The recent Age of Stupid showing at the Lightbox was extremely well attended, with over 50 people turning up on the night.
The film, starring Pete Postlethwaite as one of the last remaining humans, depicted an archive of events leading up to the demise of the human species. The film was a moving warning of living beyond our means in terms of resource usage, and showed current day footage of Nigerians as they are ridden over by big oil business, Iraqi exiles, a French glacier which receded at an alarming 10 metres in the last year, and an ambitious Indian business copy of Easyjet, oblivious to the fact that increased flying can only add to our current climate change crisis.
As the film ended, there was a spontaneous round of applause.
In the ensuing discussion there were a number of clear messages which emerged, loud and clear.
- If we want to get appropriate government response, both nationally and internationally people needed to get out on the streets and protest, just as they did against the Iraq war. There will be a large scale public march in London on 5 December. For more details: http://www.stopclimatechaos.org/the-wave and http://www.campaigncc.org/nationalmarch2009.
- We need to show solidarity with developing nations, rather than allowing ourselves to become trapped in a ‘we won’t do it until they do it’ mentality. Campaign against Climate Change has arranged a global day of action against climate change for many years. For more about their activities see here: http://www.globalclimatecampaign.org/
- Test what other people recommend as solutions by applying the following test: if the solution doesn’t involve significant change or some sacrifice, it probably isn’t going to work.
- Use your anger, against the multiple systemic crises we face, constructively and creatively, by teaming up with others to find solutions. Join Friends of the Earth, World Development Movement, Practical Action and Greenpeace, join local groups that are working to develop positive solutions, such as Transition Towns, or, in Woking, Woking Local Action 21, which runs an increasing number of projects to help the community reduce their environmental impact. In many places there will be an existing group which is already involved in doing similar things. If one doesn’t exist, find others with whom you can start up such a group.
- Read The Transition Handbook by Rob Hopkins. This is an ideal textbook for anyone who wants to start developing local projects, whether in the guise of a Transition Town, or with an alternative name.
- If you are feeling disempowered, remember that there are groups all over the country and all over the world who are working hard to change things for the better. Power comes as one joins up with others to create change.
- Climate change and sustainability are not just specialist subjects for specialist groups. They need to become mainstream. If you are involved with any local group, such as a church or place of worship, a reading group, scouts, guides, football club or any community group, then take the messages from The Age of Stupid out to your group. For details of how to arrange a showing see below.
The Age of stupid will be launching a campaign in the near future, so keep watching their site: http://www.ageofstupid.net/ Here you will also find how to arrange a local showing of the film, and, by joining their mailing list, you can be kept up to date on when the DVD of the film will become publicly available for purchase.