If you subscribe to TIME magazine like I do — yes, bloggers read paper mags too — you saw the rather doom and gloom cover story, “The New Age of Extinction,” about how so many species are going extinct. You browsed the gorgeous photos of species at the brink of extinction and studied the map of animals under siege. Then you got depressed.

Of course, The New Age of Extinction wasn’t all doom and gloom. Better environmental protection policies and eco-tourism are among the ways the feature points to as ways of preserving biodiversity. Yet the problems seem so vast as to feel unsurmountable, especially when you’re thinking about what you can do at the individual level. After all, preventing extinction requires strong, decisive action on global climate change — and slowing global climate change is a huge issue indeed. Writes Bryan Walsh in Time:

As global warming changes the climate, species will try to migrate, often right into the path of development and extinction. What good is a nature reserve — fought for, paid for and protected — if global warming renders it unlivable?
Now that I’ve thoroughly depressed you too, here’s some happier news: Individuals CAN make a difference — if they work really really hard and use a lot of eco-magination — and there’s a fun new web TV series out to illustrate just that. Extinction Sucks is a series of half hour webisodes following the adventures of two young gals from Western Australia who do all sorts of crazy stuff to save Seat Turtles or Tasmanian devils or some other endangered animal, depending on the week. To raise money to save Asiatic black bears, for example, one of the girls enters an Afro-Caribbean dance contest — dressed as a bear.

Follow the series for free laughs and eco-inspiration — perhaps while sipping on a rainforest-expanding cup of Guayaki yerba mate to assuage your guilt. The Asian Elephants episode is already up; new episodes go up every Friday for the next five weeks.

Images: Courtesy TIME and Babelgum

Extinction sucks -- so do something
Would you dress up a bear and enter a dance contest to help save Asiatic Black Bears from extinction? One girl did.