scientists take us back before it’s all gone
per italian composer ludovico einaudi
original floating arctic performance
past melting norwegian glacier
arranged by greenpeace-spain
picked up by daily climate 12/30/16
Gotta apologize, friends of Ma, outta here this long. Can’t let it go any longer. Much of these days for wifeling, helping her recover from deep surgery. Deeper than ever we saw coming.
No, can’t leave my readers alone, having just finished Naomi’s latest –One Great Work– page by page since Sept’s Peoples Climate March, ideally released just then. Powerful, humanly – scientifically – masterly gathered. How ’bout you ? Read it by now yourself, shemovesme friend ? Hope so. If not, do get right to it. You’ll soon know why.
Wifeling hears me go on & on about the book, concluding author must be something like another Rachel Carson. Clearly Rachel herself would be cheering. Naomi’s husband Avi Lewis is making TCE into a movie. Bravo, does it ever deserve it ! But please, reader, don’t wait for it.
No, no other words for it -for what we’re facing on this beautiful planet: TCE adds up to my most basic + my most advanced education for our Ma. Last few days I’m mulling just how to write it up . . . where to start, my pages & pages of underscoring nearly as many as Naomi’s originals. Seems I’m not alone at such a pen juncture. Rob Nixon started out with a similar baffle – here’s his own NY TIMES REVIEW 11/6/14
While we’re at it, if you’re looking for more reading clues, click here for another fine interview – bk review – auth review – pub excerpt at YES MAGAZINE – THE GUARDIAN – THE NATION – SIMON & SCHUSTER
And speaking of the Times, here’s TCE’s top 20 non-fiction rating story -just #12 in its 3rd wk, #17 4th wk following release. And that’s it; since then gone. Please Ma buddies – let’s go get it !
OK back to those pages, perhaps now far enuf away to begin hearing what sticks ( as if this aging memory of mine has anything like a last word ! )
First off, Naomi, it’s your sharp, energetic, forceful approach, creatively aligned for the best of reader engagement. I’m right with you from page one. You do get right to it, those first pages blatantly topside vs. easing your way up any ladder of speel for our planet.
We need a Marshall Plan for the Earth
– p 12
This well known target ( of world climate meetings ) has more to do with minimizing economic disruption than with protecting the greatest number of people.
– p 20
Before long, it’s so evident – what a journalist ! Your research – your energy – such non-stop probing, all taking us to the very source of Ma’s debacle – unfettered corporate ideology of the market. Oh my gosh, our turn to lose what we thought we’d won in that long, cool thrash of communism so-called vs democracy so-called.
Climate change detonates the ideological scaffolding on which contemporary conservatism rests. A belief system that vilifies collective action and declares war on all corporate regulation and all things public simply cannot be reconciled with a problem that demands collective action on an unprecedented scale and a dramatic reigning in of the market forces that are largely responsible for creating and deepening the crisis.
– p 48
Talk about those corp deniers. You go right to it – to them, starting your book in person at their very conference. Then to the very ones -who doesn’t think so- right with us, the biggest of our environmental friends, their size attributable -wow- to those same fossil giants.
The Nature Conservancy has been in the oil and gas business ( itself ) for a decade and a half. That this could happen in the age of climate change points to a painful reality behind the environmental movement’s catastrophic failure to effectively battle the economic interests behind our soaring emissions: large parts of the movement aren’t actually fighting those interests -they have merged with them.
– p 208
But nowhere is it about anything like hate, as my own lens knows so well, this most authentic movement for our mother. It comes from the most natural love of her beauty, you two remind us . . .
I believe that the more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.
– quoting Rachel Carson herself ( 1954 ); TCE p 355
And speaking of our mother and what’s most authentic, the one time you seem to abandon a journalistic stand-off here you are connecting our planet’s fertility mission to your very own !
Finally what sticks is who you tab as earth’s best activists, known in your land as America’s first-nation folk, not only for their most natural affinity to our mother, but -admittedly most surprisingly- for such very real leadership from taking on their own land debacles to exiting courtrooms the winners. No wonder they were the very ones leading the rest of us down Broadway.
These victories add up: they have kept unaccountable millions of tons of carbon and other greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. Whether or not climate change has been a primary motivator, the local movements behind them deserve to be recognized as unsung carbon keepers, who, by protecting their beloved forests, mountains, rivers, and coastlines, are helping to protect all of us.
– p 371
Naomi, I have to say in these final days of mine, presence at last is taking over. Here maine-coon Abby nestles beside me, dawn by smiling dawn, life itself so brightly in place, past any clouded yesterday. So it needs be.
I’ve always looked to Canada as America’s grounded northern conscience. Now, even as tarsands pulls your country down our lowest of corp undertakings, here you bring us home
to what’s happening, gifted planetwise;
to what’s so needed for our here & now.
on the way to next global power gathering in paris -one year away
world scientists put it to them -and us- as clearly as possible
as UN leader ban ki-moon summarizes
leaders must act; time is not on our side
beautifully presented, if shockingly impacting, article by michael benson, new york times sunday review / opinion pages – exposures, august 16, 2013. click on caps txt above NASA’s satellite shot for richly illustrarted, orig nyt article
. . . Not so at the top of the world
check out this movie preview, coming must-see
then read THIS SHOCKING EXPOSÉ in the guardian of arctic’s plight
–sooner than anyone’s admitting to be our own
Here reviewed by scot thill of alternet 4/19/12 . . .
Co-executive produced by Martin Scorsese and co-directed by Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks, this meditative documentary examines humanity’s currently crucial crossroads between self-wrought runaway consumption, rapacious economics and natural resource exhaustion through the prism of so-called technological progress. Anchored in author Ronald Wright’s 2004 Massey Lectures series A Short History of Progress and fleshed out by theoretical physicist cyborg Stephen Hawking, dystopian sci-fi author Margaret Atwood, famed primatologist Jane Goodall and others, the visually impressive Surviving Progress analyzes what it will take to dodge a global collapse that is priced into the future thanks to short-sighted past and present mistakes.
It’s a poetic analysis, with a spare score that cedes ground to its visionary subjects, and their destabilizing subject matter. But it’s also an optimistic exploration, holding out hope that humanity’s exponential technological development can discover solutions to stave off what Hawking calls the next two centuries of natural and social disasters we’ll have to negotiate to survive as a species. Some answers come from Craig Venter’s Synthetic Genomics, which is scouring the planet’s oceans for microbes whose genes can help us “write software for life.” Others can be found in the internet, which Surviving Progress posits as our interconnected planetary brain. If you’re looking for a fiery polemic, Surviving Progress, opening in April, is not the film for you. But if you’re looking for a sweeping think piece, welcome to the machine.
the island president
Earlier this February, Mohammed Nasheed — the Mandela of the Maldives, who like his forebear has spent much of his life being tortured in prison — was allegedly forced from his presidency by gunpoint. A month later, The Island President, a documentary exploring Nasheed’s campaign to reverse climate change in order to save the low-lying Maldives from being swallowed by inevitable sea rise, finally debuted in a United States that probably couldn’t even locate his country on a Google map. Even so, The Island President’s award-winning political and environmental intrigue still managed to capture the consciences of its viewers, critics and even his own country.
Although director Jon Shenk’s documentary takes place in a remote corner of climate change’s evolving dystopia, it remains a cautionary tale for any nation that thinks its elections are clean and its political and economic priorities are being properly addressed and administered. And the show goes on with Nasheed’s one-time ally, vice-president and Stanford graduate Mohammed Hassan — whose own brother fingered him for helping oust Nasheed in a coup — now sweating uncomfortably in global warming’s hot seat. He’ll soon be joined by politicians at the center of power webs in places Americans do know, like Miami, New York and others subject to the ravages of sea rise.
After bidding on 14 parcels of pristine Utah public land near national parks and landmarks during a Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease auction, Tim DeChristopher was taken into custody by federal agents and sentenced to two years in prison by judge Dee Benson, a controversial George H.W. Bush appointee.
Award-wininng director team Beth and George Gage’s Bidder 70 tells the compelling, infuriating tale of DeChristopher’s conscientious civil disobedience, and the ludicrous legal ruling that has kept him behind bars for longer than anyone involved in the Deepwater Horizon spill or the global economic recession, tragedies much more deserving of judicial overreach. Despite the fact that his brilliant stunt allowed the incoming Obama administration to invalidate the auction altogether in lieu of adequate environmental review, the uncompromising DeChristopher is still unfairly incarcerated, awaiting his moment of triumphant redemption. One fervently hopes that Bidder 70 brings that moment much closer than his scheduled release date of April 21, 2013, which is perhaps not accidentally a day shy of Earth Day.
( no trailer; linked movie site viewed separately )
You’ll have a hard time finding the sobering Chasing Ice in the malls, as it’s still on the competitive documentary circuit. But one thing is for sure: There’ll be even less ice to find when director Jeff Orlowski’s documentary about climate change and vanishing glaciers finds foreign and domestic theatrical distribution later this year. Chasing Ice is produced by the team that brought you the dolphin horror documentary The Cove, and it’s just as arresting, as it follows acclaimed National Geographic photographer James Balog to the Arctic in search of something that won’t melt away before our eyes.
Balog’s project to photograph the region’s warming climate is not called the Extreme Ice Survey for nothing. For the last five years, it has mounted 30 time-lapse cameras across three continents to chronicle the jaw-dropping loss of Arctic sea ice, drawing a sharp, immediate focus on the ramifications of that nearly unprecedented warming. The EIS has published these results in National Geographic, but the still photographs are nothing compared to the existential terror and environmental beauty of Chasing Ice, one of 2012’s most important documentaries. Watch it by any means necessary.
( linked trailer viewed separately )
Chasing Ice may be a more wide-ranging documentary analysis of the entire Arctic region, but it is To the Arctic’s tale of a mother polar bear and her twin cubs that is getting the 70mm IMAX treatment this April. It’s also boasting narration from Meryl Streep, as well as songs from Paul McCartney, in case you were looking for further pop crossovers. But this is not to say that To the Arctic is a lightweight crowd-pleaser.
Directed by outdoor IMAX filmmaker Greg MacGillivray, To the Arctic is an eye-popping exploration that hangs its environmental message on three live animal leads, hoping their modest story of solitary survival can teach us all a lesson about living in an interdependent system at the mercy of the natural world’s disruptively real-time changes. That it does so in stunning visual fashion doesn’t derail that message, so much as couch it in an empathy perhaps more suitable to a much less cynical era. But if every parent in the world took their kids to see To the Arctic instead of The Lorax, the world might be in a lot less of a mess.
( linked trailer viewed separately )
Being extraordinarily large nomads who like to graze on open land, bison stick out of our light-speed 21st-century technopolis like sore reminders of times long past. For this reason and others, we haven’t been able to stop killing them. Or worse, privileging the unsustainable factory-farming of cattle, consumption of which drastically raises our chances of illness and death, all while hypocritically crying about the tragic loss of the West in the process. This April, Public Broadcasting System’s Independent Lens series airs High Plains Films’ Facing the Storm: Story of the American Bison as a timely remainder of this historically problematic human-animal relationship.
It’s an intricate analysis, brought to life by archival imagery, original animation and wildlife photography that will hopefully compel its viewers to get out of their cubicles into open spaces where existence takes on more dimensional meaning. Facing the Storm also examines not just the ages-old battle between cattle ranchers and Native Americans and like-minded conservationists, but also suspicious domestication strategies designed to strip bison of their nomadic instincts altogether, so that we may better contain and eat them.