[Reader-list] Fwd: 'The Age of Stupid' (fwd)

Venugopalan K M kmvenuannur at gmail.com
Tue Sep 22 21:34:38 IST 2009

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Shiva Shankar <sshankar at cmi.ac.in>
Date: Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 8:08 PM
Subject: 'The Age of Stupid' (fwd)

'The Age of Stupid': a wakeup call on climate

by Staff Writers, Paris (AFP) Sept 19, 2009

Could we, the human race, really miss an ever-narrowing chance to save
the planet from the ravages of global warming?

"The Age of Stupid," which will be screened in hundreds of venues
around the world next week, contemplates this grim scenario with the
open aim of galvanising a collective effort to prevent it.

Former UN chief Kofi Annan is expected to attend a special "green
carpet" showing in New York Monday, on the eve of the world's first
United Nation's climate summit.

The film is a serious documentary dressed up as a futuristic climate
thriller, with a few bits of animation thrown in to help explain the
underlying science.

The story is told in the voice of an ageing archivist -- played by
A-list British actor Pete Postlethwaite -- looking back from the year
2055 on a world devastated by climate catastrophe.

Ensconced in a sea-bound tower harbouring a complete digital record of
human history, the sadder and wiser archivist pulls up image files
that tell the story of real, flesh-and-blood people profiled by the
filmmaker, Franny Armstrong.

"We could have saved ourselves, but we didn't. It's amazing. What
state of mind were we in, to face extinction and simply shrug it
off?", Postlethwaite's character says with a flash of anger.

Gazing back to our time, he details the lives of six people whose
stories intersect with global warming in different ways: a dirt-poor,
aspiring medical student from Nigeria's oil rich Niger Delta; a young
business scion starting up India's third "low cost" airline. a pair of
child refugees from the war in Iraq.

We meet 37-year-old Piers Guy, struggling vainly against the
opposition of his neighbors in the English countryside of Cornwall to
a windfarm that could power several thousand households.

And then there is 82-year old Fernand Parau, a French mountain guide
who has watched Alpine glaciers retreat dozens of metres over his long

The movie's title comes from a retired oil company scientist in New
Orleans, thinking out loud as to how future generations might look
back our era if we fail to reign in global warming.

"The Age of Stupid" (www.ageofstupid.com) will be broadcast on Monday
in more than 400 US theaters.

And on Tuesday, the film -- translated by volunteers into 32 languages
-- will be seen in over 60 countries in locations ranging from the
futuristic Geode in Paris to an open-air screen in Vanatu, a South
Pacific island nation at risk of being wiped off the map by rising sea

Organisers say more than 200,000 people across the globe will watch
the film, which premiered in Britain earlier this year.

The movie's modest 450,000-pound (500,000-euro, 735,000-dollar) budget
was financed entirely through "crowd funding," explained Armstrong.

"It is a simple concept: basically, 228 people invested between 500
and 35,000 pounds, and they all own a percentage of the profit," she
told AFP in a phone interview.

Armstrong's aims are clear: to help turn up the volume of public
pressure ahead of a make-or-break UN conference in Copenhagen in
December charged with delivering a planet-saving climate treaty.

She points to other grassroots initiatives that have led to major
changes: the US civil rights movement, anti-Vietnam War protests,
investment boycotts that helped unravel South Africa's aparthied

Science is clear on what needs to be done, she says: keep global
temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees
Fahrenheit) compared to pre-industrial times, and make sure greenhouse
gas emissions peak no later than 2015.

"Every generation that come before us did not know about the problem,
and for every generation that follows, it will be too late for them to
do anything," she said. "So it comes down to our generation."

"We have the potential to do it, the only question that remains is
whether or not we are going to give it a try," she added.


You cannot build anything on the foundations of caste. You cannot
build up a nation, you cannot build up a morality. Anything that you
will build on the foundations of caste will crack and will never be a




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