The latest release in documentarian and author Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s “Earth From Above” series–Food and Wildlife Conservation–is a powerful call to arms for viewers. It’s one more warning and reminder of the problems being caused by increases in the world’s population, and the potential long-term impacts caused by mankind’ imbalance with Earth.
This latest installment of Bertrand’s series opens with the two part documentary, “6 Billion People to Feed.” Audiences should be warined right off the bat that despite the “G” rating given to this documentary overall, the images shown during at least the first portion of “6 Billion People to Feed” may not be something that parents would want their children to see. The images of what industrial farming involves are disturbing. But they do hit home. Bertrand discusses the mistreatment of animals in industrial farming operations, and how many of them are pumped with chemicals to help them grow faster. There are also images of what is done to pigs in these operations. These images are especially disturbing. Parents should be warned of this so as to protect their children from these images.
Of course, after that, the images are less graphic. Yet the message sent is still as powerful. Bertrand interviews a variety of individuals and reveals the use of chemicals (including pesticides) has caused an increase in birth defects in children, along with long-term health issues in adults, as well as miscarriages. For example, pesticides used on banana plantations in one country have damaged the land so much that farming has become limited. As a result of the limited farming availability, the people maintaining those lands are going bankrupt. That’s because they can make no profit from crops.
A similar problem is seen on farmland in India. Farmers have gone bankrupt because of the use of chemical pesticides and overuse of modern farming techniques. The end result is that many farmers in this part of the world have actually taken their own lives under the strain of the financial prssure of bankruptcy. This isn’t all that Bertrand notes in this new installment. He also talks to citizens in another country whose water supply has allegedly become polluted with chemicals. While both the people and the government of said country are both given their time, the allegation is made that the government is covering up the effect of pollutants in the nation’s water supply. Similar cases are still going on right here in certain parts of the United States, as well.
The effects of man’s lack of balance with nature has an effect on more than just himself. As Bertrand points out in the second part of his new documentary, “Do Wild Animals Still Exist.” He goes into detail about how large groups of animals the world over are being wiped out and endangered as a result of practices that eliminate forest land and land in general. It serves as a warning that mankind must make a change, and make it soon. Otherwise, the scenarios pointed out could become far more commonplace. There is still hope, of course. But that hope must be reached for in the most concerted means possible.
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