This video is the BBC Planet Earth TV series trailer. The series was made by the same people as the new film Earth.
This afternoon, in a crowded cinema, the movie Earth.
A film, beautifully made, about fascinating animals from the north pole to the south pole, and their environment.
The film puts this in a context of human made environmental problems. Like global warming, which puts the survival at risk of, eg, the polar bears with which the movie starts and ends.
The film exhorts its viewers not to be passive about the threats to survival of animal species on earth, but to do something about them. Starting with visiting the Internet site, http://www.loveearth.com [UPDATE november 2009: that site seems to be gone by now].
So far, so good. However, when seeing that site, at the top of it a visitor will then find a big headline banner of the Ford motors corporation. In the cinema, the movie was also preceded by a Ford advertisement. A big part of global warming and other environmental problems is caused by the lobbying of the automobile industry, including Ford, for more private cars and less public transport. And I am not even talking about the fat military contracts for tanks etc. for Ford and others in the automobile industry. Much of the waste damaging the environment is caused by wars.
As long as big corporations and global warming denialist politicians like George W. Bush will be in power, it will be extremely hard to solve the problems mentioned by films like Earth. Greenwashing may be good for big corporations’ public relations; but not for the environment.
The link of this film and its subject to economics and politics is exemplified, as it was made by the BBC Natural History Unit. Rightly, that unit is world-famous for its films about nature. Now, however, the United Kingdom government and BBC higher ups plan drastic cutbacks on the Natural History Unit. A third of jobs there are to be cut, according to plans. Then, there will be more money for wars by New Labour or old Tory British governments. Or, to the extent that the natural history money may go elsewhere in the BBC, maybe for programmes sycophantically praising New Labour or old Tory politicians continuing Bush’s and Blair’s wars, and starting new ones.
After mentioning what the film Earth is not about, let’s discuss what it is about. It goes all the way from the Arctic to the Antarctic; then, finally back to the Arctic. Apart from polar bears, it has beautiful shots of other Arctic animals, like walruses, flocks of migrating snow geese, and a red-throated diver.
Then, northern temperate forests, with wren and song thrush.
Then, tropical forests, with the many species of bird of paradise.
To go to warmer regions to avoid the winter cold, birds like demoiselle cranes have to cross the Himalayas. Where dangerous mountain winds await them, as the film shows.
The film also shows animals of deserts, like oryxes; and, more extensively, African elephants and lions.
Then, the film goes from the tropical oceans to the seas of the Antarctic, along with a migrating female humpback whale and her calf. In the Antarctic waters, the whales will be able to eat krill.
The last scenes of the film, back in the north, are about a hungry polar bear. It attacks walruses, really too big and dangerous for the bear; and fails. The bear is doomed to die from hunger.
The film with its beautiful images does inspire people to love planet Earth and the animals on it. However, as we have seen, solutions to the problems which it raises, will not come from the films’ sponsor Ford Motors.
Greenwash can’t hide the car industry’s true colours: here.
The enemy of nature – the end of capitalism or the end of the world? by Joel Kovel; book reviews here.
See also here.
Demoiselle crane in the Netherlands: here.
- Weddell Seals at the Pressure Ridges (thelastdegrees.wordpress.com)
- Walruses, dolphins and porpoises (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Stunning Composite Photograph Of The Arctic And Antarctica From Space (americanlivewire.com)
- We Could All Learn a Lesson in Agility from Extremophiles (keeping-agile.com)
- Animal Odd Couples: The strange animal relationships that will melt your heart (metro.co.uk)
- Doug Allen: Life behind the lens (marybroome.wordpress.com)
- Annual polar bear migration underway: How climate change could be impacting it. (news.nationalgeographic.com)
- The Most Irreplaceable Sites On Earth (msamba.wordpress.com)