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Documentary Recap Notes on Anthropocene: The Human Epoch

I recently watched the Anthropocene documentary and I wanted to share a summary as I found it very compelling with details that everyone can understand in a way that is less abstract in translating facts about Climate Change.

Narrated by Alicia Vikander and directed by Edward Burtynsky, Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier, the 87.5 minutes documentary film is a realistic videography expression of human impact on the planet. The Earth, estimated to be 4.5 billion years old with the history recorded in rock formations, reflects the different geological epochs, the end of the Holocene and our existence, presently halfway through a new epoch called the Anthropocene as a 9-year scientific investigation reveals. The Anthropocene, an era of the catastrophic human extraction of the planet and the entire supporting systems faster than all-natural processes combined can replenish.

Confiscated elephant ivories from across Africa estimated to be 105 tones with a street monetary value running to millions of dollars were burnt at the Amboseli National Park. Water, air and quality of life of residents of Norlisk, dubbed “the most polluted city in Russia” were negatively impacted because of the presence of the large coloured metal mine. Marble resources in Carrara, Italy have constantly been extracted, a process that goes far back to the era of Michelangelo. Lithium production in the Atacama Desert in Chile for meeting the demands for electric car batteries and cell phones. Displacements of humans in Immerath, Germany for the expansion of the largest global open pit mine. Indiscriminate logging in British Columbia, Canada and Nigeria exposed the displacements of organisms from natural habitats and the destruction of forest resources which absorbs 30% of carbon emissions. Dandora Landfill Kenya represented an ugly, unhygienic heap of techno waste that persists in the biosphere, ending up in the ecosystem, a reflection of constant human needs and rising inequality. The continuous use of limited resources like water, fossilized rare elements which have taken thousands of years to form, disturbing work conditions and a cycle of waste dumping back into the environment further aggravates the situation.

Human ingenuity like the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland meant more extraction and resistance from forces of nature as overflooding on the streets of Venice Italy and humans attempting to salvage the impact by reinforcing the Guangdong Sea Wall in China against rising sea levels. From the Batu Bolong Reef, the Great Barrier Reef, and a list of endangered species like the Okapi, Mountain Chicken Frog, Northern White Rhino, and Scimitar-Horned Oryx, to mention a few; Extraction, Terraforming, Anthroturbation, Boundary Limits, Climate Change and Extinction were key themes of the documentary, used to elaborate dire consequences of human activity on the ecosystem and need to rethink our interaction with nature in the Anthropocene.

I would recommend that more people see this documentary.

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