8 Billion Angels makes the connection between the rise of man on Earth, both in numbers and affluence, and the rapid depletion of the planet’s resources to crisis levels.
It also answers the question:
How did we get to this point?
Since the dawn of man up until recent history life was short and often brutal. Humans engaged in back-breaking labor, ate a poor diet and were at the mercy of terrible diseases like plague and flu. Yet, in the last 200 years, a blink of a geologic eye, mankind has experienced a tremendous reversal of fortune and, as a result, dramatically shifted its relationship with nature. With the advent of better sanitation, medicines, commercialization of fossil fuels and the subsequent Industrial Revolution, the increase in the length and quality of life, as measured by health and wealth has been astounding. As a consequence, it has also unleashed an increase in population that has created physical and environmental imbalances of enormous proportions that now threaten all life on the planet.
The film travels to areas of seemingly pristine beauty, such as Acadia National Park in Maine and Shikine-jima, an island off the coast of Japan, and the Great Plains of the U.S. to show the audience that despite the appearance of beautiful seas, majestic mountains, swaths of open fields and an unspoiled skyline, these areas are experiencing massive challenges from ocean acidification, storm water run-off, soil erosion, aquifer depletion, deforestation and a depletion of animal and marine life as a result of the world’s increasing demand on everything.
8 Billion Angels also travels to India, which struggles to support a population currently hovering around 1.3 billion and is expected to hit 1.6 billion in 2050. A collision between rising human numbers and shrinking supplies of land, water, forests is inevitable. From a personal level, we will show the intense strains India is experiencing from unabated growth and consumption and a region in India that defies the trends of the country and is solving the country’s sustainability dilemma.
Along the way, we will interview key players in the fields of oceanography, marine biology, anthropology, as well as the population, environmental and social sciences. Finally, and most importantly, 8 Billion Angels will look critically and give examples of hope for how our planet and its people can coexist in order for life to be sustainable for all creatures.