environment | December 22, 2015

Life Is Not a Spectator Sport: Camille Seaman on Saving the Planet

Award-winning photographer and TED Fellow Camille Seaman has written a short, poignant plea for anyone still “on the sidelines” to act now, with purpose and conviction, to help save our planet. “We need you,” she writes, to all those still unsure of how to act, or those who assume no personal responsibility for the environment. “Life is not a spectator sport. We are all participants, and now more than ever we need every hand on deck to right this ship and chart a better course. Choose one thing you love about life on this planet, and make that your thing.”

This personal reflection, published on Medium, is accompanied by Seaman’s haunting photographs of the far north: but our new, snowless, 60 degree Fahrenheit Arctic, filled with starving or stranded polar bears, a radically altered landscape. Seaman discusses how her journey so distressed her, it made her think she’d failed as a photographer, and as a human being. But it also recounts how she reaffirmed her commitments, and how her grandfather’s wisdom helped her refocus on how to “shift humanity onto a healthier, more sustainable track.”

“Each one of has a personal decision to make,” she writes. “What does it mean to be an Earthling? What duty or responsibility do we hold ourselves to in service of this planet?” For all of us, that duty should be to sustain what’s still left to preserve—and to join now, without further delay, in the fight for what we still have to lose.

Seaman urges audiences to find a way to connect with the world around them, showing them that everything on the planet has its own life force. And, she reminds us that our intertwined connection with the human, animal, and natural world connects all of our fates. To hire Camille Seaman as the keynote speaker of your next event, contact The Lavin Agency speakers bureau.

Up Next

diversity & race | December 21, 2015