The film is not so much about climate change. It is not so much about CO2. It is not so much about any ecological theme in particular, polluting the atmosphere, poisoning the oceans and waterways, exhausting the soil. It is about the inner truth that is ours, what has been our truth from the very start and what it is supposed to become if we are to survive as a species on this planet. Our inner truth is that we have a brain in connection with a body and its senses capturing the surrounding environment, which provides us with the possibility to think, to analyze, understand, synthesize and modelize what we can capture with and via our senses, the possibility to create tools and procedures that enable us to multiply our resources, and the possibility to communicate to other members of our species, present or future, through oral and written communication, live or recorded on various media, memory having been and still being on particularly efficient and economical medium. And I must admit I was nicely surprised by the maturity of the discourse. Instead of only culpabilizing us and making us feel guilty about what we do to the earth, it takes a different stand that insist on the absurdity of our present attitude that has developed to an extreme point over the last two centuries after the first industrial revolution. It does not preach going back to a pre-electricity age or to a pre-mechanical transportation age. It defends the fundamental principle of the human species in its long fight for survival and development: frugality, economy, saving, using resources with the principle that says as much as necessary but no more than needed. No waste at all, then no want eventually. And the best way not to waste is to use things and resources that are renewable, hence sustainable. Sustainability comes from the fact that we aim at economizing and never exhausting any source of whatever it is we want or need. At this level of reason and responsibility, the film turns marvelously poetic. The images, be they of catastrophes or of vital miracles, everyday natural life, are extremely beautiful and dealt without any fake editing, or so little. The beauty of the penguins walking to the ocean after their release on some beach is a moment of grace, and that shows what nature is all about: life and saving the natural resources we need to remain alive. The penguins go to the ocean the way we go to energy but they would never try to pollute or exhaust it. They will naturally live in equilibrium with their environment. And this we do not do right now. We have to change our way of thinking more than anything else. And that has to be done immediately, drastically and fast. That is only a question of political leadership, and not any maverick-ness or maverick-ity. We need calm, pondered upon and collective leadership that will give us the right, the duty, the responsibility to make the main choices and to manage and command the various procedures that will come out of these decisions. And once again the film turns poetic speaking of the mind, of the beauty of our spiritual capabilities. It valorizes in us our unique human creativity in order to make us reject our ubiquitous greed and desire to exploit to exhaustion if profit there is in it. We have to go back to the ecology of the mind our distant homo sapiens ancestors demonstrated when they started inventing tools to make hunting and fishing more efficient, and the domestication of animals and the cultivation of the earth to increase their collective resources in order to sustain the survival and development of the community with only one rule in their minds: economy, i.e. no more effort or work than necessary and no waste of what was gathered, hunted, fished or cultivated. The economy is part of the biosphere of this planet but the biosphere is not at the service of the economy. The economy must develop and can only do that by using the biosphere and its resources but in such a way that the biosphere is not exhausted, hence in a sustainable way. And that's the poetry of the message. You are not guilty of anything but humanity in general has grown irresponsible, hence wasteful and un-sustainable. Like a poem never uses one word or even syllable too many, we have to learn how to use what we need, not more, and make sure what we have used has been renewed or is being renewed for the future generations.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines