December film: Carbon Nation
When: Wednesday, December 12, 7 pm; Where: Peacock Theater
Carbon Nation, a peppy documentary directed by Peter Byck, is perfectly timed given the urgency of the climate crisis publicized in the recent IPCC report. It is addressed to Americans who already believe that we must make drastic changes in the way we live as a nation and as individuals. But even more, it is targeted to those who do not care or are antagonistic toward talk of global warming. That is why you will see spokespersons for large corporations, the military, and entrepreneurs stating that a low-carbon economy is good for business. Byck has gathered an astonishing and varied group of American citizens to educate us about solutions to the very-real crisis we are facing. It’s pragmatism is appealing across the political spectrum. It celebrates solutions, inspiration, and action.
LOW CARBON ACTIVISTS
The most enthusiastic and hopeful believer in a low-carbon economy and its positive impact on poor people is Van Jones, a civil rights activist who founded Green For All which brings new jobs in this burgeoning field to disadvantaged communities. A magic moment for him is watching trainees of Solar Richmond & Grid Alternatives installing solar panels in a California home.
Another activist is Bernie Karl, a geothermal pioneer in Alaska who has found a way to use 165 degree water to create geothermal power. He has come up with what many are calling a game-changing technology which can wean us from dependence on oil.
Dan Nolan, a former army colonel, shares the workings of the Green Hawks, people in the U.S. Department of Defense who are pushing the Pentagon’s move toward energy efficiency and sustainable power. There is a competition among base commanders around the US to become the first net-zero-energy base, to create all the energy they use, to use water in the most efficient manner, and to have bio-waste energy generators on base. Being off the grid makes the military more resistant to terrorism.
Cliff Etheredge, a rancher in West Texas, brags about the money he and others are making by leasing their land to wind companies. This project of green energy has brought new life back to a dying community.
Others featured in this engrossing documentary talk about:
- the benefits of white roofs (Dr. Arthur Rosenfeld),
- the search for a biofuel replacement for jet fuel (Richard Branson),
- the generation of energy at or near the site where energy is used (Amory Lovins),
- the fact that going green will save U.S. companies millions of dollars and create many new businesses (Thomas I. Friedman),
- the benefits of plug-in hybrid cars (R. James Woolsey),
- and the challenge of making energy efficiency in homes and offices universally accessible (James Rogers).
The consensus view of these movers and shakers in American society is that climate change can be dealt with before it is too late, but only if citizens, politicians, scientists, and businesses all work together on some of the solutions presented on Carbon Nation.
It is 84 minutes long. Sorry, no captions.