Home – a summary of the documentary

A few weeks ago, our climatology teacher showed us the documentary HOME,  a documentary by the PPR group, addressing the current issues faced by the ecosystem. Obviously we slept through the one and a half hour long documentary. So our teacher, Gaurav sir told us to write a review on the movie.  We had a week to write it but obviously, we waited for the last moment. So when I sat down to write, I forgot that I just had to write a review and not a summary of the documentary. So I, like an idiot, sat in front of my laptop and watched the documentary attentively on YouTube and kept stopping in between to make notes. This went on for almost 3 hours (of course I didn’t watch it in a go) and I ended up filling 5 pages in my register. When I finished, my room mate and classmate walked over and asked me why am I writing a summary instead of a one page review, and I realized my mistake and stared at my register while my room mates laughed their heads off. So here’s what I finally mailed for submission:

Firstly, the documentary has some really breath taking clips of the Earth as it is with its variety of landscapes and cities by the French photographer – Yann Arthus-Bertrand. And not to forget, the background music was good. You will probably find yourself watching the documentary with an open mouth if you actually make the effort of watching and listening.

Advice: Keep a water bottle with you.

The documentary first shows about the origins of life on Earth and how it used to be. The documentary then explains the balance in the ecosystem and how the engine of life on Earth is based on linkage – every life form is linked to the others. Glenn Close narrates the interdependence of flora and fauna and their delicate balance which has been disturbed and has affected the whole Earth.

Agriculture came up less than 10,000 years ago and it gave surplus food which further led to the birth or civilizations and cities. Population grew by manifolds, industries flourished and demand fuel rose to meet demands of globalized industrial production which led to oil and mineral exploitation and humans started polluting the environment at an alarming rate.

“80% of the minerals are used up by 20% of the world’s population.”

Cities like Dubai, Los Angeles and Las Vegas are shown to be completely dependent on these non-renewable fuel sources and their unsustainable development is shown while 1/6th of the population lives without basic amenities and over a million people flock to cities every week. The gap between the rich and poor keeps increasing.

“Species are dying at a rhythm 1000 times faster than the natural rate.” By 2050, 1/4th of the Earth’s species may be threatened or extinct.

Rivers and the water table have been dangerously depleted. Many have been reduced to trickling water during the summers and some don’t even meet the ocean.

Forest land has been cleared for supply of Palm oil, Eucalyptus and Soya bean and also to grow grains to feed poultry animals for meat. Large scare deforestation has led to loss of habitat and humus. Every year, 13 million hectares of forest land disappears, which is alarming.

Hunger is spreading again, affecting nearly 1 billion people with the explosion in population that has multiplied 3 times since 1950.

The carbon that was trapped in the fuels, forests and the ground is being released again

into the atmosphere, heating it up. The polar ice caps are melting fast due to global warming and the ecological balance is being threatened. By 2050, 1/4th of the Earth’s species may be threatened or extinct. As Greenland’s ice melts, the fresh water mixes with sea water and hence the sea level rises, submerging the low lying coastal areas. This shows that the atmosphere is an indivisible whole and activities at one place show results all over the globe. Ice caps are 40% thinner than they were 40 years ago. The average temperature over the last 15 years has been the highest ever recorded. Major winds are changing direction and rain cycles are being altered. There may be at least 200 million climate refugees by the year 2050.

And if you aren’t scared enough, here’s food for thought: The Permafrost methane time bomb. In Siberia and Alaska, the ground is actually an ice layer trapping huge amounts of methane which is a 20 times stronger greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. So if this cover melts, there will be irreversible greenhouse effect and then life on Earth will be doomed. We have only 10 years to stop this from happening. We need to act FAST. It really is too late to be a pessimist. And there is hope.  Alternate fuel sources (like solar, wind and hydro energy) are being harvested.

“Oil might run out, but we can extract oil from the tar sands of Canada.”

The above statement in the video was rather surprising. Aren’t we supposed to harvest renewable energy from inexhaustible sources like the sun rather than scrounging for more reserves and finishing every last of these resources?

All these facts are highly alarming and hard to ignore, even though it’s a PPR group initiative which is ironic. But they do have guts. After all, it’s all those huge companies whose logos you see in the beginning of the documentary who are majorly responsible in the first place. It may be a gimmick to showcase their ‘concern’ towards the destruction of the ecosystem, and especially to their horror, the depletion of resources that fuel their factories, but the documentary still has facts that are shocking. But like Close said in the documentary, we need to become responsible consumers (and boycott these big ass companies) and actually think before we buy.  And when I saw how much we’ve damaged the environment, I was ashamed and worried. Ashamed because the whole Earth will pay the price of our reckless energy and resource consumption and worried, because 10 years isn’t a long time.

The video really leaves an impression on the mind so deep that you’ll probably be haunted through the rest of the day, and even when you wake up next morning (that is, if you make the effort of actually paying attention from the beginning.)

We need to mend our ways quickly and rise from the ashes like a phoenix before our actions result in the wipe out of life from Earth. Because like I said before, 10 years is not a long time.

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Another break!

Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Kya karu, I got a bit too busy with the entrance exams preps. But no worries, I’m back (on the request of my few followers) with something new to write about and I have plenty of time to type it down.
It’s been two weeks since my coaching classes started and man, they really do suck out the last drop of life from you!
I have classes during the weekdays for about four and a half hours from morning to noon which means that I’m pretty exhausted when I reach home and I’m ready to collapse on the bed and pass out till 5 PM. I skip my lunch because of that as well. I don’t feel hungry by the time I reach home.
I wake up at 5 with my mum, get ready and go out for 30 minutes of jogging/walking, come back completely exhausted, watch TV for a few hours, have dinner, do my homework and then go to sleep.
I rarely go out on weekends, so I just stay at home, watch tv and do everything else.

But this weekend was meant to be different.

My younger aunt had come to visit us from New Zealand with her husband and daughter. They had decided to stay at Gurgaon at my elder aunt’s new home. Dad was staying there with them as well. I didn’t have much to do at home and I knew that I would get bored as usual, so I told dad about it and he invited me to stay there for the weekend (because I cannot miss my classes).
I didn’t really expect much because I thought that my aunt and her family will be out to visit their friends and all here. But they had planned otherwise.
My first day there was a bucket full of fun. I needed a new phone since my old Nokia phone had been acting like a piece of shit, so Shruti di, my elder cousin talked to me about her phone which I liked quite a lot and I had been recommended that phone by many. We were at Galleria, Gurgaon to buy fish for dinner when I asked dad to come with me to check out the phone and get his feedback on it. Little did I know that he’ll buy it from the next shop we’ll check out to compare prices. So in short, I came back home with a huge grin on my face.
We guys chatted and laughed our heads off in the evening with a couple of drinks and a lot of jokes and had butter chicken for dinner since we didn’t have all ingredients to prepare the fish.
It was one hell of a day!

Next day, that is today, dad went back to Galleria with me in the morning to buy Uno cards (I had forgotten my packet at home along with Cluedo, plot 4 and some other awesome boards games).
Sadly, we couldn’t go out much because Shruti di had just got her lasik treatment done and she was advised to stay at home for at least 2 days. So we just went to Safdarjung enclave for her checkup, CP for dad’s work and back home to relax. We played a lot of Uno that afternoon and my stomach was hurting with all that laughter and my throat was getting sore as well. Everyone passed out in the noon while I listened to some tracks on Shruti di’s ipod.

I’ve been relaxing ever since!!

A break from studying

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been studying (precisely 19 hours). But that’s what happens when you have a physics board examination coming up. I got a bit too tired of studying the subject I hate the most so thought of just typing something. Sadly enough, I don’t have much in my mind other than a thought which goes like: what if photons had mass? That’s an insane thought so I won’t really dwell in it for that long.
It’s kind of pitiful when you realize that you’ve been sitting in the same room, at the same corner of the bed, with physics textbooks and registers surrounding you and all you hear is the clock ticking. You get up and do to the loo for a change of atmosphere (anything’s better than the bedroom) and you hear your father snoring loudly and strangely, you let the mosquito on your foot suck it’s way to glory (yeah yeah, don’t leave a drop in there by mistake!). Then you get up, pull yourself together, tilt your head back in front of the mirror and check your nose, wash your hands and get back to the same old bed.

I took a 15 minute break today (yes, I have to time my breaks) and dad took me out for a walk and tried his best to keep up my spirit and stuff while we walked on the street, not far from home. And by keeping up my spirit, I mean offering some gadgets and expensive stuff like that’s gonna work on me (well, it just might. Keep trying!). People generally become super sweet before important exams. It’s like feeding a lamb before chopping the head off.
Even my family gets a bit restless before exams. Like my father who drew a common emitter amplifier on the huge calendar just because it had a huge circle on it (which was the earth, by the way). Or my mum who decides to check on me right when I take a break which is 5 hours in a day (including lunch, dinner etc). Today I decided to conk off for an hour to relax a bit when mum came, kept nudging me and complained that I go to sleep too early (hello, it’s 11:30 pm already!).
Sadly, the only sane person in the family, Garima, my sister has decided to abandon me in this time of need for her next triathlon preparation. It won’t take long for her to call mum and complain about her shin splints.

Anyways, here I am, ready to hit the publish button simply because my break is over. Thanks for reading about the super exciting life I’ve been enjoying for almost a week now.