Mountain Sight: Rediscovered

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This post courtesy BBC Earth. For more wildlife news, find BBC Earth on Facebook and Posterous.

High up in the mountains of Nepal, life seems idyllic. Rising up from lush cloud forests at lower altitudes, to bare summits that literally take your breath away. Yet living at altitudes of over 13,000 feet, the proximity to nature is so close, that the mountain people who live there are being affected by a factor that only ever seems beneficial: light.

Human Planet’s “Mountains” episode, the BBC Earth team trekked up high into the impressive landscape to document the work of two doctors who were literally changing people’s lives in just 24 hours.

This event was key to the Human Planet series, because it exemplified how humans are “Without a doubt, the most ingenious, clever species on the planet,” says series producer Dale Templar.

However, it also led to another fantastic event. Since airing in February 2011, and subsequently journeying all over the world, the program brought light and attention to the outreach teams’ work that had never been witnessed by a worldwide audience before. E-mails of compassion quickly began making their way to Drs. Ruit and Tabin, and before they knew it, they were flooded with support.

If not for the work of two men, who made it their personal goal to eradicate as much unnecessary blindness in their lifetimes as possible. That caught the attention of a BBC Earth team, who in turn opened the eyes of millions of viewers.

Not what you’d expect from a natural history documentary, but you should expect nothing less from BBC Earth. An excellent outcome, and most definitely a reason to celebrate human life on planet Earth.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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