“DEEP GREEN: Solutions to Stop Global Warming Now” wins Activist Award

December 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Global Warming

I havent seen this film yet, but theLos Angeles Times has called Deep Green a template for getting off fossil fuels and the Oregonian praises the film for offering hope instead of despair. Sounds good.

Heres more on the film, a direct copy of an email I received from Lyla Foggia (looks like exactly what is needed at this moment in time):

In a film filled with light-bulb moments, none seems to burn brighter than the realization that the race to stop global warming is well underway yet the U.S.has barely left the starting gate. Hard as it is to believe, China long regarded as the Darth Vader of global carbon emissionsis spending 600% more annually than the U.S. on green initiatives, even with a GNP only one-third the size.

What gives? Barbara Finamore, Director of the Natural Resource Defense Councils China Program, points out in DEEP GREEN: Solutions to Stop Global Warming Now: China did its own study and discovered that climate change is going to affect all of the areas where they are most vulnerable: their water supply, flooding, droughts, disease, and agriculture.

Explains Deep Green filmmaker Matt Briggs:For too long, China has been used as an excuse for inaction on the climate crisis.It doesnt matter what we do in the United States, because so many Chinese are wasting energy and killing the planet anyway. But our research showed that this was changing, and we decided to go to China to see for ourselves.We caught the beginning of what is now an accelerating greening of China. Europe has led the way on most efforts to stop global warming, so we searched for the best diverse global warming solutions in seven countries.Plus, we found many areas of strength and brilliant solutions in the United States.

Directed by Briggs and photographed by Beijing-based cinematographer Andrew Clark (National Geographic Channel, BBC, and CNN), among others,Deep Greenfeatures compelling examples of breakthrough technology, practical ingenuity andbrilliant ideas, while searching out the best minds and applications leading to the creation of living buildings, electric transportation, sustainable farming, clean energy, and reforestation. Blended with the enthusiasm and passion with which other countries and cultures are embracing the challenge, Deep Green provides an inspiring perspective, along with specific suggestions on what one person can do to lower their carbon footprint and restore the natural world.

Over three years in the making, Deep Green is the culmination of a quest that began in the 1990s for Briggs, when he started noticing the effects of global warming on our national forests.Concerned, he attended scores of conferences, including the first of ten Bioneers in 1999.Prior to shooting a single frame, Briggs also spent four years pouring over the latest research through scientific journals and more than 400 books.Notably, when Deep Green began principal photography in July 2007, many of the solutionssuch as the first solar thermal plants, hybrid electric cars, and living buildings had not advanced beyond the concept stage, or were just being built while we were shooting the movie.The science and the literature caught up.This became a seven year project and the science got stronger and the solutions got better.Now we know that over 75% or most of global warming is man-caused, and we know how to fix it, says Briggs.

Among the widely-respected authorities featured in the film are Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute, bestselling author Michael Pollan, Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute, Dr. David Suzuki, former CIA Director James Woolsey, electric transportation guru Edward Kjaer, and Finamore.

From the beginning, Briggs imagined a way of inspiring a new generation of green achievers through the universal appeal of animationso he commissioned 11 world class short films from the award-winning Bent Image Lab in Portland, Oregon.Included are eight humorous vignettes featuring the distinctive line-drawing style ofFrench-born artist Pascal Campion and the free-standing environmental shorts:The Krill is Gone about the devastating impact of CO2 on the worlds oceans, and Trees on how cutting down our forests creates even more CO2.Both feature the voice of SpongeBob legend Tom Kenny, along with a commanding performance by his wife, Jill Talley, as the ditzy krill.

Deep Green, The Krill is Gone, and Trees have been featured in film festivals around the world.Among them, the Artivist Film Festival in Los Angeles and New York selected Deep Green and The Krill is Gone as its 2010 winners of the Best Environmental Preservation Award for Feature Film and Short Subject respectively.Krill was also named the recent winner of the Blue Ocean Film Festival Award for Childrens Programming.

TheLos Angeles Times has called Deep Green a template for getting off fossil fuels.TheOregonian has also praised the film for offering hope instead of despair.ThePortland Tribune noted:Deep Green doesnt have super heroes, flying monsters, 3-D, big stars, love interests or comedy of questionable taste. What it does have is energy, passion, imagination.Among the others, theExaminer.com reported: Deep Green is an eye-opening film that utilizes science, technology, reality and compassion to highlight not only the responsibility each individual has for reducing mankinds carbon footprint on the planet to solve the global warming crisis.Deep Green does a great job of explaining why energy conservation is critical to the survival of living things on the planet

DVDs of Deep Green are available through Amazon.com for $15.99.To purchase multiple copies at discount or a license to exhibit the film publicly, call 503-635-4469 or email matt@deepgreenmovie.com.For more information about the film, visit www.DeepGreenMovie.com.

Preserving sandy beach ecosystems – the way forward

March 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Protecting Habitats

European Commission DG ENV, Science for Environment Policy Environment News Alert Service
Special Issue 8, Sept 2008

European sandy beach.

The combined impacts of climate change and increasing population pressures on coastal areas for living and recreation have placed beach ecosystems under severe pressure. New research suggests efforts to preserve the biodiversity of sandy beach ecosystems should be undertaken within the framework of Integrated Coastal Management(1). The aim is to integrate the physical protection of coastlines with the conservation of threatened ecosystems.

As key recreational sites, sandy beaches are of prime social, cultural and economic importance and dominate the world’s coastlines. They also provide critical and irreplaceable ecosystem services and there is a growing recognition of the ecological value of beaches. However, current beach management is largely concerned with managing sand budgets and erosion, while ecological aspects are rarely considered.

Co-operation between beach managers and ecologists is therefore important, according to the researchers. They produced 50 ‘key statements’ summarising how essential features of sandy beach ecosystems function and are structured, which include defining the physical features of beaches, the functioning of beaches as ecosystems and incorporating the protection of beach ecosystems with wider management practices.

The researchers suggest that climate change will have a significant impact on the ecology of sandy beaches. It is
anticipated that climate change will affect the following:

  • Sea levels – Average sea levels have risen by 0.17 metres in the last century and there are more occurrences
    of damaging high seas during storms. Continued loss of beaches will severely impact on coastal habitats and
  • Extreme weather events – It is likely that changes in cyclone and storm behaviour will produce higher and more
    powerful waves, increasing beach erosion.
  • Precipitation – the pattern of precipitation is changing with more incidences of floods and altered freshwater flow
    to the oceans and this will affect the ecology of the beaches.
  • Changes in the ENSO (El-Niño-Southern Oscillation) events cause alterations to precipitation and this may
    affect beach ecosystems.
  • Within decades, acidification of the oceans will negatively affect marine organisms that need calcium carbonate to form shells, such as urchins and snails.

Four principles have been proposed by the researchers to integrate the ecological and physical aspects of management strategies for sandy beaches, which will help beach ecosystems withstand the pressures of climate change. It is suggested that ecologists, managers and policy makers work together at all levels of decision making in implementing effective and enduring strategies to conserve coastal ecosystems. There is also a need for further development of modelling techniques to study the impacts of climate change on beach ecology and to combine this with the effects that various management strategies will have on beach systems.

A further issue highlighted by the study are the special difficulties caused by tidal conditions for scientists trying to study beach organisms. The researchers have consequently produced a code of ‘best practice’ which contains 11 recommendations to help ecologists develop the most appropriate methods when collecting samples.

1. See http://ec.europa.eu/environment/iczm/ for information on Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Europe

Source: Schlacher, T.A., Schoeman, D.S., Dugan, J. et al. (2008). Sandy beach ecosystems: key features, sampling issues, management challenges and climate change impacts. Marine Ecology. 29(Suppl. 1): 70-90.
Contact: tschlach@usc.edu.au