Blue Planet United is calling for a day of special observance of one tiny cyanobacterium’s contribution to human welfare. Prochlorococcus, which lives in the ocean, produces approximately 20% of the global oxygen that humans and other lifeforms need to live. A form of what scientists call photosynthetic picoplankton, it is among the smallest photosynthesizing organisms on Earth, yet one of the most productive. In fact, Prochlorococcus is considered to be the most abundant primary producer alive, when measured by species. It alone provides for about one of every five breaths we take. With that in mind, Blue Planet United is proposing that humanity recognize this microbe’s vital ecological service to our planet. Since it provides about one-fifth of our yearly oxygen requirement, we suggest that it’s contribution be recognized annually on the date of March 14th (the 73rd day or first fifth of the year).
If you breathe, if you love the ocean, if you feel thankful for all the free services Nature provides, or if you feel that it is high time we recognize the invisible things that keep us alive, please join us in celebrating our interdependence with marine cyanobacteria.
This feature documentary examines the health of the ocean, focusing on coral reefs and their vulnerability to climate disruption, overfishing, pollution, and ocean acidification. Using the spectacular reefs and islands of Palau, the film celebrates the stunning beauty and diversity of wild coral, while calling attention to its growing fragility and rapid decline.
Palau’s battle of Peleliu island, one of World War II’s most savage conflicts, provides the film with a striking analogy for the environmental battle now taking place on the reefs offshore, where bombs have been replaced by greenhouse gases, fishing fleets perform the role of naval artillery, and super typhoons succeed armies as invading forces.
Blood & Coral tells the story of an island paradise that was utterly destroyed by war and slowly restored by Nature in one of Earth’s most incredible feats of redemption. In that powerful regenerative process lies the hope that people and Nature will act in concert to restore and sustain coral reefs, everywhere.
From the director: “Blood & Coral is an environmental elegy that weaves together awe-inspiring scenes of nature’s beauty and fury with searing images of war and human conquest. Unlike an elegy, however, it has the upbeat look of a tropical travel film, complete with scenic landscapes, underwater adventure, and amazing wildlife. By emphasizing both the beauty and fragility of coral ecosystems, the film is intended to engage viewers intellectually and emotionally in the urgent struggle to save wild coral. Preserving coral reefs is ultimately about preserving our humanity.”
Go to our store – “Films” (click on the menu at the top of this page) – to order your copy. You will also be able to download and stream the video on Amazon.com, later this month.
We humans like to define ourselves by what we build, invent or create, but our signature trait is manifest most clearly by what we destroy. Nothing reveals this unflattering trait better than our devastating impact on the animals and plants with which we share this planet.
Only one species, ours, seems poised to dominate everything: every ecosystem, every watershed, every major food system, every climate zone, every geographic region, every type of habitat, every market, zipcode, biological community, and individual animal — from the Arctic polar bear to the Antarctic penguin and the millions of species in between.
Today’s humans are architects of the most advanced civilization yet achieved and at the same time we are the leading executioners of nonhuman life, presiding over the first mass extinction since the death of the dinosaurs, 65 million years ago. While the current era marks humanity’s first global assault on biodiversity, it is the planet’s sixth major extinction event in the 3.7 billion-year history of life. Scientists warn that in the 21st century alone, the world may lose half of all living species, largely as a result of poorly planned human development and rapid growth in population and per capita consumption. At the individual level, nearly half of global wildlife have been lost in just the past 40 years. This film examines the causes of this “erosion of life” and the steps humanity can take to slow and reverse this race to extinction.
Filmed, directed, and produced by Monty Hempel, the film will present a hopeful but unflinching view of the biodiversity challenge we face in the twenty-first century. See the official trailer, below, for a preview of the film’s fascinating images, subjects, and themes.
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Enjoy a new short film about population growth and the future of wilderness created by Blue Planet United. The film combines the efforts of writer, producer and director, Monty Hempel, and population expert and film consultant, Marilyn Hempel. Marilyn is Blue Planet United’s executive director; Monty is the organization’s president.
Blue Planet United has just published a new book titled Facing the Population Challenge: Wisdom from the Elders edited by Marilyn Hempel.
This book is for all who have ever pondered the fate of humanity and the biosphere and asked, “What can I do?” Fifteen elders—giants in the field of human population and development—share their vision of a more just, peaceful and sustainable world. Drawing from many decades of practical experience and deep knowledge, they trace the contours of rapid population growth, its socioeconomic and environmental challenges, and the lessons they have learned in dealing with these challenges. They go on to lay out concrete actions that can move our civilization forward to a future of wanted children, empowered women, and an economy that works within restored ecosystems.
Features chapters by Lester R. Brown, Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich, Albert A. Bartlett, Malcolm Potts, Donald A. Collins, David Poindexter, William N. Ryerson, Linn Duvall Harwell, Sarah G. Epstein, Robert Gillespie, Martha Campbell, Lindsey Grant, David and Marcia Pimentel.
Click here to order the book online.
Written, directed, and produced by Monty Hempel, president of Blue Planet United, this feature documentary (running time: 71 minutes) examines the impacts of climate change, ocean acidification, and overfishing on coral reef ecosystems. Using for comparison one of World War II’s most savage conflicts, the battle of Peleliu Island, the film reveals the global battle taking place today on the reefs offshore, where bombs have been replaced by greenhouse gases and fishing fleets perform the role of naval artillery. Blood & Coral tells the story of an island paradise that was destroyed by war and then restored by Nature in one of Earth’s incredible acts of redemption. Exploring the lessons of that redemption, the film finds long-term hope in the regenerative power of people acting in concert with natural systems to protect and restore coral reefs, everywhere.
The film premiered in New York City June 12, 2014, and will soon be available in the Blue Planet United video store and through Amazon.com. See the film trailer, below, for additional information.