Breaking Boundaries: The Science Of Our Planet

I chose this documentary because it covers most everything we have discussed in our class. It begins with a man named Johan Rockstrom who gave a TED talk and showed people how CO2 has impacted the planet and that we had reached a level of stability in the last 10,000 years and after the industrial revolution the CO2 levels spiked and the earth is not at a point where it’s stable anymore. He also adds that in that period we were in the Holocene and as of now we are in the Anthropocene and in this we have lost of valuable assets to our earth. Starting at the polar ice caps as we all know they have been melting for some time and they are responsible for cooling our earth. In Sweden the icecap are melting at an increased rate ever since we have entered into the Anthropocene as a result the earth is getting warmer and adding to the loss of ice caps. It is also destroying habitats for animals that live in these cold environments.

His next topic for how we need to change our way is land configuration and this is to stop deforestation and the destruction of forests for habitat and farming the more that we continue with deforestation the more animals wont have a place to live. It also causes the soil to be dry and not be able to distribute as much water throughout the forest. As observed the forest that has been torn down and allowed to grow back is not growing back into forest it grows into a savanna and this process is called savannization and is irreversible. In the Amazon alone they have lost about 20% of their forests. With the trees dying there is an increase in the amount of CO2 that is released into the atmosphere. Another big problem with deforestation is the loss of biodiversity and in nature there are many species of animals that are on the brink of extinction and after our last mass extinction we are once again very close to it happening again.

Johan Rockstrom was particularly impacted by the the extinction of many animals. In Sweden¬† bees have been taken by the UK because they don’t have enough bees and their best solution was to take bee queens to their own country hoping that they can fix their damage. He is astonished that another country had to steal key pollinators for their country just to have a functioning ecosystem. So much of todays crops rely on pollinators and now due to monoculture has lead to the decrease in insects due to pesticides and other crop solutions. I see this particular part of the documentary biased since it is directly impacting his country and he has a personal tie to the situation.¬† Johan sates to keep the extinction rate from reaching the dangerous levels we need to strive for not losing any populations in the year 2022 2023. the risk of losing even on species we could be a risk for another mass extinction.

Another important aspect that need to be protected is fresh water we as a society need a lot of fresh water. Weather it be for hygienic reasons or for consumption people in the rich world use even more water for household needs and then industry needs a couple hundred more and the rest is for our food this is another subject where I feel there is biased because Johan’s PHD was biased off of fresh water and where it being used. To add on to his biased opinion he discusses how when he was younger he would fish in his local pond and come back home with lots of fish and now in his local pond there are no more fish he says that this is due to fertilizers and overfishing. When growing crops they explain that to produce that amount of crops they need fertilizer but they are giving the plants more than they need and when it rains or the plants get watered the fertilizer washes away and runs off into other water ways and polluting it. When the water mixes with the fertilizer it creates a reaction called eutrophication and this produces lots of algae and it decomposes creating a rotting smell and is using up oxygen and in the water it creates a higher build up of phosphorous. This process also happens in the ocean and over time causes the ocean to be acidic and many animals they rely on calcium shells run into the problem of their shell becoming weaker. In all this is a very well done documentary but it constantly used the same metaphor when comparing the different levels of danger.