activism, climate change, eco-destruction, economic disparity, economics, economy, Environment, film, film review, global warming, home, income gap, land rights, mining, neoliberalism, news, overpopulation, politics, rady ananda, resource extraction, yann arthus-bertrand
By Rady Ananda
Take a slo-mo aerial tour of Earth. Released on June 5th, over two and a half million people have already watched Home. The message is potent: it is too late for pessimism. We can redirect our use of energy, of farming, of transportation. We can and must live a different paradigm.
Directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand
A co-production of Elzevir Films, Europacorp and France 2
Produced by Denis Carot and Luc Besson
Narrated by Glenn Close
Free online viewing (paste the link into your browser): http://www.youtube.com/homeproject
A cinematic spectacle, it is worth the watch just for the aerial and satellite views of indigenous farms and factory farms, virgin rainforest and razed, the Arctic and the Antarctic. Every continent is filmed, with NASA footage interspersed with closer aerial views.
It lingers above large herds running wild and vast waterfalls thru forested mountains. It lingers above the miles of toxic mine tailings that seep down mountainsides. We cannot escape Earth’s beauty, or the horrors of resource extraction.
The familiar, intelligent voice of Glenn Close compels us to listen, to pay attention, supported by a variety of gentle, exotic World Music.
Starting with the simplest of life, the archaebacteria, Home then lays out the general process of evolution. Only 200,000 years old, our species presents the greatest threat to life on Earth. Thirty years ago, scientist Edward O. Wilson wrote, “Humanity has initiated the sixth great extinction spasm rushing to eternity a large fraction of our fellow species in a single generation.”
Revealing how fossil fuels and mineral extraction are destroying our home, the film presents alternatives showing hectares of solar paneled deserts and miles of wind farms. “In one hour, the sun provides the same amount of energy consumed by all of humanity in one year.” The answer lies above, not beneath the Earth’s surface.
The facts are devastating. Neoliberalism has reduced billions to poverty while only two percent of humanity claims possession of 90% of all wealth. Half the world’s poor live in resource rich nations. Beyond this economic disparity, in the past 50 years, corporate exploitation of people and resources has altered the ecological balance of life.
From far overhead, we slowly zoom down onto Dubai – totem to excess and unsustainability. Dubai – totem to the Western model of life on Planet Earth.
In the past 40 years, the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon, has been reduced by 20 percent for graze lands or soy farms (for feedstock). We know today that Amazonians are resisting corporate intrusion into their lands.
Called Homo sapiens (wise human), we are more aptly named Homo insanitus in this hierarchical profit-driven world. But we do have the capacity for change. Our survival – and that of most life on the planet – depends on human cooperation, sharing, and an equitable redistribution of land and resources.
We must also live a more simple life – one that does not require coltan or other minerals. We must eat less meat, and buy locally. In short order, we must change our entire lifestyle.
Some nations already reject the “Western model.” Costa Rico has disbanded its military, putting its money into education, eco-tourism and the protection of its natural resources. Although not mentioned in the film, last year Ecuador became the first nation to include the Rights of Nature in its Constitution. Venezuela and Bolivia are redistributing land to their citizens and booting the corporate predators.
“All we have to do is stop drilling the Earth, and start looking to the sky. All we have to do is learn to cultivate the sun. [These alternatives] lay down markers for new human venture based on moderation, intelligence and sharing…. What’s important is not what’s gone, but what remains.”
At the Good Planet Foundation website, the public is invited to comment, debate and develop cooperative actions. “We live a decisive era, where the alternative offered by a sustainable development policy must help to create the changes which will make it possible ‘to meet present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.’ We are all personally responsible for the future of our Earth. Because each one has a role to play, each one has the capacity and the duty to take action and to mobilize him/herself.”
Through its stunning beauty, Home will appeal to a large audience. It does not name the corporate predators or describe the systems that led us here: it merely speaks to common humanity about what we lost, and what remains. It asks us to make change now, for the sake of all. We have to agree with the filmmaker:
“The Earth does not belong to us; we belong to the Earth.”