New film warns about climate refugees

01/31/11 Sarah Curran
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As the planet changes, the way humans co-exist with it will have to start changing as well. The film Climate Refugees puts a human face on the issue of climate change. It’s been shown at film festival around the world. Suzanne Haerther is the chapter coordinator for the US Green Building Council Gulf Coast chapter.

“We have had some major climate issues. And whether or not you believe that they are man made or just a natural cycle they are still displacing people and we are going to have to deal with people that are going to lose their country, where do they go what do they do. When you have certain criteria that has been aloud for people to move between countries, it doesn’t work anymore. How do we fix that problem?”

Harther’s group has organized screenings of the film around the state. She says climate change is something many Floridians will have to face head on in the future.

“During the movie there is a little map of Florida that gets scary and it definitely had an impact when we showed the movie it in south Florida. Were under water do you realize that. And its something for them to think about and we are facing those issues now in South Florida.”

Cathy Harrelson with the Suncoast Sierra Club says climate change is affecting people now.

“For those of you who haven’t been paying attention we have had what 6 or 7 major storms in the us this year, really unusual weather conditions, Florida has had two very cold winters, very, very hot summers I think its obvious that the climate not only is changing but it has changed. And how that is going to affect all of us is very important.”

Harrelson adds this film takes a different approach than more publicized films like An Inconvenient Truth.

“Every time you put a fact and figure out there someone comes along and tries to say its not true. So let’s see the reality of people lives and maybe that will be a message people can relate too.”

Director Micheal Nash allows the audience to experience the horror and heartbreak of this global issue through the stories of those currently affected. He takes an in-depth look at not only climate change but the economic and security implications it is causing for countries all over the world. And it is only predicted to get worse. After the screening, Nash answered questions from the audience via Skype. He says a combination of overpopulation, overconsumption, a lack in resources and a changing climate is the biggest threat.

“As we push from 6 1/2 billion to ten billion people in the next four decades, for every degree of Celsius the temperature goes up we are going to loose ten percent of our rice, wheat and corn fields.”

Nash’s film intends to inspire viewers to make a difference so the future looks a little brighter. Viewers like Cathy Harrelson and Suzzane Hearther say now is the time to confront the issue head on.

“Those that just want to continue to deny, you know what, I don’t blame them. Its not a pleasant message. Its so big its hard to get your head around. So I can understand that they want to think that things are going stay the same forever and ever amen, but sadly that is not the case and we have a lot to do with that and we can have a lot to do fixing it. So I hope people see it as a way for developing solutions.”

“We can’t afford to sit back and wait for someone to come up with the answer. Everybody’s got to do what they can now. And every little bit does count.”

You can find links to film screenings and other ways to get involved here.

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Thanks for the great report!

This is so well timed- C02 could be completely deregulated by Congressional fiat.