Friday, May 29, 2009

living in stupid times

Tonight we went out to see a small local screening of  'The Age of Stupid'. To be honest, I'm completely blown away by it - partly because most of the predictions on which this deeply disturbing prediction of future climate catastrophe is based have been shown to be too conservative and cautious in their scope. The IPCC have to go through a ton of peer-reviews, re-writes and general toning down ( the detail of which would make your average writer throw in the towel in disgust and go get a career in something less demanding like writing up experiments in quantum mechanics with a goose quill pen dipped in toffee )before they can publish anything relating to MMGW, and consequently their data is past its sell-by date before it even hits the shelves.

So - hard as it is to take on board, the future could well be even worse than the film showed? Gulp. The words toast, utterly are and we come to mind. Hosed, stuffed and completely fecked  can be substituted for toast should carbonized bread product seem like too gentle a description for the fate awaiting us. The film states categorically that unless we do something, and do it soon ( like get our carbon emissions way down by 2015 at the latest) we're heading for extinction - or as somebody said in the film, 'Mankind appears to be determinedly focussed on the little patch of sand upon which it is standing as a tsunami sweeps towards us'. 

Or, put differently

So, if you know a dragon
and most of us do
ask it if it thinks that this story is true

for if we can't see that our stories are linked
then sadly, like dragons
we'll soon be extinct.

D'you know what was the most terrifying thing about this film? Not the bald facts of the mess we're in. Nor the possibility that we may already have reached the tipping point beyond which we will be unable to prevent runaway climate catastrophe. Nor the exposure of a fraction of the ghastly underbelly of the oil industry with its tentacles reaching out across the globe to draw us all into a web of culpability for atrocities practised in the name of Big Oil. 

No. None of these was as frightening as the fact that only about twenty people bothered to come along and see 'The Age of Stupid.' If it is screened somewhere near you, please, try to go and see it.  will show where it is being screened. It's powerful, moving, funny, wise and, I think, the most important film I've seen for years.  Or you could just file it under 'forget'. Apathy is indeed a weapon of mass destruction. 


Mel said...

It won't be debuting over here until September, so I guess I'll have to wait.

Alwen said...

sighSand and stupid things like $924 sandals. Look, they have a designer label!

People think, "Oh, I'm too small, I don't make any difference. So I might as well not make any changes in my life because they don't add up to anything."


Stroppy Author said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stroppy Author said...

I wrote a short novel set in 2015 in which climate change was beginning to have catastrophic effects. I was told it was too depressing and I had to tone it down or set it further in the future - it was deemed too frightening a prospect for young readers (11-14)! (It comes out in Sept, not toned down, but I think I changed the date by a few years.) People just *want* to bury their heads in the sand.
(sorry about above deletion - full of typos!)

bookwitch said...

Anne, I was about to say how I prefer to stick my head in the sand. Not really, of course, but it's appealing. Or maybe just appalling.