Sustainable filmmaking--discussion begins
Saturday, June 10, 2017

Before production, Barbara Ettinger,Sven Husby, and Ben Kalina talk about how to go about green filmmaking.From the paper in the printer to lights on the set: we can't takeanything for granted any more. Especially not if we're going to make afilm about the consequences of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

As we got started on our documentary about how carbon dioxide is radically reshaping the world's oceans we were eager, and maybe even felt a bit obligated, to try to reduce the CO2 footprint of our own filmmaking process.  In this 3 minute clip, filmed as production began in the spring of 2007, Barbara, Sven and Ben talk about their big ideas for making A Sea Change a sustainable film production. 

This will be the first of many blog entries focused on sustainable filmmaking.  As we chart the trials and tribulations of walking the walk of reducing our filmmaking footprint, we're eager to hear your thoughts on what we tried to do, what we might have done, and what you're doing in the film and video universe to reduce your impact on the planet. 

We've been working since the beginning of 2007 with the Greencode Project, an international collective of filmmakers based in Canada working to promote and establish environmentally friendly practices that willhelp create an International set of standards for the film and mediaindustry.  We're also working with Carbon Planet, based in Australia, who are helping us to conduct an energy audit to establish a carbon footprint for our film which will help us to estimate how many carbon credits we're going to need to buy to offset the mess we've made during the production of A Sea Change.

Special thanks to Josh Aronson for shooting.


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A refreshing take
Saturday, June 10, 2017

I stumbled across this on YouTube today. I was definitely ready for something slightly cheerful on this topic, with all this dark news. Ok, the first act, the seafood parade, could be slightly shorter. Granted. But stay with it, cause the animation that follows is not only cute, it's on the money with the facts. Jason, keep it up.


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A Sea Change--Alaska vignette
Saturday, June 10, 2017
In which we start to get a sense of the deep economic and social implications of ocean acidification. The Exxon Valdez catatrosphe gives us a hint of what could happen. Includes comments from Verner Wilson,  III, Alaska native and youth activist.

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Al Gore
Saturday, June 10, 2017

We found this originally on EcoGeek but went back to the source, TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), an organization devoted to bringing together "the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes)." Al Gore was invited to deliver one of those talks this past March and unveiled his brand-new slide show.

Mr. Gore says it all with an adroit mix of facts, proverbs, animation, photos, wit, and urgency.

Shake and apply liberally.


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Portland becomes a perennial food forest
Saturday, June 10, 2017

We're hearing a lot about eating local as one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint. So increasing the amount of food grown in urban areas seems to make sense.

In this video, depave.org instigates the conversion of a disused parking lot in Portland, OR, into a community garden and gathering place. The term they use is "perennial food forest." It's a concept new to us, but certainly appealing.

Thanks to Elizabeth Press of Streetfilms for the video.



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A win-win
Saturday, June 10, 2017

Do you wonder what the quickest way to get to work might be?

Here's the 7th annual Commuter Challenge in New York City sponsored by Transportation Alternatives. Car, mass transit, and bike go up against each other: we check travel time, carbon footprint, and cost.

Elizabeth Press of Streetfilms produced this. She's also dabbling in stop-motion animation, and we have to say, we're softies for claymation. (In the interests of full disclosure, she's a former colleague from Democracy Now!)


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ABC News Covers Ocean Acidification
Saturday, June 10, 2017

We were glad to stumble upon this report filed by Clayton Sandell for ABC News. The basics on ocean acidification in less than two minutes. Also amused to see corrosive becoming a meme, vis a vis seawater, hitting the mainstream.


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The Gore 10-Year Challenge
Saturday, June 10, 2017

Al Gore threw down the gauntlet yesterday, challenging the U.S. to go completely carbon-free in its energy sources within ten years. We have the technology to do it, he claimed, speaking in DC to an enthusiastic crowd. The 50-year goals politicians have been setting, eg, at the recent G8 meetings, just don't cut it: they're not real. The politicians setting them won't be held accountable, 50 years from now. Gore argued that, if President Kennedy's initiative could put Americans on the moon within a ten-year period, we can go carbon-free within the same time frame.

Imagine if our next president accepts the challenge. Certainly it's not possible under the current administration, which renewed its push for offshore drilling. But might the new president actually be willing to act like a visionary and take the bold measures needed to change the U.S. economy so completely?

Here he briefly addresses his talking points (note the use of "sea change"!). The complete speech and text are available here. Andrew Revkin has annotated the speech on Dot Earth, his excellent environmental blog for the NY Times.


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EPA admits climate change a human health problem
Saturday, June 10, 2017

Well, the EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) has acknowledged that climate change poses health and lifestyle risks.

In a Reuters report filed last week, Joel Scheraga, agency representative is quoted as saying ""Climate change poses real risk to human health and the human systemsthat support our way of life in the United States."

Possible risks to humans recognized by the EPA are: more heat-related deaths, more heart and lung diseasesdue to increased ozone and health problems related to hurricanes,extreme precipitation and wildfires. The agency won't commit to a possible figure for increased human deaths because of global warming, because the number could be changed if we "mitigate these risks."

The EPA report focuses solely on the US. (Isn't it "global" warming?)

The Reuters article goes on to say:

The report covers much of the same substance as an EPA documentreleased on Monday that found global warming endangers human health.This document was part of the agency's response to a 2007 Supreme Courtruling that found the EPA had the power to regulate climate-warminggreenhouse gas emissions if it was found that they hurt human health.

However, the agency has indicated no action is likely before the Bush administration leaves office next January.

Stephen Johnson, head of the environmental agency, has been called totestify on July 30 before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing onalleged White House interference with the agency. Researchers haverepeatedly complained of White House censorship of environmental science.

We admit to some bemusement over the phrase "our way of life." We can't help thinking of "duck and cover," the government's response to the threat of atomic bombs (school kids, get under your desks!). It's just so profoundly inadequate.


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Climate change & the ocean
Saturday, June 10, 2017

Dr. Richard Feely, Director of NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Lab, spoke at Northwestern University last February, part of their Global Warming: A Threat to Biodiversity program for the public.


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