Evolution, the Secrets of Life and Ecological Audiobooks
Here’s more about some of the things that inspired us to create our Rockford’s Rock Opera ecological stories.
No one knows how many plant species we have on our planet. But they are the ultimate source of medicines for 75% of the world’s population.
A quarter of all modern drugs – including Aspirin, morphine, antibiotics, antiseptics and anesthetics – are either derived from or based on plant compounds:
• Two-thirds of all approved anti-cancer drugs are directly or indirectly derived from plants.
• L-Dopa, from a tropical legume Mucuna deeringiana, used for treating Parkinson’s disease.
• The deadly Foxglove flower gives us a drug to treat heart conditions.
• Penicillin, the antibiotic which has saved millions of lives, is derived from a fungus.
Yet amazingly more than 80% of the world’s plants have never been scientifically studied for their potential in modern medicine.
The Tale of the Cocklebur Ick
And the influence of plants goes further than their study in medicine:
- The Cocklebur seed was the inspiration for the creation of Velcro fastenings.
- Tropical plants are now showing scientists how to create self-cleaning paints and surfaces, reducing our need for harmful soaps and detergents. There are many, many more examples.
In solving the challenges of existence, evolution has led plants (and animals) to create innovative design solutions – the true ‘secrets of life’ that now provide the bedrock of human scientific ‘discovery’.
And so, losing plants and animals to the current crisis of mass extinction isn’t just a tragedy. We are also without doubt throwing away important answers – the naturally evolved solutions which could hold the key to the earth’s future challenges. And we could find that by saving other species, we’re actually saving ourselves
To those of us who understand the crucial role of the natural world, this may seem obvious. But to a wider population, it’s an original message that we are using to engage minds across the world.
An Ecological Multi-media Musical Story
Around the world, many thousands of children, teachers and parents are now gripped by Rockford’s Rock Opera’s ecological audio stories, unique ecological musicals with this important environmental message at their heart.
Think of a cross between ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’ and Jeff Wayne’s ‘War of the Worlds’, or perhaps, ‘Jurassic Park’ crossed with ‘The Jungle Book’ and a bit of ‘The Butterfly Ball’!
Rockford’s Rock Opera’s audiobook stories – Lost on Infinity, The King of Nowhere, The Spooo who Grew and, more in production in the attic, The End of Infinity – deal with extinction, evolution, the secrets of life and the importance of eco-systems. They engage minds, ask questions and address the wonder of life in an entirely original way.
Reaching the World
Although individual stories of extinction are very sad, Rockford’s Rock Opera’s audiobook stories provide positive messages of wonder, hope and belief that we can learn from the mistakes of our past and make things better. This is the message that’s now spreading across the world, from this website, but also in live performances, in education materials and lots more.
We hope it will inspire all people to view life, in all its evolved forms, not just as a work of ‘nature’, but also as a gift for us to treasure, to protect and to learn from.
Rockford’s Rock Opera was created by award-winning creative team, Sweetapple (www.sweetapple.co.uk), and features well-known BBC writer, Steve Punt. It is an entirely self-funded, self-produced project created to make a positive impact.