Saturday, August 18, 2007

The 11th hour

Leonardo DiCaprio's movie about climate change and the need for change is now out. Although I have not seen it yet, (it opened yesterday) I personally like the metamessage of the movie, and that is to make this darkest hour, humanities greatest triumph.

Here is part of a review from

"Important, immediate, well-paced, and more than just a Leonardo DiCaprio star vehicle, The 11th Hour introduces us to environment experts from around the world.


Look out your window and take a deep breath. Cherish it, because perhaps you may not be able to someday. At least, that’s what The 11th Hour tells us.

This is not a peripheral storyline, a puffy Hamptons profile or feel-good tale of raising $500,000 for the local church. 11th Hour’s message – reduce global warming and man’s carbon footprint – is center-stage important. It’s the most important issue for the coming generation or two, 11th Hour says.

In the year 1800, only one billion people lived on earth, and civilization didn’t create excess waste heat. In 2007, the world population is more than 6 billion. We’re creating too much heat. Thus, the monumental problems. Besides aiming to teach younger audiences about our environment, 11th Hour handles political debate around corporate waste with savvy, taking the teeth out of a partisan struggle that amounts to distraction from facts. "

And here is the Variety review:

True to its doom-laden title, global-warming doc "The 11th Hour" presents the viewer with reams of depressing data, loads of hand-wringing about the woeful state of humanity and, finally, some altogether fascinating ideas about how to go about solving the climate crisis.

Co-produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, this latest exercise in celebrity eco-activism lacks the personal touch that helped "An Inconvenient Truth" go green at the box office, but auds might warm to its layered insights and polished presentation, given careful nurturing by Warner Independent and effective showcasing as an educational tool. clip

Docu's thesis, that mankind's insensitivity to the environment, consumption of limited resources and over-reliance on fossil fuels will soon make the planet uninhabitable for future generations, should by now (hopefully) come as nothing new to viewers.

But the dizzying assemblage of talking heads (among them Stephen Hawking, Mikhail Gorbachev, science reporter Andy Revkin and heads of environmental orgs such as Lester Brown, Tim Carmichael and Wes Jackson), all well-spoken and at times prone to philosophizing, turn "The 11th Hour" into a ruminative essay on what it means to be human in a scarce world."

Reviewing a movie that is telling the hard truth of our cultural predicament is a little like writing a review about Paul Revere's clothes , or writing a critique of his riding skills on the night of his famous ride. The important fact is, did he get the job done.

And if DiCaprio's film gets the job done with just a few more people, then we are that much closer to dealing with these great issues in a thoughtful and holistic way. And the metamessage of the film seems clear,
"Let us turn Mankind's darkest hour into our finest.

These are not technical issues,

They are leadership issues.

The Crisis is Real



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a thought, recurring: I wonder if there could be some way to collect the energy churning away at gyms. Is it possible? And would it be worth while?

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just saw 11th Hour myself, the "Nature's Operating Instructions" extra feature was 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

10:53 AM  

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