Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The 11th Hour

The 11th Hour

The 11th Hour is a documentary about the effects that humans and human society is having and will have on the health of earth. This film was made a number of years ago, when the general public first stared to become concerned about the impact they were having on the earth, so most of the facts and figures showed are nothing new to someone today. This film was different to other similar documentaries though because of its slightly different focus. It was said that if the earth was created on 1st January, then humans only came along at 11.45pm on 31st December, and in this long history the earth and its climate had not stayed the same, but has always been changing. It is not unusual that we are experiencing changes in the climate, but we are however speeding this process up. The climate has always changed, but that includes the species that occupy it. Of all the species that have ever existed on the planet, 99.9999% of those are now extinct. This documentary claims that we will put the climate through such extensive change that the conditions on earth will no longer be able to support human life, and like nearly all species before us, we too will become extinct. The earth will be able to recover from the damage that we cause, because it has always recovered in the past, but it will be too late for humans.

This documentary is important for designers to watch for a few reasons. As designers we have the ability to create products that will either help out the environment or harm it. It is important for designers to understand how important it is to look after the planet so that they make wise decisions when they are choosing materials for the products they design. Designers have the opportunity to greatly effect the course of history. If every designer decided to only make products that were helpful to the environment, then consumers wouldn't have a choice but to buy environmentally friendly products. Imagine how helpful this would be to the environment.

The three main take home points from this documentary are:
- We need to think of the environment not as a resource, but as crucial to our survival
- If humans don't do something about their behaviour we will make ourselves extinct
- The environment will be able to regenerate itself from the damage we cause, but we will all die in the process

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