Ozzy Ozone: The Little Molecule on a Big Mission

This is Ozzy Ozone. He is an energetic, cheerful little ozone molecule – part of the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere that prevents the Sun’s harmful ultra-violet rays from coming through.

Today, 16 September 2007, is a day to celebrate Ozzy Ozone. Because it’s the 20th anniversary since the nations of the world adopted the Montreal Protocol to phase out chemicals that harm the ozone layer.

It was a landmark international environmental treaty — one which has galvanized governments, industry and society into sustained action for two decades to give using close to a hundred chemicals, all of which – when released into the air – go up to damage the ozone layer.

Ozzy Ozone has been part of the many-faceted public education programme mounted by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to tell everyone how harmful UV rays are to our health, and how Ozzy and his fellow ozone molecules are literally protecting life on earth from being zapped out.

In this video, Ozzy Ozone and Alberta the Albatross take a voyage of discovery to find out exactly who and what is attacking the ozone layer and how children can play an important role in making a difference.

Watch Ozzy Ozone online:

Order Ozzy Ozone on video tape or DVD from TVE Asia Pacific

Ozzy himself is now 10 years old. He was created by a graphic artist in Barbados, as part of a government-supported campaign to raise public awareness on ozone layer thinning. This cartoon character served as a “mascot” and was very effective in raising awareness in Barbados. The cartoon series has been printed in the local newspapers on several occasions. Additionally, promotional items produced for local public awareness and education campaigns using the Ozzy graphic include posters, key rings, rulers, erasers, refrigerator magnets, mouse pads, pens, pencils, stickers, and envelopes.

The character was enduring and popular that UNEP struck a deal with Barbados to ‘globalize’ Ozzy. An animated video was produced, along with a dedicated website, comic strips and other media adaptations.

Read more about the origins of Ozzy Ozone

Ozzy Ozone website

Anita Roddick: “There was nothing like this dame”

Image courtesy Media is a Plural website

Citizen journalist, film-maker and media critic Rory O’Connor has written a moving tribute to extraordinary activist and entrepreneur Anita Roddick, whose premature death on 12 September 2007 has left her many admirers in shock and grief.

He recalls how colleague and fellow media-activist Danny Schechter and he first met Anita at a gathering of progressive business executives called the Social Ventures Network. Their shared background, vision and ideals soon turned them into friends and co-conspirators.

Rory recalls how their company Global Vision embarked on a new human rights-oriented TV newsmagazine in the mid 1990s: “Anita and her husband Gordon were key players in that series – ‘Rights & Wrongs: Human Rights Television’ – coming to fruition. They contributed their energy and enthusiasm, their ideas and information, their contacts and creativity (and oh yes, their capital!) and without all of it, the series would never have been born. But with their help, the award winning newsmagazine was broadcast weekly for four years, on more than 150 public television stations in the USA, as well as on channels and networks in sixty-one other countries. It remains the only regularly scheduled television program in history devoted exclusively to coverage of human rights.

Rory echoes my own point about how Anita was a communicator par excellence, driven more by intuition and inspiration than any textbookish theories:
“Although Anita wasn’t a media activist per se, she intuitively understood how media could be used for activism, and she did so shamelessly and in a cheerfully relentless manner. Whether she was supporting social and environmental causes through window displays, convincing American Express to pay her to appear in an ad promoting the Body Shop and its causes, working with Globalvision on its commercial and non-profit programming (or later writing books, blogging, running an activist website, contributing to the success of Mother Jones magazine, or working closely with — and donating millions to — media-savvy organizations such as Amnesty International,) Anita intrinsically ‘got’ the importance of characters and stories to selling anything—from cold cream to ideas and values – and she employed them cleverly and constantly in support of her principles.”

Watch Anita’s one minute on climate change for Friends of the Earth:

Watch QuantumShift.tv’s thoughtful tribute to Anita Roddick, better presented than the fleeting coverage of mainstream news channels:

Read the full tribute on Media is a Plural website.

Read my own tribute to Anita Roddick: We shall always remember you!

Read Danny Schechter on News Dissector website