It seems like there has been sudden upsurge of consciousness among the humans in last couple years of what we have been doing and are still doing to the planet Earth. As the signs of deprivation of natural resources and treasures on Earth become more and more alarming, at least some of us have started taking the warnings seriously. There have been various projects and research and acts from the people, the scientists and the governments to try and decrease our impact on the environment. Advances in communication and mass media have been used to educate and convince people that we need to change our ways. I have written before about couple of such documentaries, Story of Stuff
, which try to show us the uncomfortable facts that we chose to ignore otherwise. Today I’m focusing the spotlight on another such endeavour, Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s ‘Home
’. Yann is not your average film producer or director. He’s the creator and chair of an environmental non-profit organisation, Good Planet
and this documentary is only a part of the big picture.
at the TED conference that showcases Home as well as his other interesting project, 6 billion others
, was featured on my blog in this week’s TED Tuesday. He mentions in it that Home is not meant to make money and hence is available free for anyone to download from YouTube
and show it to whoever they want to. The purpose is to get as many of us 7 billion as possible to watch it. I watched Home for the first time about 3 weeks back (and 5 more times since then). Yesterday I watched it again with the intention of writing a blog post on it and took copious notes while watching. However, I later realised that rather than me giving all the info in it to my readers, I should make my post a teaser for Home. And make sure as many of my readers as possible watch it themselves and show others.
A couple of interesting facts about the documentary that might convince you to go watch it (if you don’t care about the Earth, that is) are that it is supported by big brands like Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Balencia etc. and it has been narrated (very effectively) by Glenn Close. The movie was shot in 54 countries in 217 days and includes some absolutely stunning wide angle footage of our planet’s not-so-famous regions. The music (by Armand Amar) and narration script (by Yann and Isabelle Dellanoy) couldn’t have done more justice to the fascinating cinematography. The diverse and raw, native vocals from around the world suit perfectly to the gentle story-telling style primer on the natural history of primeval Earth and the advent of humans 200 thousand years ago.
Engine of life is ‘linkage’. Nothing is self-sufficient. Sharing is everything […] Our Earth relies on a balance in which every being has a role to play and exists only through the existence of another being; subtle, fragile harmony that is easily shattered.
The music picks up pace and tempo about half way through as the story is now about the advent of fossil fuels and industrialisation and the “facelift” of Earth by us humans has begun.
You benefit from the fabulous 4 billion year legacy bequeathed by Earth. You’re only 200 thousand years old. But you’ve changed the face of the world. Despite your vulnerability, you’ve taken possession of all habitats like no other species before you.
The movie details our reckless consumption of fossil fuel, minerals, trees, fish, water, marshlands. The statistics of our proliferation in last 50 years are mind boggling. Faster and faster our cities grow, more and more we snatch from Earth, farther and farther we go from nature.
Nothing seem farther removed from nature than Dubai. But nothing depends more on nature than Dubai. It is sort of a culmination of the western model. We haven’t understood that we’re depleting what nature provides.
The movie delivers the final blow by making us aware of Methane, a green house gas 20 times powerful than carbon monoxide, that is buried under the permafrost of Siberia. If this permafrost melts due to global warming and releases the Methane, no one knows what the Earth will look like then. Home ends on a positive note summarising the initiatives around the globe in attempt to slow down climate change.
We must believe what we know […] We have shaped the Earth in our image […] it is too late to be a pessimist […] it is up to us to write what happens next … together.