Leo DiCaprio’s climate change comedy! Plus, Morgan Freeman’s 124-acre bee sanctuary. Plus Doug Tallamy’s “Bringing Nature Home”, and Aayda Joshi’s teaches us to fight climate change by choosing the right green.
Leo DiCaprio’s Climate Change Comedy! Morgan Freeman’s 124-Acre Bee Sanctuary, Doug Tallamy’s “Bringing Nature Home”, Choosing the Right Green
THE RIGHT GREEN AND BRING NATURE HOME
Teenager Aadya Joshi’s climate change journey began the day she decided she was sick and tired of walking past a local auto junkyard outside the local police station in her Mumbai, India neighborhood. She asked for permission to clean it up.
The plan led her to discovering the importance of planting native flora. That’s due to the inherent resilience of native plants to their environments. She also found out that native plants support native insects, native birds and native animals. That leads to loss of biodiversity and collapse of the local ecosystem.
Unlike human beings, insects tend to be specialists, feeding on and pollinating a narrow spectrum of plant life, sometimes just a single species. Ninety percent of the insects that eat plants can develop and reproduce only on the plants with which they share an evolutionary history.
If they can’t find their native foods insects, birds and animals will leave in search of. If they can’t leave, or are unable to find, they starve, and die. Armed with this new knowledge, Joshi started, “The Right Green.” It’s motto? Bringing Nature Home.”
Her program is aimed at educating children, teaching them how to identify common native plant species as well as non-native ones. It also provides resources like a plant guide, a bird and butterfly naturalist guide, a tree guide as well as notes on the importance of biodiversity.
Joshi and The Right Green project is a 2020 Children’s Climate Prize winner. Oh, check out the fun and instructive video on her website @TheRightGreen.org. Or surf on over to theclimate.org/episodes and click on the link in the Deeper Dive section of this story.
DEEPER DIVE: TheRightGreen, Insta,, CCP, Smithsonian
DOUGLAS TALLAMY’S, BRINGING NATURE HOME
Speaking of bringing nature home again, young Ms. Joshi admitted that part of her inspiration came from reading Douglas Tallamy’s 2009, Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants.” Tallamy is a professor of Biological Sciences and the TA Baker professor of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware.
According to an interview with Smithsonian Magazine, Tallamy is curator of Homegrown National Park, a 10 acre farm of gently sloping land in southeastern PA he purchased back in 2001. Tallamy planted it with native North American flora, supporting a healthy array of native North American butterflies, moths and other arthropods, providing food for a robust population of songbirds, small mammals and reptiles.
As a result of his research on Homegrown National Park, Tallamy wrote and released his book, Bringing Nature Home. In it, he reveals the unbreakable link between native plant species and native wildlife—native insects cannot, or will not, eat alien plants. When native plants disappear, the insects disappear, impoverishing the food source for birds and other animals.
Tallamy argues for choosing the simple-yet-potent remedy: choose native plants. In other words, take back the future, one yard at a time. The NYT called his book, “A fascinating study of the trees, shrubs, and vines that feed the insects, birds, and other animals in the suburban garden.”
The Washington Post said Bringing Nature Home “Provides the rationale behind the use of native plants, a concept that has rapidly been gaining momentum…The text makes a case for native plants and animals in a compelling and complete fashion.”
And the Seattle Post-Intelligencer wrote, “This fascinating handbook explains why exotic plants can hinder and confuse native creatures, from birds and bees to larger fauna.”
DEEPER DIVE: Tallamy Bio, Bringing Nature Home, Smithsonian
MORGAN FREEMAN CONVERTS 124-ACRE FARM INTO GIANT BEEHIVE
You know the question all started with, is there anybody who doesn’t love bees? Morgan Freeman, the actor, film director and philanthropist has added a new title to his name: Beekeeper. “There’s been a frightening loss of bee colonies, particularly in this country,” Freeman explained in 2016. “To such an extent that the scientists are now saying, ‘This is dangerous.'”
So he decided to convert his ancestral farm into a sanctuary of bees. Freeman imported 26 beehives from Arkansas to his 124-acre ranch in Mississippi to convert the property into a full-time bee sanctuary. Freeman encourages bee population growth by planting bee-friendly vegetation like magnolia trees, lavender, and clover on the land. He has no intention of harvesting the honey or disrupting the hives, but he does visit with sugar water to keep the bees healthy.
Because he’s the one feeding his bees, they completely trust him because he “resonates” with them. Maybe the secret to beekeeping is having a calm deep voice and relaxing presence like Freeman? “I’ve discovered I don’t have to put on a bee suit or anything to feed them. I’ve never been stung. I’m never gonna get stung. “So now, given his love of bees, is there anybody who doesn’t love Morgan Freeman?
DEEPER DIVE: Forbes, The Hill, Insta,
LEO DICAPRIO’S CLIMATE MOVIE MADNESS
The eagerly awaited movie, Don’t Look Up gets its title from a denialist slogan reminiscent of that classic Road Runner cartoon scene where Wile E. Coyote sits in the engineer compartment of a train stalled on the tracks. Staring out the window and watching another train speed directly towards him, he simply pulls down the window shade.
writer-director Adam McKay wants to address the largest issue in the history of mankind—that being the climate crisis, and the way people tend to either deny iT’S happening or refuse to acknowledge its urgent and terrifying weight.In an interview with Deadline, McKay described how in 2018 he was unable to sleep for a few nights after reading the UN’s annual report on climate change. He said, “I thought, I got to do something about this.”
Trouble was, he couldn’t find the right angle. Everything kept coming up dystopian, bleak, you know—like real life for so many of us “in the know.”
“I was speaking about what was going on, with my firebrand journalist buddy David Sirota,” McKay said. “Why does no one care that the livable atmosphere is on an ever-increasing rate of collapse? He offhandedly said, it’s like a comet is headed towards earth and no one cares. And I said, that’s the movie, an idea that’s big enough and something we all know.”
And here we are. “Don’t Look Up” will be released in theaters December 10, and on the streaming service Netflix December 24. Why does this matter to us? It’s much easier to deal with enormous problems when we’re laughing.
DEEPER DIVE: Don’t Look Up, Deadline, Volta Award