The Planet – Swedish Documentary – SBS: Future Focus

The Planet is a beautiful and unique documentary. It really communicated to me the fragility of the Earth. It also gave an interesting and comprehensive picture of the whole global warming problem – from historical, environmental, social, economic, financial and political perspectives. Here are a few quotes from the documentary which resonated with me:

“The Earth provides us with a life support system; with clean air, with the right amount of oxygen, provides us with food, clean water… There are a whole series of services which are provided [for] free by nature that we are utterly dependent upon; that are not factored into economic equations yet are exceptionally important, in deed they’re essential, life could not exist without them.” – Australian National University

Imagine if every person and every business had to pay for the processes that provide them with water, air, soil, oil, plastic, metal and so on. If the Earth can no longer provide these things this may become a reality.

“Growth can be uneconomic; it can cost more than its worth. And that’s the new era that we’re moving into … here is the Earth’s biosphere, here is the economy. How does the economy live off the larger system? As the economy expands it takes in more energy, more matter. It takes it from where? From the biosphere. And as we consume more, we throw out more waste. Where do we throw it? Back to the biosphere. So that’s depletion and that’s pollution. And then we move into an era of uneconomic growth, in which growth increases the production of bads, faster than the production of goods, it accumulates ilth faster than wealth.”Professor Herman Daly, University of Maryland

“The common view has been that the Earth is very stable; it’s infinitely resilient, we can do basically anything we want and it just repairs itself all the time. We have just been living with that, we’ve taken it for granted. But this era is over; this sort of luxury phase for humanity is now over.” Professor Carl Folke, Stockholm University

So how do we save the planet? Well we could try one of the five solutions proposed in this documentary – Five ways to save the World.

BBC – One solution to Save the World is to place millions of plates of glass in space to divert the Sun’s rays away from the Earth.

Option One: Put millions of sheets of glass into orbit around the sun to divert rays away from the Earth. Up to 3 hundred trillion dollars.

Option Two: A fleet of boats which float around the ocean and spray sea water and salt up into the clouds so there are more clouds and they are more reflective in order to bounce radiation back out to space.

Option Three: Put tons of Sulphur Dioxide into the stratosphere in order to create a blanket around the Earth which would stop the Sun’s raise from reaching the Earth. But doesn’t sulphur dioxide cause acid rain?

Option Four: Add nitrogen or urea into the sea to radically increase the number of phytoplankton which convert CO2 into oxygen.

Option Five: Synthetic trees which remove C02 from the air. It would then be pumped into the earth below the ocean and would be unable to escape.

Or we could consume less… like the two families taking part in the Eco House Challenge on SBS.

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6 thoughts on “The Planet – Swedish Documentary – SBS: Future Focus

  1. I had the opportunity of viewing The Planet and I was moved by the messages it delivered. I would like to share this experience with my friends however, the DVD is not available in Australia. Can you help please, I would like to obtain a copy of this documentry in english. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

    Sab L.

  2. Thanks for your great site.
    Re: ‘The Planet” : do u know how/where I too can get a copy of this fantastic dvd in english.
    I’m willing to pay whatever it costs (free would be even better). My grandchildren – 2, 4, 6. 8 yrs – are aware of biocapacity and this would be a wonderful way for us all to share discussiion on climate change/personal responsibility at our family/friends ‘issues rap’ that we hold monthly over a meal.

    Do you know of any websites that may have interviews/papers/sites/comments on ‘The Planet”?

    One last thing, do you know of any websites – similar to yours – that would be good for highlighting ‘issues’ for children incl of course the state of health of people and planet.Cheers Diana (melbourne australia)

  3. Hi Diana,

    I haven’t come across any other sites that discuss “The Planet” nor do I regularly visit any issues websites. I tend to watch the news and documentaries on television (ABC and SBS) and go from there. Sorry about that.

    The Planet is an extraordinarily hard program to get a hold of, unless you live in Europe. I have been in contact with the Producers of The Planet and the distribution company and they both referred me to online companies that sell DVDs in Scandinavian countries.

    Such as:

    The university library where I live had a DVD of ‘The Planet’ that was copied from SBS’s broadcast, so I’d have a look at university libraries.

    Diana, I’ve also emailed you with more information.

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