Sunday, 15 March 2009

Age Of Stupid Premier Reviewed

I've just seen the Reading premier of the new film about climate change; the 'Age of Stupid' and it was quite an experience. As we walked into the cinema, showing on the screen was a live link up with Leicester Square. We saw celebrities arrive, and then the Producer Lizzie Gillett & Director Franny Armstrong started interviewing them; Alistair Cambell (....), Ken Livingsore (enough Labour people already?), Nick Stern(Stern Review), David Putnam + Pete Postlethwaite (star of the film).

The film contrasts a bleak future that we are heading towards with the current way people carry on as usual. The archivist (Pete Postlethwaite) looks after the best of the planets museum exhibits, and looks back from the year 2055 at how we got there. He observes a group in Bedfordshire stopping a potential wind farm from getting through planning, an entrepreneur in India starting a low cost airline, a woman surviving in Nigeria torn by Shell's oil extraction, children exiled from Iraq and a man retired from the oil industry living in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina. The scenarios show how complicated it can be to make a difference, but that its something we need, and must, do.

At the end we went back to the live link from London, they showed pictures from the 65 cinemas showing simultaneous premiers, and Lizzie and Franny continued with more interviews. They gave examples of what can be done to reduce emissions and campaign. The then brought up Ed Miliband, the energy and climate change secretary, they congratulated him on the climate change bill, he went on about how he thought technology would clean up coal (that we needed Kingsnorth and how Nuclear power was his answer!).

Then they trapped him, on a narrow stage so he couldn't easily escape they brought back Pete Postlethwaite to block the entrance and sign a pledge saying he wanted to replace Ed if things didn't improve before the Copenhagen conference in December! Pete went on to say he would give back his OBE, and would never not vote Labour again if it didn't improve. They said the pledge would be on the website, so we could all do it, (but I cant find it yet).

What a beautiful end to an evening, after I had been so angry at the opportunity they gave Labour people here. For years Labour have had an easy ride with the media on climate change, the official opposition have been unable to dent the impression they give that we lead the world in reducing emissions. No mention is made that emissions have not decreased, but after their decision on Heathrow people are starting to see the hypocrisy. They have taken some steps, but always painfully slow.

I do hope someone puts that moment on youtube, the look on Milibands face was priceless.


Adrian Windisch said...

Postlethwaite signed a pledge card that said: "Dear Ed Miliband, if you commission a new dirty coal power station at Kingsnorth - thereby increasing our emissions when we should be massively decreasing them - then you are clearly unfit to represent the people of Britain at the Copenhagen climate change summit."

He then pledged that he would give back his OBE, which he was awarded in 2004. "I can't be an officer of the realm if Kingsnorth goes ahead," he said.

Adrian Windisch said...

As if in answer to my plea, someone has put on youtube the clip when the of Age Of Stupid team make Ed Milliband look Stupid.

Jo said...

At the recent 'Greening Faiths' conference at the Warehouse it emerged that many of us had not seen Age of Stupid but would like to. Consequently I've just e-mailed Reading Film Theatre (at Reading University) to suggest they put it on. Maybe you'd like to encourage them to do this too?