The Case for Planet Earth

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Can beauty speak for itself?

As a result of the Discovery Channel’s current series entitled Planet Earth, I reacted to both of these experiences somewhat differently than I would have a month ago. On March 25th, Discovery Channel unveiled their first entry of the series – an exhaustive documentary 5 years in the making. The project was shot in 62 countries and over 200 locations – all in HD. Each hour (or episode) was granted a $2 million budget which undoubtedly gave space for both creativity and patience.

For example, the first ever “close-up footage” of the rare and mysterious Himalayan snow leopard was captured in pursuit of its prey. What is only minutes to the viewer is an entire year of planning and 10 weeks of shooting to the production team.

Documenting our “earth” is obviously not a new idea and/or project. In fact, this year’s Academy Award winner for “Best Documentary,” An Inconvenient Truth, was in many ways a documentation of the earth (though primarily through the lens of global warming). It is here that Planet Earth’s approach stands out.

Rather than argue a particular agenda, the goal of the project was simply to “bring viewers the majesty of the planet.”

Producer Penny Allen states:

“I am hopeful that some of the images of the spectacular places we saw for Planet Earth may inspire people to take better care of what we have left.”

Sure, nature conservation is on the table; however, a decision was made to let the earth speak for itself. In my opinion, this is not only a significant statement of our earth’s beauty, but of humanity’s intelligence and draw to beauty.