If a therapist were to describe our relationship with the planet, then the word ‘abusive’ would probably get thrown around a lot. And, in fairness, the earth couldn’t be making it any clearer that it’s upset. We’re literally gaslighting it. It’s literally stormy. Things need to improve, and fast.
But there is hope. And the Our Broken Planet exhibition at the Natural History Museum is there to try and bring that hope to the surface.
The aim it to explore the way that humanity has affected the planet, then show people how we’re hoping to fix it, and how they can help. It’s not here to scare or depress anyone, but rather to inspire people into caring, while showing them some practical & eminently doable personal steps to take.
To do this, the curators have scoured the 80 million objects in the museum’s vaults, and whittled them down to the 40 that best exemplify both the consequences of our actions, and the potential solutions for us. You’ll see everything from a gigantic 3m-long marlin skeleton, to an ancient ancestor of the cow, to the world’s largest butterfly.
The exhibits are all free, and they’ll open throughout the year in three distinct stages:
- The food we eat – From 21 May
Our diet is a key contributor to not just the planet’s overall health but, shocker, yours too. For the opening act, the museum will explore how we can make food systems work for the planet rather than against it.
- The products we use – From 23 July
Everything we make, and everything we build, has either been found in the ground, or grown on it. And that’s not always been a good thing. Here, the museum will take a look at how we can replace rare earth metals, use less water to produce cotton, and consciously choose to buy pollutant-free products.
- The energy we consume – From 20 September
Obviously this is the big boy: fossil fuels. But being the biggest problem means it’s also the biggest solution. And this finale will attempt to show just how much potential good the green energy revolution can do.
To add to all this, there’ll also be a suite of online events, plus live talks from famers, scientists, engineers, designers, and many more. There’ll be practical advice articles online, and a ton of content available to watch on YouTube. The museum’s going all-in on this one.
And hopefully, it helps make our relationship with the planet a little less toxic.
NOTE: Our Broken Planet runs at the Natural History Museum until 18th April 2022. It’s completely free, but you will need to book a time slot to visit the museum. You can find out more, and book your slot right HERE.
The Natural History Museum | Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD
Main image: Sippakorn Yamkasikorn / Unsplash
The Natural History Museum makes a pretty good date spot, incidentally. Find more inspiration in our pick of 100 London Date Ideas