On Sunday I went to see two Environmentally themed films. Firstly I saw 'The Age of Stupid'. There has been lots of hype about this film and it was, Ok. For me it did seem a little bit like the makers had seen 'The Day After Tomorrow', 'An Inconvenient Truth' and 'The 11th Hour' and thought: 'hey we could do something like that'.... and that unfortunately is all they have done. The Age of Stupid would be useful to show someone who has either not heard of Climate Change before or is not yet convinced about it. It is dramatic, in places sad and upsetting, but it is the same old mix of Fear, Guilt and Chastisement. Those three things, for me add up to create paralysis, something the status quo feeds off.
There was a short Q&A after the film, I put my hand up first and asked 'why is it so pessimistic?' The answer from 'McLibel star and climate campaigning superstar Dave Morris' was 'I know, I kept trying to persuade Franny Armstrong (the writer) to inject more positivity, but she kept saying it is too serious for that, we need to scare people into changing and campaigning'. I really wish someone would make a more positive film, I wish someone would write about the real solutions, i.e. what a low carbon, low waste, wellbeing led economy would look like, we need to sell that to people before we have got any chance of selling something like 'carbon rationing'. No government at present will implement 'carbon rationing' it equates to telling people to give up everything the government and business have been telling us that we need for the sake of the future. It would be political suicide. We need to move quickly to start selling a wellbeing economy!
On that note 'Garbage Warrior' was so much better, so much more inspiring and so much more enjoyable. It is the story of one man, who has long been mystified by human 'progress', going out there to re-design the way we build and live in houses and communities. He has long been stifled by the dinosaur that is American politics but has persisted and now is an icon for architects the world over, I'm sure Kevin McCloud would love him. Be sure to watch that film, it is full of hope and joy and is a story of people who understand meaning and purpose and wellbeing, they are an example to us all!
In other news, I've been on a 'becoming self employed' course today and have discovered not only that I can claim 20p expenses on every mile I do on the bike when going about my business, but I can also claim the tax back on any 'training' I undertake including any films, conferences, talks and so on I go to and any relevant books and magazines I buy! Good news I guess!