It’s not just DiCaprio’s 11th Hour…

I’m looking forward to the film, The 11th Hour – but note well, it’s not just DiCaprio’s…

The trailer begins with a well-worn opening – ‘the climate is changing’ etc. – but the meat of the film is in its much starker, and hopeful, message. ‘The rate at which living systems on Earth (on which we depend) are in decline is increasing’ and ‘we have the know-how to do something about it’. Of course, we actually need to do something about it.

I take the film to be potentially more energising and inspiring than Al Gore’s one-man persuasion about the reality of global warming, his Inconvenient Truth – without the success of which this film wouldn’t have such a platform.

Whilst Gore’s film focused on the lecture he gave – revolving around charts and statistics as it did, and with him introducing himself each time with the words, ‘My name is Al Gore, and I’m the former next President of the United States’ – the 11th Hour revolves around a substantive line-up of fifty top-notch (US-centric) contributors. And they’re from a healthy variety of fields, spanning: global warming (which only gets seven minutes, according to the producers), forestry, human capacity, reinventing design, business, fisheries, water… not forgetting that of the host and narrator, the entertainment industry. I was intrigued to see that some of the other contributors include ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the scientist Stephen Hawking, and the maverick psychologist James Hillman. As a writer at Treehugger put it, the contributors’

words are informative, powerful, and inspiring—perhaps some of the great quotes of our time. […] The 11th Hour is essentially a film about man’s relationship to earth. […] As humanity continues to detach itself from nature and we head further and further into the 11th hour, I strongly recommend you see this film.

(For me, this is the nub of our predicament: our relationship with the earth, with matter, with our biology…) Two of the contributors I have either met or been taught by: Ray Anderson, the founder and Chief Executive of the progressive manufacturer, Interface (the European operation of which was a focus of my PhD research); and, David Orr, the environmental studies professor who wrote the brilliant Earth in Mind and raised a fair whack of capital to build his college’s eco-faculty.

To give an idea, one of the quotes from the film is from Thom Hartmann – a US radio talk-show host reflecting on how, after taking a hundred thousand years to form the first billion people, it only took 130 years for the world’s population to double; and then, after that…

It’s amazing when you think about it. When John Kennedy was inaugurated [in 1961], there were half as many people on the planet as there are today [2007].

I think the film is worth a look. The film’s website is here.

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One Response to “It’s not just DiCaprio’s 11th Hour…”

  1. patrick Says:

    just saw 11th Hour, the “Nature’s Operating Instructions” extra feature is especially interesting… apparently there is some amazing technology built into nature, a lot there that we should use as a model for our own technology

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