Director / CrewWe are Jeff Orlowski and Zack Rago from the new documentary CHASING CORAL, here to answer all your questions about coral reefs, climate change, and what you can do to help – ask us anything!
Jul 21st 2017 by jefforlowski • 19 Questions • 93 Points
Hi, I’m Robb Ryerse. I am running for Congress because I believe that the people of Arkansas's 3rd Congressional District deserve an independent voice in Washington. I will put the needs of people ahead of the desires of the party establishment, corporate lobbyists, and special interest donors. I also want to help restore the Republican party to its historic values.
My wife and I are both ordained ministers, and together, we co-pastor the Vintage Fellowship in Fayetteville, Arkansas, or, as I like to call it: “America’s best kept secret.” We follow in the footsteps of Jesus, doing good works, and opening our arms to differences of opinions. Vintage Fellowship, at its core, is all about care -- care for those less fortunate, care for our community, care for our neighbors, care for our family and care for our planet. Since its inception, our goal has been clear: we welcome all people. LGBT and folks from all backgrounds, creeds and colors. Even skeptics are encouraged to join us. We recently joined a group called OPEN, which is an alliance of progressive-leaning churches that embrace our view of Christianity. We are committed to lending a hand to anyone who needs it including aiding the resettlement of refugees in our district, something our current congressmen tried to shut down.
You may have seen me on Fox News recently. Honestly, we expected it to be pretty rough -- but it ended up being an incredibly positive experience. We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support we received afterwards from Republicans across the country who were disgusted by the state of politics today.
Check out my website here: Robb2018
This campaign is 100% people-powered. I don’t accept a cent of corporate donations or PAC money -- only individual small donors. If you want to help, you can donate here: Donation Page
If you're interested in learning more about Brand New Congress, come join us at /r/BrandNewCongress.
Lastly, I want to mention the Summer for Progress. Brand New Congress has teamed up with 19 other progressive organizations to support 8 progressive bills. If you want to join the movement, please sign our petition!
I'll start answering questions at 2 PM CST / 3 PM EST. AMA!
Its a tough question to answer. Obviously working the field that we do it is hard to think positively about the oil industry but we also must remember that nearly everything we use every day in some way has roots in oil. We can't just turn off the switch on fossil fuels today but what we can do is begin to frame the climate problem as an opportunity both economically and for increase in American jobs. In my mind oil companies should be the ones investing in the renewable sector because that will ensure the longevity of their wealth.
As a southern Christian can you explain the current disconnect of the republican party to the actual teachings of Jesus? How can so many evangelicals support the republican party as it is today without appearing to endorse sin and evil deeds? How can you align with a party that seems to do the opposite of what Jesus taught?
To echo Zack's thoughts here, I think we need to figure out how fossil fuel companies can switch to being energy companies. We all want energy, obviously. But we don't need it to be coming from a dirty source that is wreaking havoc on the natural systems on the planet that we all depend on.
We all have a tendency to stray from our core beliefs over time. So much of life is about finding and returning to what is most important to us. I can’t speak for all southern Christians just like I can’t speak for all Republicans, but I know in my life the teachings and the example of Jesus have become more and more important. I hate that my party is often known for policies and programs that seem to be in opposition to my understanding of what Jesus taught and the example he set.
When did you diving and when did you notice the coral changing? Saw something similar on HBOs real sports.
First, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for running. We need people on both sides of the aisle who are willing to reject corporate donations and do their best work for the American people. I'm a Democrat and while I may not agree with you on everything, I certainly respect you more than just about every corporate Democrat in office.
Environmental issues greatly affect people across the country, both in rural areas and urban ones. Having clean water and air are basic requirements for a safe and prosperous life. What is your view on climate change, and what do you believe needs to be done about it? Also, what would you do about corporations that pollute the environment and affect public safety?
Thanks for your time.
We started filming in 2013, and we covered coral reef regions all around the planet. We shot in Florida, Cuba, Bermuda, Bahamas, Hawaii, American Samoa, Salomon Island, Papua New Guinea, and a LOT in Australia. Most of the underwater footage was shot in Australia on the Great Barrier Reef.
Climate change is a reality that has clearly been impacted by human beings. I think we need to focus on investing in a green energy economy that will be good for the environment and the job market. We also need to make sure that while we're rolling back unnecessary and burdensome regulations on small businesses, we don't lose the needed protections we have in place for the environment.
For me, the environment is an issue that is deeply informed by my faith. In my faith tradition, the story begins with God placing people on this planet to enjoy and steward it, not to rape and pillage it or consume and destroy it. It bothers me that so many other Christians seem to forget this.
I also watched it last night, and the "glowing" coral trying to protect itself was the most powerful image of the film, in my opinion. I never heard of that ability, like a last ditch effort at survival and a cry for help all at the same time. Amazing work, keep doing what you do.
If a bill comes up that is not constitutionally sound but not voting for it may go against one of your personal principles as a Christian what will you do?
Edit to be specific:
Let's say x is legal per the Supreme Court. X is also seen by many Christians as a sin. Someone puts in a bill to block x, likely knowing it will be overturned through appeals but getting to look like they are doing something. Do you vote to block because of your religion or vote against because it's against the Constitution?
Right now we sorta need to be doing everything we possibly can to save coral reefs. They won't stay on this planet beyond 25-30 years without human intervention at this point. Scientists are working on all sorts of strategies -- including selective breeding for future ocean conditions -- as a last resort to save them. But there's little hope if we don't get climate change under control.
The role of a Congressperson is to represent the people of their district, not impose their personal beliefs or morality on everyone else. I'm committed to being the independent voice the people of AR-3 need.
Hi Congratuwelldone on the film! Can I ask, what was it like making a documentary?
Are you willing to seize the means of production and lead an revolutionary movement to remove the bourgeoisie?
Thanks so much!!
Documentaries are a beast!! You're following a story for years and years, waiting to see where the story goes and what comes of it. So it's definitely a big challenge.
There are documentaries that are about stories that have happened in the past, and those are challenging for other reasons, but I'm looking forward to doing a project like that in the future, where you know how the story ends before you start making the film!!
I'm more of a "love your enemies" kind of guy.
Ocean acidification is just another consequence of our impacts. The heat is certainly the biggest threat today but down the road this decrease in pH can be devastating. In fact, most of the mass extinctions on this planet have been affiliated with OA, particularly the largest at the end of the Permian.
Hello Mr. Ryerse, What legislation would you support in regard to campaign finance reform? Would you like to see federal disclosure legislation, new Supreme Court decisions, or a Constitutional Amendment? Also, would you support legislation at the State level in regard to this issue?
And that might sound daunting, but that's actually something that gives me huge hope. We're seeing a huge shift--hundreds of cities have pledged to be powered by clean energy, just in the last few months! We can make this change, it's already happening and it's unstoppable. We need to get our local cities to care, to prioritize this, and to take action. If your city hasn't pledged to be 100% clean, then there's huge work you can do in your own community!!! You can be the change!
We need to get the corrupting influence of money out of politics. So many other issues will never be able to be addressed until this one is because of the power of corporate donors.
I'm not taking PAC money or corporate donations. I think that's the way it ought to be so that our elected officials end up serving the people rather than their corporate donors.
Yes, I would support states addressing this issue, but I also think it will require a federal solution - probably coming from the courts since our legislators are bought and paid for by their corporate donors.