The 11th Hour ~ join the action!August 27, 2007 at 1:16 am | Posted in 11th Hour, Climate action, Climate change, DiCaprio, Documentary, Environment, Feature films, Hope, Lifestyle, Movies, Optimism, Solutions, Sustainability, Videos, YouTube | 3 Comments
My daughter and I are miffed 😦 because we missed The 11th Hour in San Francisco, so will have to wait until it shows in London … but that city is not yet on the list I pasted from the official 11th Hour Action site (see below for release dates and cities nationwide).
Needless to say, many teenagers have been watching trailers on the 11thhouraction YouTube channel. It is disappointing to read comments that show there are still people who make fun of this serious issue, and scornfully treat anything related to climate change—especially when the word ACTION is used loud and clear in response—as global warming hype.
There is hope, and we need to work together now to make a difference. My generation will forever be known as “The Feeble Selfish Generation” unless we act this year. This week climate talks are taking place in Vienna, as a precursor to key UN climate meetings in Bali this December. We have to change our ways now to give hope to the younger generation who are not even old enough to vote in the political system, though they can vote with their purchasing power and actively seek out climate-friendly products and reject climate-damaging ones. How much more energy there would be in the corridors of power if teenagers were allowed to vote!
After meeting several elderly retired engineers, geologists and atomic physicists recently at college reunions and beyond, I have been struck by the way they are both delighted to hear that students are eager to tackle climate change and cynical about the chances of anything getting done until the younger generation is in power. On the basis of the age of certain power-wielders in Washington D.C. (how old is Dick Cheney, I wonder?) if we leave it until today’s thirteen year olds are that age before they hold the equivalent amount of power, we will all be scratching around miserably, trying to eke out a living in a hugely impoverished, irreversibly depleted world!
To summarise a pot-pourri of conversations this summer:
- Many electrical, software and electronic engineers I know in Silicon Valley and Thames Valley are very concerned about climate change. At the same time most have the clear view that it is not technology that will prevent climate change being tamed: rather, the main thing preventing us from having a brighter future is political will and leadership from those in power (no pun intended—you know what I mean).
- Atomic physicists on both sides of the Atlantic seem not particularly concerned, focus more on the population explosion, and tend to think the fuss about risks associated with nuclear power, as with all radioactive topics, is overblown. In other words, they argue there is a solution staring us in the face, if only we could summon enough trust in what I still consider a dangerous power source, not to mention the eternal waste issues, nuclear power station cooling problems as water warms, and other unsolved problems in an increasingly insecure world.
- Geologists seem to fall into two camps:
- those who think the Earth will right itself, arguing that climate changes over geologic timescales anyway, so this is no big deal—and all the while they seem unable to accept the point that life on Earth as we know it is a fragile, precious web of ecological marvels that have taken ages to evolve in recent fortuitous circumstances—so they think we may as well carry on using its resources regardless, and
- those who have crossed the line from fossil fuels to alternatives, are committed to green energy solutions, and are as eager as anyone to make progress in that regard
I have no reason to believe that all engineers, physicists and geologists think along these same lines, but it did strike me as intriguing, if not significant, that those who are designing products for the real world are far more engaged in terms of climate change, seeing solutions as technologically feasible, yet despair at public consciousness and the lack of political will to take this whole business seriously.
Now it is time for me to hand over to Leonardo diCaprio with a hearty pat on the back for him for challenging the naysayers: