“THE PENGUIN COUNTERS”— Climate Change and Penguins

“The Penguin Counters”

Climate Change and Penguins

Amos Lassen

Ron Naveen has had a love affair with Antarctica for 30 years and in this documentary he shares his love for his work on climate change. Naveen maintains that penguin populations may hold the key to human survival. Ron Naveen lays bare his 30 year love affair with “the world’s most pristine scientific laboratory: Antarctica”.

The film follows Ron and his team of field biologists as they track the impact of climate change and ocean health by counting penguin populations. Directed and produced by Peter Getzels and Harriet Gordon, the film takes us from the tip of Argentina to Deception Island on a journey fulfilling dreams of conserving this region for future generations. The documentary chronicles the efforts of a team of biologists in Antarctica as they count the penguinsin Antarctica at the same as giving us an important message about the effects of global warming.

Naveen is not only passionate about his vocation, he also tells us that “Penguins are my passion!”. He has devoted nearly thirty years in counting penguin populations. He has found an indication that global warming has significantly reduced the numbers of penguins. The film is most effective when it chronicles the efforts of Naveen and his team. The cinematography is gorgeous and the supporting cast of penguins and sea lions is amazing to watch yet the harsh landscape remains important throughout. We see enthusiasm of the men as they perform their tasks and we realize what an important job this is especially now with the new presidential administration’s decision to oppose the idea of climate change.


Every shot of wildlife, mountains and seas is magnificent. There is no romanticization and the footage that we see is awe-inspiring and scary at the same time. We also see some wonderful old from earlier expeditions. Even though we are made aware of distressing speculation about global warming, “The Penguin Counters” stays hopeful throughout.

The journey takes us to some of the harshest corners of the planet.The penguin counters are haunted by the stories of explorers who lost their lives in Antarctica and are charmed by the eccentricities of the penguins. We are asked as we watch about what we can learn from penguins regarding climate change?

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