New Videos: Journey to Planet Earth

Just in time, The Journey to Planet Earth film series arrives to celebrate Earth Week on campus!!!

You don’t have to be Avatar blue to be greenThe Journey to Planet Earth series has landed at Henderson Library.  All  episodes will transport you to worlds within the world you live in that are full of beauty, mystery and grandeur that will amaze you coupled with dangers and threats that will disturb and haunt you.

At the Circulation Desk, check out DVDs (#230-240) each lasting 57 minutes, to view majestic rivers, panoramic grasslands, wildlife, oceans, aquatic life interspersed with human impact commentaries. With the world population at 6 billion plus, it is naïve to assume that the planet has NOT been stressed. It is delusional to believe that we can continue to blithely exhaust natural resources and degrade the water and land at the same  pace to accommodate these increasing numbers. We do so at our peril.

So, this set is NOT a montage of gee whiz photography of an earthly paradise of plenty. Is it sobering to watch? Yes. Is it sublime footage of the planet’s diversity that you’ve probably never seen before? Yes. Is it inspiring? You betcha. What is compelling are the interviews of everyday people taking measures to halt the damage occurring in their little corners of the world and making a difference. These are farmers, teachers, street people who took incremental steps and with perseverance rescued/improved the environment around them. Their stories, occurring in both the affluent and starving places of the world, offer the blessing of HOPE to us all.

Why should we believe this particular look at the planet? The back story of the filmmakers is a tale of curiosity and concern mixed in with high adventure and danger to match any action-packed movie recently released. Hal and Marilyn Weimer are award winning documentary filmmakers who have made PBS “After School” dramas and three other series. The duo travelled to twelve different areas of the world to take a fresh, personal look at what is happening in the Big Out There.

While many areas filmed were not pre-scouted for camera worthiness and many serendipitous incidents  were incorporated into the final version, this was a serious, well planned endeavor. In depth interviews with scientists, eco-experts and NGO (Non-Governmental Organizations) staff stationed around the world were conducted before any footage was shot. The Weimers took a small crew and light equipment that would fit in ONE van. Talk about experience, togetherness and watching their “carbon footprint.” Creative disputes arose. Here is a wonderful description quoted by interviewer Nancy Camp from “Icom Magazine” of the couple’s work style, “By now, we have such a foundation of trust that we’re comfortable allowing for pretty stormy confrontations. We’ve both walked out of editing sessions…In fact, if you both think the same way all the time, then one of you is dispensable.”

What about the movie star factor? Well, the narrator for the entire series is Matt Damon. Need we say more? His narration is conversational, informative without overwhelming one with a barrage of statistics and above all not PREACHY.

Several faculty members here at GS have asked the library to purchase this set to be used in their classrooms. One may pick and choose from this rich collection to make salient points without showing entire episodes. There is an Instructor’s Guide for use at the college level that appears on the PBS website devoted to the series.

Dear Faculty, Students, and Staff pause for a moment, as we begin to celebrate Earth Week, and think about little changes you can make in your day to day life that will net energy savings: switch to a energy saving light bulbs; check the tire pressure of your car, SUV or motorcycle to save gas; recycle paper, soda cans and plastic bottles. If you can’t think of anything, get in touch with Dr. Lissa M. Leege, Director of the Center for Sustainability at 912-478-0800 or FAX at 912-478-0845. Join SAGE (Student Alliance for a Green Earth).

Meanwhile watch Journey to Planet Earth. Learn, Empathize and ACT green. You can do it!!

JoEllen Broome, Information Services Librarian

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ZACH S. HENDERSON LIBRARY • P.O. Box 8074 • Statesboro, Georgia 30460-8074 • (912) 478-5647