Cristina Stanciu’s RP on ‘Home’

„Listen to me, please! You are like me, a homo sapiens, a wise human! Life, a miracle in the Universe, appeared around 4 billion years ago and we, humans only 200 000 years ago, yet we have succeeded in disrupting the balance that was so essential
to life on Earth. Listen carefully to this extraordinary story, which is yours, and decide what you want to do with it!”

This is how Home, a 2009 documentary by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, begins. The
documentary is a very interesting incursion through the beginning of life on Earth,
it presents how Earth used to be like and how is now.  We find out that life on
Earth started due to the existence of bacteria, the archibacteria , which fed from
the Earth’s heat, except the Blue-green Algae, known as the ancestor of today’s
plant species.

Furthermore, the presence of water on Earth lead slowly to new forms of life, and
after millions of years, coinciding with human life on Earth, the Blue Planet
offered the means of evolution: from hunters, people became agricultures, their life
changed; they prospered and soon built towns. Only that in modern times, Earth
rapidly began to be destroyed due to many factors: in the last 60 years, the number
of the population tripled and this lead to an extensive modernization and
exploitation of oil, coal, wood, fish, which polluted the atmosphere, caused global
warming, deforestation and sometimes marine accidents.

The narrator warns us that “people have destroyed the cycle of a life that was
given to us”. And she is true: there are places where people suffer from hunger
and lack of drinking water, and on the opposite side of the globe, those who have
plenty of them, consume them irrationally or throw them. To support the statements,
the documentary brings into discussion the situation in India , where water is
scarce, opposing it to Las Vegas , the biggest water consumer in the world.

The last part of the documentary changes the tone of the presentation and focuses on
encouraging messages: we still have undestroyed rivers, forests, places and we
should protect them and minimalize the causes of pollution, global warming, and
deforestation.

“We have the power to change .
It is up to us to write what happens next. Together. “

Homeis a good documentary to watch. It makes you muse on the fragility of this
wonderful place that we live in: Earth.  Moreover, it contains images from around
the world, focusing both on bad examples and good ones.

This is a selection of the most important messages presented in the documentary:

20% of the world’s population consumes 80% of its resources.
The world spends 12 times more on military expenditures than on aid to developing
countries.
5 000 people a day die because of dirty drinking water.
1 billion people have no access to safe drinking water.
Nearby 1 billion people are going hungry.
Over 50% of grain traded around the world is used for animal feed or biofuels.
40% of arable land has suffered long-term damage.
Every year, 13 million hectares of forest disappear.
One mammal in 4, one bird in 8, one amphibian in 3 are threatened with extinction.
Species are dying out at a rhythm 1 000 times faster than the natural rate.
Three quarters of fishing grounds are exhausted or in dangerous decline.
The average temperature of the last 15 years has been the highest ever recorded.
The ice cap is 40% thinner than 40 years ago.
There may be at least 200 million climate refuges by 2050.

The numbers and the facts are alarming and should make each one of us reconsider
twice our actions and the direct or indirect repercussions. After all, our Home is
Earth, not a concrete box.

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One thought on “Cristina Stanciu’s RP on ‘Home’

  1. In this case too I appreciate the personal take on the matter. I’m not sure you should have discussed biological detail. Perhaps you should have started with the list of facts or problems – or even better with a smaller selection. This would have helped in terms of structure. Starting with a quote is tricky – but if you go for it, then make the idea in the quote your main thread – in this case, the idea that we’ve become a menace to the planetary ecosystem.

    Read the text again and try to draw a map with its main claims, ideas and examples. You’ll see they don’t fit together in a neat pattern, so you need to work on your flow of ideas. Next time, start with the map – or outline – and then write the text. And think of writing as getting the reader mentally from A to B through a series of logical steps. Missing steps will break the reader’s legs. Steps without argument or examples, or with examples discussed randomly will break the reader’s head.

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