to come help and supervise. It took two people to fully clean 1 penguin in an hour, making the rescue as long as approximately 500,000 hours. It took over 12,000 volunteers from all over the world so much less time to save the penguins than if they had no one that had to be there at all. None of the experts knew if they were even capable of taking on such a large task when they knew just six years earlier, a similar incident occurred where over half of the oiled penguins didn't survive. During her presentation, Dyan mentions a 17-year-old student had invented a de-greaser a year before the spill which ultimately saved all the penguins affected by the oil spill. It just goes to show that it’s true that one person can change the world, even someone as young as 17. At the end of the TED Talk, Dyan describes how not only the penguin species is affected, but how we as humans are affected as well. Without penguins, our oceans are dying which means that we will die since they are our life support system.

This TED Talk really got me thinking about what people can accomplish if they try their best. A student my age invented a de-greaser which helped saved thousands of penguins. This TED Talk inspired me to volunteer for causes that I truly believe in. It really intrigued me how thousands of people dedicated their time and effort to travel across the world to help save an endangered species. I’ve learned that it is important to stay optimistic in difficult situations and not to take the easy way out as some people like Sylvia Gaus would rather do because, amazing things can result from the effort you put into your work and your beliefs.

deNapoli, Dyan. 'The Great Penguin Rescue'. N.p., 2015. Web. 31 May 2015.

No comments:

Post a Comment