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
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.
- See what the Australian Democrats propose.
- WWF Australia – The heat is on report.
- The Climate Institute Australia
- The Lowy Institute – heating up the planet – climate change and security