We would recommend everyone to watch The 11th Hour, not for Leonardo DiCaprio or the images and graphs, but for the ideas and thoughts expressed by the film’s experts, scientists and visionaries. They correctly pointed out the causes of the environmental problem – the disconnect between humans and nature, and the human population which is consuming too much. The film synopsis and some quotes that we like are shown below. You can also watch the trailer and related videos at The 11th Hour Youtube site.
Film Synopsis (from the 11th Hour Action)
Leonardo DiCaprio’s “The 11th Hour” is a feature length documentary concerning the environmental crises caused by human actions and their impact on the planet. “The 11th Hour” documents the cumulative impact of these actions upon the planet’s life systems and calls for restorative action through a reshaping of human activity. With the help of over fifty of the world’s most prominent thinkers and activists, including reformer Mikhail Gorbachev, physicist Stephen Hawking, and Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai, “The 11th Hour” documents the grave problems facing the planet’s life systems. Global warming, deforestation, mass species extinction, and depletion of the oceans’ habitats are all addressed, and their causes rooted in human activity. The combination of these crises call into question the very future not of the planet, but of humanity.
However, the most powerful element of “The 11th Hour” is not a portrait of a planet in crisis, but the offering of hope and solutions. Scientists and environmental advocates such as Paul Hawken and David Suzuki paint a portrait for a radically new and exciting future in which humanity seeks not to dominate the earth’s life systems, but to mimic them and coexist. “The 11th Hour” calls for a future now within our grasp that is both sustainable and healthier.
Quotes from The 11th Hour
Wes Jackson, President of The Land Institute:
The deterioration of the environment of our planet is an outward mirror of an inner condition.
Kenny Ausubel, Founder of Bioneers:
… at the end of the day when we talk about saving the environment, in a way it’s mis-stated because the environment is going to survive. We’re the ones who may not survive or we may survive in a world that we don’t particularly want to live in.
Thom Hartmann, Author and Radio Host:
The problem is not a problem of technology. The problem is not a problem of too much carbon dioxide. The problem is not a problem of global warming. The problem is not a problem of waste. All of those things are symptoms of the problem. The problem is the way that we are thinking. The problem is fundamentally a culture problem.
Gloria Flora, Director of Sustainable Obtainable Solutions:
Vote. And I don’t mean voting at a voting booth. Anybody of any age can vote because you vote every day that you pay for something. Every time you lay money down on the counter to buy something, you are saying that I approve of this object. I approve of how it was made, the materials that are in it, and what’s going to happen to it when I no longer need it and throw away.
Paul Hawken, Environmentalist, Author, Entrepreneur:
What a great time to be born, what a great time to be alive because this generation gets to essentially completely change this world.
We came across an excellent article written by Alex Steffen of WorldChanging – Al Gore, the Nobel Prize and the End of the Beginning. He says:
Al Gore and the IPCC winning the Nobel Peace Prize symbolizes more than just a head-nod towards some eco-fad — it shows that sustainability has finally moved from the outskirts of activism to the most central halls of authority.
Now we move from spreading the word to setting the agenda, from handing out pamphlets to drawing blueprints. The future we’re inheriting is broken. People all over the world know it. Now it’s time to design a future that works.
We agree with him, it’s time now to move from spreading awareness to building our green future. Less individual small steps and feel-good actions. More collaboration with big plans, and concrete actions with monitoring of results.
Countdown 2010 is a great initiative by The World Conservation Union (IUCN) to protect biodiversity around the world and reduce biodiversity loss by 2010, a commitment made by governments at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002. China partners are the latest to join this initiative. Read more from the news release by IUCN below:
China starts countdown to save biodiversity by 2010
20 September 2007
As the rate of biodiversity loss accelerates worldwide, civil society organizations and governments are joining forces to fight the global extinction crisis. On September 7 in Beijing, twenty Chinese and international organizations signed the Countdown 2010 declaration, committing themselves to additional efforts to reduce biodiversity loss by the year 2010. Read more
There are several discussions on whether the easy and small steps taken by individuals can make a difference to the environment or save the planet. We find the following articles interesting and would like to share with you.
Lloyd Alter of TreeHugger believes that “small steps matter”.
Alex Steffen of WorldChanging says that “don’t just be the change, mass-produce it”.
George Marshall of the Climate Outreach and Information Network explains that “making the solutions easy is no guarantee that anyone will carry them out”.
At AsiaIsGreen, we believe that personal, small and easy steps can make a difference only if a substantial number of people do it together. Large systemic actions by the government and businesses are still more effective.
We need to look at new ways to educate the public and companies, and how to spread the green message. The Business Times recently lamented that companies are still not going green in a big way and “continue to drag their heels”. Although educating the companies is important, education using the old methods is not working. Read more