Wednesday, June 10, 2015

If You Love This Planet, See Rob Stewart's Revolution

The authenticity of Rob Stewart's film making, historical perspective, accurate knowledge, and list of victories won by activists make Revolution an essential film.  But what would you expect from a guy who successfully fought a $400 a pound shark fin industry in his previous film Sharkwater which helped ban shark finning in 100 countries, and led to a 70% reduction of sales in China?

A great quality of Revolution was its blend of personal focus with macro focus.  It reminded me of Derrick Jensen's essay "Forget Shorter Showers." In other words, nonviolent civil disobedience is gaining traction, twice resulting in the arrest of James Hansen (2011 and 2013), former director of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. The second time he was arrested with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

John Muir noted, "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe."  Let me explain.  The online device you are using to read this is made possible by burning carbon.  Your car, house, clothes, and food are the same.  You may know this.  What you may not know, as Stewart's film Revolution shows, is all this burning of carbon leads to ocean acidification which means, unless we stop soon,: 1) all fish in the oceans may be gone "by 2048"; 2) technicolor coral reefs may be gone in "50 years time, probably even 20 years" to be replaced with ghostly white emptiness; 3) phytoplankton, "responsible for half the oxygen we breathe," are dying.  Scientists claim "2/3 of world species may be gone by the end of the century." Coal, the worst offender, accounts for "44% of energy" in the United States, as China builds one new coal plant "per week."  Hell, you may think, what's the point of even trying?  I'll just go fishing. The answer is this film is not just about gloom because it empowers viewers with knowledge and real world examples to be part of the solution. In short, there will be no salmon if all fish in the ocean are dead.

Before I watched Revolution, it was reported Shell, responsible for new Arctic drilling (making Seattle Mayor Ed Murray an anti-drilling activist) plans on a 4 degree Celcius increase, even though scientists worldwide agree that would be catastrophic. Our planet is a blue jewel worn by an oil industry harlot named the U.S. Congress that puts a dollar value on Earth. This is the same as pretending water cares what you name it, or vital resources can be restored as fast as zeros and ones in banking computer databases.  Ask Californians how they will buy their way out of the worst drought in 1,200 years. Captain Kirk (William Shatner) wants a pipeline from Seattle to Lake Mead since California only has a widely-reported year of above-ground-water left. As a backup, the LA Times reported "decades worth of groundwater remain [unless rate of use increases]." The LA Times also noted the state lost 12 million trees due to the recent drought, with "millions more [dead] trees" expected.  To give you a sense of the value of water, consider the alleged $50 a gallon charged during the Oct. 17, 1989, Loma Prieta earthquake in San Francisco/Oakland or worse, a 2014 water bill "over $4,000" for a Detroit resident, as reported to the United Nations Human Rights Team investigation.  Thomas Jefferson wrote "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever."  The injustice we are collectively causing to future generations is unprecedented.

The film Revolution is about a different and better story.
Watch Now - Revolution

Watching the film with headphones in a public library, the beautiful photography made me cry for what is dead, dying, and what may be lost on land and in the sea, as three children stared at me in sympathetic confusion.  I hiked old growth forest that morning so I was more open than usual. Watching the children, I recalled the Iroquois Confederacy thought seven generations ahead long before white colonists arrived in their country as opposed to our senators elected to six year terms, representatives elected to two year terms, a president elected to a four year term, and business plans commonly much shorter.  Profits are taken and companies move on without regard to costs inflicted on others and future generations. Chilean economist Manfred Max-Neef made this clear with his idea of Barefoot Economics.

Watch the Revolution film, and reflect on what we can do to bear witness, and take action.  A friend has a Bruce Lee poster that says, “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”  I joined and supported students at my college wanting to divest from coal and fossil fuels.  The largest community college district in California, Foothill-De Anza, already has.

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