Tuesday, September 22, 2009

This is The Age of Stupid


"Either we seriously tackle climate change or we wipe out most life on Earth. So it's not a tricky decision" (Franny Armstrong, director of The Age of Stupid)

Last night i was invited to watch the premiere of 'The Age of Stupid' at UA cinema in Times Square. Due to my late working hours, i missed the presentation, but managed to watch the movie. I really hope that this movie will be released in HK, though i think that those who should watch this movie will never buy a ticket to see it. It should be compulsory viewing for government officials, and should be screened in all schools to sensitize young viewers about the problems that their generation will face, unless something is done, NOW, by our generation.

The story is told in the voice of an ageing archivist - played by 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 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 people whose stories intersect with global warming in different ways: a 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; Piers Guy, struggling vainly against the opposition to a windfarm that could power several thousand households; an old French mountain guide who has watched Alpine glaciers retreat dozens of metres over his long career; and a retired oil company scientist in New Orleans, whose life was devastated by hurricane Kathrina, thinking out loud as to how future generations might look back our era if we fail to reign in global warming.

The movie is definitely worth seeing. If you cannot catch it in the theatre, watch it on DVD (you can buy it from www.ageofstupid.net) and then lend it to as many people as possible. If you are a teacher, arrange a public screening in your school.

There have been so many wake-up calls, and yet we keep ignoring them, while we sleepwalk into the abyss.
Unless we all stop abusing natural resources, stop mindless consumerism, stop jetting around the globe, and stop eating meat, this planet will never be able to sustain its ballooning population. The war to secure water, oil, and food has already started, it can only turn much much uglier. The collapse of civilization as we know it looms very close. We can't keep dragging our feet.

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