I have always been a huge fan of documentaries. While living in the US, I always found time to switch my TV to the local PBS station or the Discovery Channel in search of their latest offerings. Living in Mexico, I find that there are now many incredible hour-long documentaries available through YouTube and Netflix on every topic you can imagine. And of course, we are talking about on-demand programming, so one can easily find the most suitable time to enjoy these and many other features.
It would seem that lately, PBS must have struck a distribution deal with Netflix, as all of a sudden, I find an increasing number of their Nova documentaries available to watch whenever it suits me. I’ve always admired how their creators and producers manage to break down complex topics, such as black holes or nuclear energy into easy-to-digest, bite-size information morsels.
One particular documentary I watched this week has stayed on my mind: Decoding the Weather Machine—Discover how Earth’s intricate climate system is changing.
The two-hour feature was premiered by PBS last year and it offers an up-close and well-informed explanation about the relationship between increasingly extreme weather—disastrous hurricanes, widespread droughts and wildfires, withering heat or extreme rainfall, for example—and climate change. One particular aspect of the documentary truly grabbed me: the increasing disappearance of the polar ice caps and the ensuing sea level rise around the globe. Since sea level changes happen so gradually, they are easy to dismiss—one could look around and think, “this is not happening here.” But the documentary pays a visit to several communities in the Continental United States where the gradual rise in sea level has driven residents to either relocate or build up another story to their homes, given the fact that their market value has plummeted.
Researchers predict that within the next 100 years, several coastal cities around the globe will have changed drastically as a result of climate change, along with the average temperature, worldwide, which will have increased noticeably. 100 years is within the lifetime of our children and our grandchildren.
So it’s not climate change we are talking about. It’s about our climate change. This past weekend, I found myself enjoying brunch at Lindo Mar, by the ocean, and I could see that the
ocean could touch the edge of the property, and a few plastic chairs and palapas were gently
being rocked by the waves. It was a warm day, of course, so those enjoying the narrow strip of beach didn’t seem to mind having their feet in the water. But then I thought to myself, is the water level that high because of the tide? Is it climate change? Is it both?
On the way back, I noticed a building by the highway with a brand-new solar panel array on its roof, and then I recalled seeing several new ones in different places around the city.
“Renewable energy… people are taking action… good call!… must write article about solar panels,” I thought to myself.
And I will. And this publication will continue to share news and information about a broad variety of topics. But from now on, we will always be mindful of ways in which we can feature the
effects of climate change in our communities so we can all be more mindful about them. Go watch that Nova documentary. It’s thought-provoking