The answer lies in the dirt, or as the movie’s tagline states, “The Solution Is Right Under Our Feet.”
At a time when so many existential, even extinction level issues [climate change] loom and threaten mankind, it is easy to feel helpless and even hopeless. And, yet, in the most unexpected way imaginable, a simple act such as opening up the Netflix app and choosing a documentary could be the first step towards a new way of thought and, indeed, action.
The new documentary “Kiss The Ground” does not minimize climate change, or downplay the fact that it is persistent and would bring terrible catastrophes looming on the global horizon, it does not fixate on the negatives. Instead, it offers a rare and amazing thing: solutions to solve the problems and rebalance Earth’s ecosystem. And it does so in a direct, simple and amazingly uplifting manner.
“Kiss The Ground” emphasizes regenerative soil usage and smart agriculture as the keys to saving the planet. Taking the audience to farms and ecosystems all across the world, the doc illustrates how humans have squandered the Earth’s natural bounty by over-tilling the land and drenching crops in pesticides.
Contrary to popular belief, these conventional farming tactics are not only damaging the environment, but they are also hurting the agricultural economy, leaving crops vulnerable and unsustainable in the event of a disaster. The film explains that these tactics are depleting fertile land, and if we don’t change our methods, the planet will only have sixty more years of harvests left.
Salvation is not beyond reach, though. As aforementioned, the bulk of the documentary is optimistic, and it offers a solution in an unlikely place. Namely, carbon.
[Carbon dioxide] is usually the enemy in [environmental documentaries], as we have far too much of it trapped in our atmosphere and the [fossil fuel industry] pumps it out at alarming rates to our planet’s detriment. Although an excess of carbon in the air could be the planet’s doom, “Kiss The Ground” suggests that increasing carbon in the ground could be a solution.
Through extreme close ups, microscopic images, and a few animations, the documentary shows how healthy soil is rife with living things. These things (worms, bacteria, microbes, etc.) all need carbon to live and play a vital part at the base of the food chain.
Unfortunately, the pesticides and over-tilling actively destroy these organisms, rendering the land naturally defenseless. The movie thus calls for a shift towards using soil with increased organic matter that sucks in and sustains carbon. According to one farmer in the film, every one percent increase in the dirt’s organic matter equals ten tons of carbon per acre. This means cleaner air, healthier ecosystems, and a more sustainable form of agriculture that could combat [global warming].
Related: ‘This Changes Everything’: how Climate Crisis and Failed Capitalism are Inextricably Intertwined
Many farmers have already endorsed this organic method on macro scales. “Kiss The Ground” even brings audiences to China’s [Loess Plateau], a once luscious place rendered a desert through centuries of depletion. With a rejuvenated focus on land management and organic prioritization in recent decades, however, the Plateau has effectively rebounded. Now the brown landscape is once again an Edenic green.
The change does not only have to happen on farms and distant, rural lands, though. The documentary also takes viewers to [San Francisco] and [Haiti] to show how urban hubs are playing their part, stressing the importance of composting and not letting anything go to waste. Seemingly everything—right down to human feces—can be reused and repurposed for a more sustainable world.
In the end, the people of this film – the farmers, scientists and concerned celebrities, come across almost as walking, talking, living, breathing testimonials for the solutions they are proposing.
In a world where the future will almost certainly hold either oblivion and human extinction, or, if we join together to create it, an almost Utopian rebirth they are the rare exception and point clearly toward a better way for us to live on this planet.
Seeing those who made and collaborated on this film and how they live and interact during their quest to save themselves and all of us, it becomes possible to believe in these solutions, and more importantly in human-kind’s ability to choose the right path for a future.
Tying together the sound, simple yet incredibly powerful ideas of recreating Soil health and Regenerative Agriculture, together with sustainable energy and transportation, the road to survival and hope has never looked so feasible. However, with sustainable energy being more widely known and understood as a priority, it is the ideas in “Kiss The Ground” that most need to be shared and disseminated most urgently. Watch it, then pass the word.
Environmental authors, activists, and documentarians Josh and Rebecca Tickell directed and produced “Kiss The Ground.” The duo also wrote the film with help from Johnny O’Hara. Meanwhile, actor [Woody Harrelson] narrates and celebrity appearances include [Tom Brady], Gisel Bündchen, Ian Somerhandler, Jason Mraz, and California Governor [Gavin Newsom]. There are also dozens of farmers, scientists, and notable environmental scholars featured in the picture.
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