Sustainable Film Series kicks off with “The Age of Consequences”
Special to the Daily
As the sun descended and the ballots were tallied on Election Day in Avon, locals gathered at Loaded Joe’s in the name of sustainability. For seven years consecutively, the Walking Mountains Science Center has hosted a bi-monthly film series to promote awareness of environmental issues and support illuminative discussion within the community. The film chosen to kick-off the six month series, “The Age of Consequences,” examines the underlying effects of global warming on volatile states, and how the consequential chain of events such as drought and famine can fuel global controversy.
The film begins by addressing the nature of climate change as an accelerant to instability. It asks viewers to question the proponents behind the violence taking place in turbulent countries such as Syria and Egypt, which are reliant on agriculture from areas with extended aridity. If drought occurs, people lose their livelihoods, the abilities to feed themselves and their children and become desperate. The film argues that this can be the spark for civil discontent and war, as well as broader issues such as migration and fuel consumption.
These consequences continue to widen as the effects of climate change manifest. Rising sea levels could lead to a shift in global power and displacement, from the world’s largest naval base in Norfolk, Virginia, to the 165 million people of Bangladesh. The film questions how the world will accommodate for these disasters and the people affected. It mentions that we “built society on the implicit assumption of climate stability,” but stability is not a given anymore.
According to the film, humanity’s cyclical dependence on nonrenewable energy is “like a self-licking ice cream cone.” We use fossil fuels, which depletes the resources, pollutes the environment and creates tensions between nations. In an effort to fix these problems, we use more fuel. It details how much oil the military consumes in the effort to retain oil.
So, what do we do? The film encourages viewers to utilize a variety sustainable energy sources and divert our reliance on fossil fuels. “We did not end the stone age because we ran out of stone. We found something better.”
As the credits began to roll for “The Age of Consequences,” a few heavy sighs met a slow round of applause. Melissa Kirr, the sustainability programs director for Walking Mountains, described the film as “intense, but thought-provoking” and requested comments from the local viewers.
One man criticized the film for leaving out the “giant elephant in the room”: the effects of meat production on climate change. Another woman expressed her gratefulness for provoking awareness in the community, but wondered what steps individuals can take to combat these issues.
The film calls for “a credible description of a way out,” but fails to supply one. Kirr, with support from other audience members, encouraged the community to apply “the wisdom” of environmentally-friendly practices to their individual lives and continue the conversation of sustainability.
“The Age of Consequences” will show again on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at The Dusty Boot Roadhouse in Eagle at 6:30 p.m. The Sustainability Film Series will continue on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at Loaded Joe’s in Avon at 6:30 p.m. with “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste.”