Monday, 21 February 2011

Age of Stupid

I attended a climate change seminar last year by Mark Lynas which talked about the green film ‘Age of Stupid’. I eventually got round to watching this film and it is so powerful and a sharp reflection of what the future could hold for us. I challenge anyone to watch this film not feel compelled to immediately change their lifestyle or at least attempt to.
Not only does this film focus on an issue which is really important to me – climate change – it also tells a story of how it can impact everyone’s lives from all over the world and why it is so important to do something about it now before its too late.
The film was first released on March 15th 2009 after 3 years of filming. The London premiere for this green film was held in a cinema tent powered by solar energy.
The film is based in mainstream scientific projections and everything shown from the present day and past is real news and documentary footage.
To set the scene for the film, it begins in 2055 and shows a devastated future planet; where London is flooded, the Alps are snowless, Vegas is a desert, Sydney is on fire and India has been devastated by war.
The documentary style film focuses its attention on a character who is an archivist and safe keeper of the planets surviving art and knowledge. There are 7 main storylines which form the basis of the film, which are a series of documentary style recordings from the present time. These comprise the start up of a cheap airline company, a ski resort tourist guide, Hurricane Katrina, a wind farm developer, oil exploration and war derived from the need for oil.
Although each story tells a different story about how climate change is affecting them, much of the devastation relates back to oil exploration. It is fascinating to see how oil is related to everything we do, from the clothes we wear to the food we buy – for me this really was a reality check. Families have and will be destroyed by the need for oil. This resource is becoming scare and the film highlights the fact that war is an inevitable result.
Oil is THE resource worth fighting for around the world and surely this can only lead to bad things. Should we not use what’s left of the oil to think of new energy sources and to figure out how we can live without this resource?
In a time of record climates; i.e. hottest summers, worst floods, heaviest rainfalls, driest seasons and expanding ice melt – why aren’t we taking more actions to secure a future for ourselves and our loved ones?
The underlying messages throughout this film include: Why didn’t we save ourselves when we had the chance? Why did humankind fail to address climate change? Was it not our responsibility to leave earth in a better place than we found it?
Did our generation really cause these problems?

If you haven’t already seen the film, take a look at the clip below from YouTube.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Green Love?

Tree Hugger published an article earlier this week considering whether love can make you greener. I have recently found myself in a long distance relationship and I hate the fact that most weekends I get in my petrol car and embark on a journey to the other side of the country. I try to lead a green life but at this present moment I can’t change the long distance state of my relationship.

Tree Hugger argue that the impact of a long distance relationship can multiple ones carbon footprint in a very short time. also report that dating someone who lives far away is bad for the environment. But thankfully does go on to say that long distance relationships are a reality of the modern world. At least I know I’m not alone!

Now I’m always up for a solution to reducing my impact on the planet and both Tree Hugger and suggest the following options for people in a similar situation to myself:
  • Avoid using the plane;
  • Use sustainable travel methods;
  • Plan longer visits; and
  • Change careers to shorten the distance between you.
Not all of these are practical but are a useful starting point. Check out the links below to read the full articles.

So an idea…can you do Valentines Day when your in a long distance relationship and still be environmentally friendly?

This Valentines Day, G BY GUESS have designed Valentines E cards for you to send to your loved ones. Not only is this the environmentally friendly way to tell someone you love them, but for every card sent, G BY GUESS will donate $5 toward Love is Louder, benefiting the Jed Foundation and its programs helping young people cope with emotional distress. So it’s a win – win situation really!

Their designs are fantastic too. Check out the one below which also carriers and environmental message…

So you have sorted the environmental card, now what about a gift...

Searching through the Internet I came across a range of virtual valentines gifts and found these on the National Trusts website:

 These gifts show your caring side too with 100% of the proceeds going to the special places or wildlife chosen.

These gifts are brilliant! All I need to do now is subtly drop a hint….

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Gasoline Rainbows

Courtesy of the Guardian
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was recorded as the worst man made environmental disaster of 2010. The devastating effects of the oil spill have left extensive damage to marine and wildlife habitats as well as the fishing and tourism industries in the immediate and neighbouring communities.
On April 20th 2010, an oil rig exploded in the North Atlantic Ocean leaving oil to spill out into the Gulf of Mexico for several months. Oil began to wash up on beaches and tar balls were present along much of the shoreline.
The impact to the natural environment was catastrophic with more than 400 different species affected, including species of turtles and several birds and fish. As a result a lot of people got involved in a clean up operation to lend a hand to the local communities and attempt to restore this beautiful area.
After seeing the devastation of the oil spill for themselves, Sophia Bush and Austin Nicholas along with several artists decided it was time to do something to help everyone affected by this disaster. They have put together a superb digital CD for this amazing cause. The CD entitled Gasoline Rainbows is much more than your usual charity CD. Instead of just one song, Gasoline Rainbows offers much more with a compilation of tracks from a number of different artists; from Amy Kuney to Vampire Weekend. As the CD is only available digitally 100% of the proceeds go to Global Green’s oil spill response program.
Global Green USA was founded in order to create a new approach to solving the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Their mission is to address some of the greatest challenges facing humanity and as such have been involved in restoring the Gulf of Mexico.
About a month ago OK Magazine reported that “Sophia has been travelling back and forth to Louisiana since the summer to keep tabs on the clean up progress, but she fears the problems in the Gulf are fast becoming forgotten about because they are no longer in the headlines”. Well lets hope the release of this CD brings the issue into the forefront of everyone’s minds again.
And now for the good news, the CD has finally been released in the UK and is available on iTunes for you to download. The tracks are listed below:
Not only is this a brilliant CD but it’s for a brilliant cause! Why not share your love for the Planet with the one you love this Valentine’s Day.