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Photo of Big Basin area © 2011 William K  Matthias
Photo of Big Basin area © 2011 William K Matthias

Did you know that Earth Day is the world’s largest civic observance? Every year, it’s celebrated by more than a billion people in 192 countries. On Earth Day, I like to take some time to simply appreciate the natural beauty and wonder of the Earth. While there’s no substitute for the real thing, these three environmental TED talks are creative, moving and sure to inspire.

  1.  The Mysterious Lives of Giant Trees. It may not surprise you that Richard Preston’s 2008 talk on the Coastal Redwoods is first on my list. I love Richard’s ability to convey the sheer scope of these trees: not only their size, but their natural history and biological complexity. A word of warning: you might be stricken with the sudden, childlike urge to climb a tree after watching this. (The League’s science grantees are leading the way on redwoods research: for recent findings, check out the research webpage.)
  2. Unseen Footage, Untamed Nature. Karen Bass is a natural history filmmaker who’s made wildlife films in nearly every environment on Earth. This talk features footage of grizzlies in Alaska, the tube-lipped nectar bat in the cloud forests of Ecuador, and the otherworldly Altiplano, or  “high planes” of the Andes between Chile and Bolivia, where the starry night sky is dizzying.
  3. Nature, Beauty, and Gratitude. Louie Schwartzberg is renowned for his stunning, time-lapse photography of flowers. This short talk is not only visually arresting, but it delivers a powerful, moving message about nature – both human and environmental.

What are your favorite environmental TED talks? Tell us in the comments, then get outside and experience nature for yourself! Happy Earth Day.


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About Jennifer Benito-Kowalski

Jennifer joined Save the Redwoods League in 2007 as the Director of Outreach, charged with leading the organization's marketing communications and outreach efforts to connect people to the peace and beauty of the redwood forests.


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