This DVD allows the viewer to explore the major ecological and geopolitical problems that the planet Earth and the human population face in the 21st century. The multiple environmental crises, climate change, resource depletion, and species extinctions are explained by respected scientists, economists, and anthropologists, including Edward O. Wilson, Lester Brown, Alexandra Cousteau, and others. Their critical assessments of Earth's situation are very effectively presented and easy to follow. I felt that the piece on water depletion was especially powerful.
The DVD is appropriate for grades 5–12 and would also be a great resource in an AP environmental science class. The strength of this film for education is the way it is broken down into subthemes, such as A Depleting World; The Emerging Crisis; Climate Change and Global Economy; A Stressed Ecosystem; Warnings From The Past; The Great Change; Coming Together; and The Conclusion. This organization allows the teacher to present each idea without overwhelming the students. The natural breaks provide class discussion breaks.
The film's combination of old and recent footage provides a unique perspective (though the inclusion of an old damaged film clip is distracting). Powerful interviews of famous people give emphasis to some of the main arguments and points. The use of the graphs, overlaid on the images, is also especially effective.
I intend to use "The Great Squeeze: Saving the Human Planet" this year in my own classes. It is a vital teaching tool and an important to way to permit our students to visualize their future. It proves to them that what happens in their lifetimes will deeply impact the future of the Earth.