I got to see Leo DiCaprio's documentary on the environmental crisis posed by global warming -- and what we can do about it -- a couple of weeks ago on campus. When it was in the theaters I was a little too overwhelmed and a little too down to make hearing more bad news a priority. But the film wasn't really about bad news... at least for anyone who's seen An Inconvenient Truth and March of the Penguins and Who Killed the Electric Car.
It was manipulative, and that was sad. There were moments when I was repeating the mantra "All that's happening is I'm hearing drums getting louder" because I felt the impulse to get all caught up in the sound track. But overall the movie is an amazing group of talking heads talking about their perspectives on the crisis and what they're working on in their specialty.
Some of the things I especially loved:
- Paul Hawken saying that rather than despair over the depth of the crisis, he gets excited about living at one of the fulcrum points of history. In this generation, human beings will change how they live, and we get to play a part in that.
- Think of yourself as one pixel in a huge digital mosaic. Your responsibility is for your one pixel. Maybe that pixel is to start a non-profit to pursue your passion. Maybe it is to protect one tree. Maybe it is to make one pre-existing house green and to fill it with people.
- Seeing David Suzuki speak. I love his foundation's site (linked at the right) -- in part because Canada is so close to the US in so many ways, but they are a Kyoto signatory and so must make carbon cuts... so it offers a sensible and accessible template for US residents -- but I haven't seen him in motion before.
- The green architect who talks about seeing buildings as individual trees in a forest city. If buildings can be made to filter ground water, capture solar energy, provide habitat for wildlife, put off oxygen -- technologies we have but haven't implemented -- then I think there's hope.