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mike Meehan

Our Planet From the Air or it could be called The Rape of the Planet.

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I have just watched a most remarkable film which I recorded some days ago - for those in the UK it is still available on I Player for the next 3 days - it has the same title as this thread and was broadcast on 23.07.2014 on BBC channel 4 - for others it appears to be an Elzévir film and I suspect originally French, though I am not sure how you could get hold of it.

For the first two thirds of the film, I felt tempted to rename it, 'The Rape of the Planet' - it deals in small bites the evolution of our planet and the life thereon, then beginning some 12,000 years ago the start of man's agriculture and building up to modern day and progressively how we have indeed raped the planet, including the oceans of many vital elements which mother nature had been keeping in balance throughout the ages.

Significant was the depletion of water supplies, aquifers being drained, depletion of fish stocks, forests, agricultural land and resources being depleted generally for what it seems to me is man's innate greed, then going on to global warming, with the melting of the Greenland icecap, the water of which could raise sea levels by 7 metres. The dangers relating to the release of methane should the permafrost be melted of which the said the possible results are unpredictable.

It really conjured a frightening picture of what could be and the absolute disregard, selfishness and thoughtlessness we had towards the preservation of our one and only planet.

Towards the end there were some rays of hope - the Danes had developed a coal fired electricity station where the carbon was placed directly into the earth out of harm's way, wind power, geothermal power and power from the movements of the waves.

I just hope that it is stemmed in time before things really get out of hand but really to get the best results we need all of mankind to learn to co-operate together regardless of race, nationality, boundaries, religion, creed or colour.

When I see the recent news I am somewhat pessimistic as to whether this will ever be achieved but by the same token there are many good people around the world working their proverbials off to achieve this end.

For those who can get a chance to see this program I commend it to you.

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Yes, i caught the end of the programme so only faced a few of the jarring images of wholesale destruction and had the 'hopeful' ,' we are here and it is up to us but we can do it ' ending to mull over.

 

i could see many of the die hard denialists exploding in rage for the Beeb showing such esp. on the back of their climate debate alterations? 

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Was it even about climate?But anyway the tale about how we must be about to suddenly face catastrophic shortages of everything has been around forever basically.What tends to happen is we rather cleverly work around resource problems unless thwarted by self-imposed quasi-religious belief systems.The root of the problem is expanding populations, but the global outlook for that seems quite encouraging over the next two decades. 

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Was it even about climate?But anyway the tale about how we must be about to suddenly face catastrophic shortages of everything has been around forever basically.What tends to happen is we rather cleverly work around resource problems unless thwarted by self-imposed quasi-religious belief systems.The root of the problem is expanding populations, but the global outlook for that seems quite encouraging over the next two decades. 

In my view it was about the whole gambit of harm we are doing to the planet including climate change - although nothing too severe is likely to happen over the next two decades I do not consider this a time for complacency because after that things could get a whole lot worse - not sure exactly what you mean by self-imposed quasi-religious belief systems, do you mean as in religion per se, or are you referring to man made global warming?

Even if we arrest the increase in population growth and the whole world sticks to the proverbial 2.4 offspring per couple the population is still on track to rise to 9 billion barring extreme calamities, so we need to think of ways in providing space and food for all. 

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Yes, i caught the end of the programme so only faced a few of the jarring images of wholesale destruction and had the 'hopeful' ,' we are here and it is up to us but we can do it ' ending to mull over.

 

i could see many of the die hard denialists exploding in rage for the Beeb showing such esp. on the back of their climate debate alterations? 

They don't seem to have come to the fore yet, perhaps that's why they put it on 4 :)

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I think that the message again, like with my signature Koyaanisqatsi film, is man's ability to impact the planet? One arm of denialism has it that we are 'too small' to possibly wrought such damage on a planetary scale?

 

Whilst nobody appears to want to deny U.H.I. impacts folk seem less concerned about the impacts that changes to ice cover/vegetation changes/visible atmospheric pollution adds up to across the planet?

 

If one of our posters can look at a contrail blighted sky and realise that this has global significance then what of all the rest of the 'changes' man has imposed?

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As I've mentioned before a good book on this subject is Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet by Ugo Bardi.

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I saw some of it. The planet and life on Earth will be absolutely fine. It's survived giant asteroid strikes, being turned into a ball of Ice, colossal volcanic eruptions etc. Life on Earth has survived all these things no problem. We aren't "killing the planet" (most annoying phrase ever?) with our behaviour, we're ultimately killing ourselves. It's not the planet that needs saving from us, it's us that needs saving from the planet and ourselves.

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I saw some of it. The planet and life on Earth will be absolutely fine. It's survived giant asteroid strikes, being turned into a ball of Ice, colossal volcanic eruptions etc. Life on Earth has survived all these things no problem. We aren't "killing the planet" (most annoying phrase ever?) with our behaviour, we're ultimately killing ourselves. It's not the planet that needs saving from us, it's us that needs saving from the planet and ourselves.

 

Well, it appears that we've initiated the planet's 6th mass extinction event, so it seems we are killing much of the life on this planet already. Of course, we could never wipe out everything, but it seems sad that we are acting like a massive catastrophic event on the planet, despite having the intelligence, ability and awareness to prevent it.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140724171956.htm

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Well, it appears that we've initiated the planet's 6th mass extinction event, so it seems we are killing much of the life on this planet already. Of course, we could never wipe out everything, but it seems sad that we are acting like a massive catastrophic event on the planet, despite having the intelligence, ability and awareness to prevent it.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140724171956.htm

 

It is a little sad however it comes down to survival of the fittest at the end of the day and as the dominant species we shall do what we just about like unchecked until we do cause an event to kill ourselves off and then so evolution will continue down another route, if we indeed are wiped out.  As for global warming co2 is never going to get reduced back to pre-industrial levels and proper measures to slow it or reverse it will never come to pass (unless a natural forcing reverses it) so life goes on more or less away from the coasts at least?

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It is a little sad however it comes down to survival of the fittest at the end of the day and as the dominant species we shall do what we just about like unchecked until we do cause an event to kill ourselves off and then so evolution will continue down another route, if we indeed are wiped out.  As for global warming co2 is never going to get reduced back to pre-industrial levels and proper measures to slow it or reverse it will never come to pass (unless a natural forcing reverses it) so life goes on more or less away from the coasts at least?

 

I certainly agree that where there isn't a will there isn't a way.

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Was it even about climate?But anyway the tale about how we must be about to suddenly face catastrophic shortages of everything has been around forever basically.What tends to happen is we rather cleverly work around resource problems unless thwarted by self-imposed quasi-religious belief systems.The root of the problem is expanding populations, but the global outlook for that seems quite encouraging over the next two decades. 

 

I agree with half of what you said but I think that a growing ecological awareness in the developed world which stems from green philosophy ( you say a self-imposed quasi religious belief system ), has created the environment where new discoveries and products are helping to reduce our environmental footprint whilst at the same time providing employment and maintaining high living standards. Entrepeneurship has thrived not been thwarted. Many of these gains would not have come to be had this belief system been non existent  as everything ultimately comes down to consumer demand. 

Edited by Styx

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Doesn't this whole debate and which side you're on depend on your views relating to 'anthropocentrism?'

These 'deep green' and 'green' politics have evolved recently as Styx notes above.

Environmentalism was first and it's sister ideology, the much more radical 'ecologism' challenges our way of living.

I personally lean towards anthropocentric views than those prescribed by ecologism. That humans are above other animals on the planet. I'm not saying we can go round killing everything else but i think we are dominant.

Aspects of Environmentalism have been introduced in most countries. Green recycling, plastic pencils etc etc. Critics would argue these policies don't go far enough. Environmentalism isn't really an ideology as such. Therefore, ecologism has gathered some support. The view that animals and us are on a par and we must basically down tools and stop anything that negatively effects them. Personally it's too radical for me but it's an interesting debate nonetheless.

I think views on the role of humans in relation to animals will shape people's views on the importance of climate change and where we are heading...

Edited by SW Saltire

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