Tuesday, November 10, 2009

HOME - the movie

{{Potd/2008-06-29 (en)}}Image via Wikipedia

Saturday evening I was captured by a movie one of my children had recommended to me. Its title is HOME. The netflix wrapper summarizes the film with these words -

Award-winning photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand directs this breathtaking ode to planet Earth, an aerial voyage that captures the interdependence of the world's ecosystems....and the bruises left behind by human indifference. From the agricultural revolution to our ever-increasing reliance on oil, narrator Glenn Close examines the changes that have wreaked havoc on our home, urging viewers to preserve the Earth's remaining natural treasures.

The photography - brilliant, the narrative chilling at times, in fact chilling most of the time -

"All living matter is linked, water, air, soil, trees, the world's magic is right in front of our eyes." (Disappearing in front of our eyes.)

"One-half of the world's poor live in resource rich countries."

"One-half of the world's wealth is in the hands of 2% of the world's weatlthiest individuals."

"Hunger affects nearly 1,000,000,000 (one billion) people."

This movie is not an Al Gore powerpoint but I expect Mr. Gore's quotes are similar if not the same as the ones in this movie. As one person it feels even ridiculous to write this post as though sounding an alarm to my few readers can make a change, a difference in this world. We'll be gone when our excessive greed for wealth and comfort kills our planet but our great grandchildren will not be gone. Will they be living or will they just be surviving?

Having been remembering my ancestors in the last few days, I shudder to think of how my future generations will view the excess of my generation and our lifetimes on this planet. Do you think that WE can make a difference in this downward spiral? Do you think we will?

Photo of melting glaciers of Greenland
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  1. SS, Synchronicity again. My post discusses almost the same questions from a little bit different point of view. What I told my son in a discussion about that is that I KNOW that human beings are capable of making the right choices to save the earth and save our species. Will we? I'm not sure. We are so self centered. We don't see beyond ourselves, don't think in terms of the planet, the universe. I am guilty of this as well. I don't want to make REALLY big changes, changes that would actually require big sacrifices for me. (One of the ways that I know that I harm the planet is through plane travel. It creates a huge carbon load. But I live so far away from everyone and everything and I don't want to be stuck here. Actually, this isn't even a HUGE sacrifice for me, but it is something to think about.) In the meantime, I am so grateful for the internet and the telephone which helps me travel a little bit every day. : ) Thanks for your thoughts and questions. Love...

  2. oh, the directions i could go here having just come back from ancient ireland and connected so deeply to the earth. i skip, however, to the young adult living under my roof who scoffs at me when i get frustrated for leaving my cloth grocery bags at home. i want to (and i'm sure have) said, "it's YOUR world! i'll be gone long before the consequences sink in."

    it also reminds me of this lovely quote:

    "a man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit." d. elton trueblood


  3. Rebecca,

    Oh yes, I read your great post and it seems like we struggle with a few of the same issues. The air travel, the cruise ship travel that we've recently fallen in love with - they're huge consumers of fuel and I'm pretty sure I'm not going to stop traveling. I do try to make little differences though particularly in the energy piece around home. I've unplugged a couple of plugs (I understand they suck electricity even when an item is not on) and try to keep the lights on in the rooms I'm in rather than all over the house. I really would like to install solar panels as my spouse says the prices are beginning to come down a bit. I work on the recycling but I've not gotten into walking more for places within a mile or so - thought about it though.....anyway, I do feel angst about leaving my great, great grandchildren with a mess on their hands. I would like to eat less red meat but we're still hooked on poultry products and fish......oh well, you don't need to know my complete list; at least your kids are thinking about it a bit though they're not exactly bubbling over with optimism on the subject. I'm just going to try harder to make a little difference in our space - maybe it will help.

    (BTW when I was picturing the spider yesterday in my post I did think briefly about the critters you and your family encounterd in Malawi......ew!)


  4. Lucy,

    Thanks for your comment. Oh I know I was connecting to this movie in so many ways....our trip, e.g., in treasuring all of the ancient historical grounds that have been saved for future generations. What are we going to leave - over filled dumps and slag heaps!!! I'm a little surprised Jane is "not into the environment" but it figures that she might not want to be in the same wave length as her Mom:)

    I do love the quote about a man planting trees, etc. One of the tributes to our friend, Carl, WHCrawford, was a small young tree on the Whitman Campus. We were there for the planting and I thought then of the fact that none of us attending would ever be able to lounge in that shade but he was a visionary and the tree was a perfect tribute to him planted by the WW Mountain/Land Trust organization.


  5. I once took an online quiz that asks questions about your lifestyle and then tells you what percent of the earth's resources would be needed to support every person on earth at your level of consumption.

    Although I consciously live more simply than many Americans, my quiz results said that ELEVEN TIMES the world's resources would be required.

    Stuff like that makes me want to just hang it up.

    Except I still believe that real healing can and will occur for the earth and its inhabitants; it just won't be according to the formulas we think it will.

    I'm not saying this very well. I recommend reading Dan's recent post at A Mindful Heart: http://mindfulheart.blogspot.com/2009/10/dispelling-despair.html

    It's the best illustration of what I'm trying to say that I can think of.

  6. Pollinatrix, You say things VERY well. I'll check out Dan's post though. In my heart, I can't truly believe that mankind will go forward into an abyss w/o seeing the folly of it all. On the other hand, I am trying to think about my/our footprint as well.

    Thanks for your comment.