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Will Civilization Get It Right, This Time?

Terry Mock, SLDI Co-founder

By Terry Mock
Follow Terry on Twitter: @SustainLandDev

July 2009

Yann Arthus-Bertrand, the French photographer who pioneered modern aerial photography, recently released his latest project called HOME, which captures the beauty of our planet in an awesome film stressing the general unsustainability of current land development practices all over the earth.

In order to achieve the widest possible distribution for HOME on World Environment Day, the film was premiered in open-air theaters worldwide and on YouTube. Its release on the same date in 50 countries is a world record for any film in history. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this project is that it’s completely not-for-profit and copyright-free, enabling the movie to freely circulate around the web. The high production values and original musical score were enabled by numerous sponsorships under the organization of the Good Planet Foundation.

YouTube has recently announced partnerships with Sony Pictures and other Hollywood studios and rolled out new platforms for watching feature-length movies. In this revolutionary first act, the film HOME makes the point about the need for sustainable land development best practices by comparing the failed historical example of Easter Island (HOME Making-Of : Easter Island) to modern day monument-raising practices around the world, culminating in the tallest building in the world in Dubai. The point is that history shows us that civilization has reached its current lofty perch before, only to collapse because of fundamental flaws in our understanding of the true relationship between humans and nature.

This unprecedented technological ability to transfer knowledge around the world now sets the stage for a quantum leap in global consciousness that will hopefully allow our civilization to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past while moving forward towards a sustainable future.

Your participation and comments are welcome.

Sustainable Civilization Links

HOME (Trailer)
HOME – The shooting
HOME – The Adventure with Yann
HOME – June Press Conference
HOME – PPR support
Attenborough Explains Easter Island
More mysteries of Easter Island – BBC
Dubai: The Amazing Development of Dubai
UAE – Dubai: The Desert Kingdom
World’s Tallest Building


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  • http://twitter.com/SustainLandDev SLDI

    Walking Away from Rio
    by Jamie Henn – June 25, 2012

    The International Summits Are Broken. Time to Put Bodies onto the Streets

    If you find it difficult to believe the history of how Easter Islanders in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries deforested their island to the point where they drove themselves to extinction, take a look at the dithering and fiddling that took place during last week’s Rio+20 conference. The Easter Island experience is a helpful allegory for understanding our own predicament here at the start of the twenty-first century… http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/walking_away_from_rio/

  • SLDI

    SFGate
    Wood poaching: Men charged with slashing old-growth redwood
    Peter Fimrite – May 15, 2014

    … This photo provided by the National Park Service shows wildlife biologist Terry Hines standing next to a massive scar on an old growth redwood tree in the Redwood National and State Parks near Klamath, Calif., where poachers have cut off a burl to sell for decorative wood… http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Wood-poaching-Men-charged-with-slashing-5479004.php

  • SLDI

    RESOURCE CRISIS
    May 14, 2014
    How to destroy a civilization – http://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com/2014/05/how-to-destroy-civilization.html#comment-form

    … They seem to have identified a feature that, so far, most models had neglected. Although you can always accumulate capital by exploiting natural resources, the final outcome depends a lot on how you spend it. The model tells us, for instance, that a popular recipe to “save the economy” by “stimulating consumption” may actually destroy it faster.

    So, are we destroying ourselves because we are wasting our natural capital in useless tasks, from battle tanks to SUVs? (and lots of bureaucracy and an overblown financial system, too). Are we destroying our civilization by building these useless structures just as the Eastern Islanders destroyed themselves by building Moai statues? It is something we should think about.