Plastic pollution in the Red Sea

A melting glacier in Iceland

Trees scorched by a wildfire in Australia…

As the effects of climate change become increasingly dire, we’ve grown accustomed to such grimly sobering visions.

Some look away.

Others work to heighten awareness of these clear and present environmental dangers.

And some strive to implement innovative solutions before it’s too late:

Solar panels in Costa Rica

Bubble barriers filtering plastic refuse from Amsterdam’s canals…

Sustainable agroforestry in the Amazon.

A classroom full of desks constructed from recycled one-time use plastics in India…

The creators of Open Planet, a soon-to-launch free footage library, hope to support change-making organizations and individuals by supplying video that can be edited together into narratives to “inspire optimism and action in this decisive decade for our planet.”

Caroline Petit, who prioritizes education and awareness in her position as Deputy Director for the United Nations Regional Information Centre for Europe, hails Open Planet for supplying worldwide free access to high-quality, accurate footage:

At this halfway point of the Sustainable Development Goals, it is crucial to provide all possible tools to supercharge the breakthroughs needed to achieve them. Capturing hearts and minds to motivate action is one powerful way to do so.

Enlisting some non-humans players to help achieve that end is a sound idea.

Behold a Nepal Gray Langur mother and baby hanging out in the treetops…

Cheetah cubs playfully sparring with each other in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve…

A group of Pashmina goats peacefully grazing on wild sea buckthorn berries on the high plateaus of Ladakh.

Open Planet’s 4,500 clip strong collection also teems with photogenic birds, insects, and marine life, with more being added all the time.

Studio Silverback, which is collaborating with Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab on this project, created some of the footage specifically for the platform.

The remainder has been donated by outside filmmakers, broadcasters, and production companies who are credited in their clips’ content details.

In advance of its 2024 global launch, Open Planet has released a mostly uplifting 74-clip spotlight collection drawn from over 2000 pieces of footage filmed in India

A look at the platform’s searchable filter themes reminds us that the picture is not so overwhelmingly rosy, but also makes a strong case that change is possible:






Extreme Weather


Human Health

Land Management

Natural Disasters





Sustainable Future


Explore Open Planet’s footage library and create a free account to download the clips of your choice here. The videos are free to use for educational, environmental and impact storytelling.

via Colossal

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Carl Sagan Warns Congress about Climate Change (1985)

Frank Capra’s Science Film The Unchained Goddess Warns of Climate Change in 1958

– Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto and Creative, Not Famous Activity Book. Follow her @AyunHalliday.

Ayun Halliday

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