Staying and watching TV? When do we all need to go out on Earth Day to plant native trees, dig invasive species, and remove debris from driveway and beach? Crazy isn’t it? But everything “normal” is turned upside down these days, and I think watching an exceptional TV show, David Attenborough’s “Life on Our Planet” would be a perfect way to honor Earth on its very special day.
My sister in Ithaca, New York, was touched when she saw her crying and insisting that I look at her. I don’t have Netflix, but luckily before the recent shutdown, I was kindly welcomed into the neighbors’ lounge, with the mask in place, to watch it. When surprised by the movie, my girlfriend sent the link to her two children – one who lives in the Netherlands and the other in Thailand – so they can watch it as well. I later found out that it is freely available on YouTube.
Why is this two-hour documentary recommended – and even necessary – to watch the 7.8 billion people currently living on planet Earth? Because it clearly and graphically shows, in bright colors, what is happening around the world, given the way we interact with things. Spoiler alert: By not living in harmony with the natural world, as species do in a balanced ecosystem, we’re on our way to climate catastrophe and the sixth mass extinction of species. Maybe even us.
Although the message is bleak, the movie is incredibly beautiful and engaging. Sir David portrayed natural wonders throughout his life, showing poignant quotes from him as a young man with mountain gorillas, beautiful birds of paradise in courtship display, leopards, lions and lemurs – all the glory you would expect from the highest natural world in the world. Globalism. Now in the mid-1990s, he tells a touching personal story of how, during his long career, he witnessed wild places and their diverse inhabitants steadily disappear as we cut and burn rainforests to graze cattle and grow palm oil and our oceans. Poaching and their pollution. With plastic, fuels burn carbon dioxide, and fill our atmosphere with carbon dioxide that warms the climate.
It then outlines the steps we can take if we hope to reverse the impending reality; Implementing solar, wind, geothermal energy and more plant-based diets and living standards that would motivate residents to have fewer children. If we leave a lot of land untamed, biodiversity can thrive again.
We are without a doubt intelligent beings. Surely we are wise enough to follow his advice for a happy ending?
Nature studies: [email protected] From 116-725-725-905.
Margaret Carney, a nature writer in Durham, has more than 4,500 species on her bird list, many of which can be seen in the most distant regions of our beautiful planet.
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