“Our Planet” comes out in time for Earth Day

By: Caroline Roethlisberger

With Earth Day quickly approaching, I thought I would remind myself why my sustainability efforts matter. I decided to start Netflix’s new documentary series, “Our Planet”, sponsored by the World Wide Fund for Nature.

The first season consists of eight episodes highlighting various ecosystems and wildlife communities in their natural habitats.

It began setting the scene of the current state of the planet. David Attenborough, narrator and producer of the series, says, “In the last 50 years, wildlife populations have, on average, declined by 60 percent,” but “. . .with our help, the planet can recover.”

I thought that was reassuring.

It continued into the tale of bird communities and their anchovy hunting practices, dive-bombing into the water almost like military machinery.

The first episode also showed flamingos breeding on a salt plain, wildebeest herds escaping wild dogs, up-close and personal bee pollination and bird mating rituals that would have impressed the world’s most talented dancers.

The incredible cinematography paired with majestic wildlife left me amazed and bewildered at what a complex and beautiful world we live in.

Then Attenborough reminded me of climate change and its rapid effects on the planet.

In the Arctic, the Cariboo population is declining and polar bear cubs are growing up underweight. Glacier ice is breaking twice as fast compared to just 10 years ago, affecting sea levels, salinity and currents.

It was a not-so-friendly reminder that the world is a web of ecosystems and communities that interact with one another to survive. As humans, it is our job to protect and respect the environment for, not just our sake, but for the future of all living things.

I am excited to continue watching this series. I would like to think that there will be a sign of hope in future episodes, but the ominous ending and threat of Global Warming reminded me of our bleak future unless we can change our human habits first.

Image via Pixabay


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