As the world celebrates Earth Day, Gael Garcia Bernal worries about the future of his beloved homeland.
"The structure of our civilization is leading us toward an impending disaster," the acclaimed actor and Mexico native says.
The threat of climate change to Mexico is the subject of a new, six-part docuseries called, 'El Tema,' developed by Garcia Bernal and the production company he founded with longtime friend and frequent co-star, Diego Luna.
The series tackles air pollution, water conflicts, ocean health, energy policy and health concerns in the episodes posted to La Corriente del Golfo's YouTube channel.
"We have spent many, many decades of sleepless nights thinking and listening to a call from the jungle that makes us think there is a problem," Garcial Bernal told Real America's Jorge Ramos, "and now scientifically corroborated that there is global warming that is caused by human activity."
You can watch the episode here:
Drought fueled by climate change has helped create conflict over water in Chihuahua and is the subject of the first episode. Air pollution in Monterrey is examined next.
"Monterrey becomes one of the most polluted cities in Latin America in certain parts of the year," Bernal points out.
And that pollution is having a deadly effect here and across the country. 36,600 deaths are attributed to outdoor air pollution in Mexico in 2019 according to the Health Effects Institute.
Bernal and his small production team filmed the series during the pandemic and also focused on energy policy -- oil in the Tabasco region and coal mining in Coahuila. Coal provides nearly a tenth of the country's electricity but not without a cost on the land and the people.
"They generate an impressive amount of electricity, but also an impressive amount of pollution and poverty."
The series also includes an examination of the ocean off the Cozumel coast.
"Oceans are the great climate regulator," he says. "They are feeling the effects of global warming firsthand. We have to understand that they play a fundamental role in the development and wellbeing of the climate."
Despite the immense challenges in Mexico and all countries from the global climate emergency, "El Tema" also focuses on real solutions to address them if people have the will.
"We have to organize ourselves as a community to be able to do something and discuss the climate crisis, which is the issue that really concerns all humanity."