Sunday, 6 December 2009

We're living in "The age of Stupid"

“We wouldn’t be the first life form to make itself extinct. But what would be unique about us is that we did it knowingly. What does that say about us?” - “In my opinion our use or misuse of resources the last 100 years or so, I’d probably rename that age, something like The Age of Ignorance, The Age of Stupid.”

Quotes from the documentary/film "The age of Stupid" by Director Franny Amstrong that I just watched tonight (Link to film The film stars a man (Pete Postlethwaite, Oscar-nominated) living alone in the devastated future world in 2055, looking at media footage from 2008 and asking why we didn't stop climate change when we had the chance? This is one of the most talked about film of 2009 and has spawed the hugely-successful 10:10 campaign in the UK (

With The Copenhagen Climate Summit going on (Dec 7 - 18), we are still waiting for some sort of international agreements and commitments to be made before this Global Warming matter can have some progress. For almost a decade now I have heard of global warming. I was also part of student groups raising awareness and campaigning on campus at business school to help keep our planet in better shape, but most of the time we were viewed as being idealistic and the campaigns fall short of realizing institutional/individual actions. It is difficult to pursuade the busines savvy community of environmental issues. After the short lived buzz that An Inconvenience Truth created on our campus, I wonder how many individuals really give a rat's ass.  I personal have been more aware and have lowered my energy consumption level as frequently as I can (please feel free to laugh at me) and my individual consumerism needs (which worked out quite nicely for my personal finances, too). 

That's the thing about this epic problem of our time, we all know it to some extent but we don't care enough until we are personally affected by terrifying natural disasters or seen lives torn apart within close proximity of us as a result of temperature changes. We rely on policy-makers too much to lead but the future of our planet (to them) doesn't seem to be as important as potential economic loss from commitments to reduce carbon emissions. We're reached a certain consumerism level, it's difficult to cut back. We are on some sort of money-addicted drugs.

Different from An Inconvenience Truth where Al Gore is the star and presents a more theoretical explaination of climate change and its potential effects on our lives, The Age of Stupid shows actual footages from recent climatic disasters and at the same time propose the dilemma and complexity (and stupidity) of the situation. The film includes problems in the west: rapidly melting of glaciers on the Alps, Hurricane Katrina's overwhelming reality, unsuccessful wind-farm projects in England (due to locals  voted 11/1 against the wind turbines that potentially would be blocking their views)  to countries like India where an entrepreneur sets up a budget airline with dreams to transport the poorer population around the country with ease; in an African country where a young medical student dreams of the American dream but has to make do with what she has; or in Irak where children forced out of their country because of a certain war that was mainly launched for oil... Can you watch this with complete ingnorance? 

It's like looking through a binocular observing people faraway on the beach, they are anything but occupied with the sand under their feet... We are able to overcome emergency situations fast but lack the ability to see the bigger picture (quote film). Are we going to try and rectify the situation only when it is actually too late? 

Even my rather nonchalant movie partner was buzzed about what he can do to help after watching this film. But I think he will just sleep on it for now after finding out that electric cars cost up to £100,000. There goes his business idea.. but I will make sure he makes some sort of personal commitments (he did pledge to build his house with energy efficient facilities when he would have one).

I think we all must start somewhere individually and not wait for these politicians to make up their minds. We don't have to bring activities in our lives to a complete halt but merely by being responsible when using the resources we have so abundantly (electricity, water, recycling, walk or cycle more). I am sure you can think of something...

Those who care really about Earth's future and have compassion and a sense of urgency --- please also visit and watching the film is a good way to get inspired!!! 

And no, I'm not writing this to campaign for any entity -- I actually care about this.

World Peace Please


  1. While doing this journalism course, I once interviewed a woman (just on the streets) about her thought on the influence of global warming on the fickle weather. Instead, she said that she doesn't believe in the global warming at all and that it is natural that one year it's warmer or colder than the other. A shock for me and my friends. And I do believe that many people are still living and not caring that way. I think many people think that we will all die before the full impact of this climate change kills us anyway so why bother...

    I will watch the movie next week (too many things to do this week.) I also don't think the "leaders" could really be reunite to do anything about it. Or I'm just too sceptical, I don't know. But true, all of us have to start doing something on our own. I know I have already started.

    However, eco stuff are really costly stuff... The other day I bought an energy saving light bulb which costs around £10... compared to a normal one, 5 times difference or sth.

    I don't want to be pessimistic but I think the mission to really improve the Earth's condition is still a long long way to success... we might not live to see it.

  2. I totally agree ...
    Green stuff is expensive. At the same time quality ain't too great. But I heard by 2010 there will oly be energy efficient bulbs?

    Isn't it funny the older we get, the less we give a crap about what politicians say? They do nada!

    Now I even reconsider having kids hehe.