As I type this, the western United States is engulfed in a record-breaking heatwave and drought. At the same time, sea levels continue rising globally, threatening coastal cities world-wide. Climate Crisis news is everywhere, driven by the unmistakable evidence that we have either passed or are about to pass a major tipping point in the CO2 levels in the Earth's atmosphere. There is almost no way to miss the news and to connect that news to real-world impacts being felt everywhere. What many people do not yet realize is that CO2 levels in the biosphere are only one of at least nine factors that have allowed life on our planet to remain habitable during the Holocene period, during which planetary temperature fluctuations stabilized, allowing for civilization as we know it to develop.
While we all hear about the dangers of CO2 level increases, the other eight factors are less often discussed in detail. The new Netflix Original documentary Breaking Boundaries: The Science of Our Planet changes that. In the film, award-winning film maker David Attenborough travels the World to speak to top scientists about the interconnected tipping points we will be crossing if we do not make radical change to our society now. If you think you understand the scope of the challenge we face, you are probably wrong. As this film makes crystal clear, there are key tipping points in each of these nine areas that are interconnected like dominoes. If one falls, it can knock all of the other ones down as well and the Earth as we know it will be no more. As dire as that sounds, however, the film has an inspiring message, because now that the science in all of these areas is clear, we know exactly what we need to do to change course. The science is irrefutable. The path forward is obvious and relatively easy in some ways.
Put this film in your Netflix watch list and share it with everyone you know. You will be glad that you did.