Historians call them “pivot points,” times in history when the world can go in one direction or another. It seems as if we are currently at one of those junctures right now with the looming specter of climate change.
The earth is clearly warming and at a much faster rate than scientists originally predicted. The resulting catastrophes — Australian wildfires, Texas drought, Superstorm Sandy and more— are only getting more dramatic. The question is: What do we do about this situation that, to borrow novelist Tom Clancy’s wording, is “a clear and present danger?”
At Mountainfilm in Telluride, we’re going examine this climate scenario and figure out what we can do as a festival, a community and individuals to change it. That’s why this year’s Moving Mountains Symposium will focus on climate solutions.
The good news is that the scientists who study this subject closely feel there are still big steps to take to stop the warming of the planet. The bad news is that those same people say there isn’t any time to waste.
We need solutions: big ones and small ones. We need solutions on a policy level and a personal level. We need innovation, and we need activism.
So this year’s symposium, more than any other we’ve presented, will work to inspire people to not only make changes in their own lives to reduce CO2, but to hopefully also motivate family and friends to be part of a global effort.
We are assembling an all-star lineup of scientists, authors and activists who are leading the way on this all-important issue. Some of the speakers will be familiar to Mountainfilm audiences: Bill McKibben (via Skype) will discuss an unprecedented campaign to cut off fossil fuel’s financial and political through divestment; scientist Daniel Nocera will share the details of his artificial photosynthesis project; and activist Tim DeChristopher will talk about people power. Some of the guests will be new to Telluride: journalist John Hockenberry will emcee the day (he recently anchored a “Frontline” piece called “Climate of Denial”; philosopher Kathleen Dean Moore will speak about the ethical imperatives of not letting climate change spiral out of control; and Auden Schendler of Aspen Ski Company will examine what the outdoor industry can do. We’ll announce other guests the event draws closer.
In the meantime, we hope to hear from you about what sort of climate solutions you’d like to see take place. Comment below about what you’re doing or send us an email about what you think can be done. Our philosophy at Mountainfilm is that it will take a 360-degree, holistic, all-hands-on-deck approach to turn climate change — the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced — in the right direction. But as many of you know, we celebrate indomitable spirit here at Mountainfilm and believe that we can beat some awfully tough odds if we all come together.
© James Balog
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