Calling for a new generation of Moonies

Darcy Higgins

We all owe a big thank you to Ban Ki Moon.

The UN Secretary-General, it appears, has basically stopped everything to put climate on top of his agenda, having convened over 100 heads of state for meetings on the climate crisis. He did this with a little ambition and a lot of optimism, pulling these leaders together to get things moving on a political level, towards necessary aims at Copenhagen. His challenge to fellow leaders: “Your words have been heard around the world. Let your actions now be seen. There is little time left. The opportunity and responsibility to avoid catastrophic climate change is in your hands”.

The convention in New York was met with a world of actions from the public. On Monday, TckTckTck launched a global wakeup call with 1500 events in 112 countries, including several in Canada, at least three in Toronto. Showings of The Age of Stupid were also premiered in countries worldwide Monday and Tuesday. Rebecca and I attended one of those events.

Stupid was enough to give anyone the heebie-jeebies. Set in a 2055 dystopia based on real scientific projections for what will happen to our planet should we not reduce emissions, the central question was, why didn’t we act when we knew what was coming? Perhaps far-fetched, perhaps not, but virtual annihilation of the human species was portrayed. Do today’s global citizens actually realize, actually feel that this possibility is heading our way if we don’t act? I don’t think so. The movie therefore made it real. Even if you set your disaster expectations a little lower, science still leaves us with harsh realities to come.

To be honest, the film really was a shock to the system. What we’re doing here in disaster prevention is the most important work that we could be doing right now.
The film led us through in-depth stories of people who live among us… in England, Louisiana, India and Nigeria. These stories provide insight as to why we aren’t acting and analyze our collective and individual addictions to oil. A lot is about jobs, necessities and wants, and a failure of social-economic-political systems to lead us to a re-organized economy. Answers to the “why we didn’t act” question exist all around us, but the consistent posing of the question in the film made me continually reflect on the gravity of the situation.

Despite Moon’s efforts, all is not well coming out of New York. The U.S. and China have left without committing to new binding targets. And Stephen Harper skipped most of the meetings, instead attending a Tim Horton’s anniversary event in Oakville the day of Barack Obama’s speech to the UN.

Things move slowly in politics – even more so in global politics – but this climate change isn’t slowing at all. If we are to have any hope in making an impact we must:
• keep up the pressure
• be patient – but not too patient
• watch, host and discuss screenings of The Age of Stupid
• continue to act as we lead up to Climate Day, October 24
• brace ourselves: a final agreement may not come until next year
• say a private thanks to Ban Ki Moon and commit to moving Harper’s agenda to where it needs to be
• become a Moonie

The Age of Stupid is showing again in Toronto at the MUCK Film Festival on October 3rd. If you would like to organize a screening, contact Darcy.

Image from: www.facebook.com/Harper.Chooses.Donuts.Over.Planet

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