Recently, a friend invited me to join what was called the World Premiere of the movie “1.5 Stay Alive“ directed by Lucian Segur. I have no deeper knowledge about climate change and the politics around them – like the Bonn Climate Change Conference in June 2015. To be honest, I have accepted that climate change is occurring. I generally try to live as eco-friendly as possible without too much fuss. This acceptance and my life-style are the result of a school education consistently telling me that climate change is bad, and that we as individuals need to take action to prevent it. Some time since I graduated from high school, “prevent” turned into “mitigate” while the NGO and expert warnings continued with the same horrific projections. The little individual action I took, for instance by commuting long-distance by train no matter what time of the year, what discomfort and what amount of time it meant, did not really matter. We remained screwed. So I stopped following the news on how the collective “we” on this planet continued to fail taking the necessary actions. If you cannot change, or at least influence and alter something bad, it takes energy to continuously listen to news about its continued rise. I discovered the pleasure of taking a plane instead of a stress-full mixture of coaches and trains.
The movie “1.5 – Stay Alive” shows the horrible impact of climate change on the Caribbean region if global warming increases by more than 1.5 degrees. In December 2015, the global community of states will meet in Paris and try to agree on measures to limit global warming to what may be a maximum of 2 degrees. The gap between reality and political efforts is depressing. The movie is, however, surprisingly enjoyable: it uses music by locals about the climate change, and beautiful natural pictures.
Once you see the people, their lives and their homes in places which will no longer exist if global warming continues at its current speed, it becomes clear: giving up – accepting that the cap on a 2 degree temperature rise is the best the global community can do – is not an option. At least not an option for those who currently live in and depend on those beautiful ecosystem which will then die. Rueanna Haynes, Trinidad and Tobago’s Permanent Representative to the UN, who attended the panel discussion after the movie premiere said that many people in the Caribbean do not know it is climate change which causes the increasing catastrophes from which they suffer. The movie aims at educating the locals – Western Europeans who know the facts and figures are not the primary target group.
In the bigger picture, the dying of coral reefs and mangroves harms all of us, even if we cannot see a direct link. Watching this movie has made me realise that climate change is not an topic exclusively reserved for academics and those out to save the world. At its very basic foundation, it is about empathy – imagining it is the football field where you played as a child which is flooded, it is your city centre where authorities pump out water from the streets, it is your family you fail to feed because there is no more fertile land to grow crops. By giving us music and words from real-life people, the team of makers behind the movie created a new way of story-telling. The kind of story-telling about a very technical topic that is central to creating an Alternative World.
The team behind the movie uploaded it on Youtube and asked everyone in the audience to share the movie with others. This post is my contribution to this. Enjoy the music, the fantastic images and the knowledge: