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challenges, but they’re not irreversible—if citizens can overcome apathy and mobilize. To inspire such momentum, Friday’s forum will screen The Wisdom to Survive: Climate Change, Capitalism & Community, an award-winning documentary that examines what keeps us from acting in the best interest of ourselves, the planet and the future. Heralded as a “stirring call to arms,” The Wisdom to Survive first screened in 2013 and has grown long legs in the documentary film world as the data gets more disturbing. The NOAA recently released a report that methane emissions from gas and oil production are as much as 60 percent higher than previously thought and now estimates that mid-century sea level rise may double its earlier predictions. “Turning this around is going to take fast action by people who are aware of the urgency of the matter and are willing to take radical steps,” says the film’s co-director John Ankele. “What we’ve discovered in screenings around the country is that the same question is raised over and over: what can people who aren’t in positions of power do?” The film clearly presents climate change as the crisis that it is, but its popularity has been in the empowerment of grassroots groups to tap into a global momentum while addressing the issue at the local level—and across agendas. “There is movement building around the world, what you’re seeing is the movements are connecting,” explains one of the film’s interviewees. “The environmental movement is connecting to the sustainable food justice movement. The food justice movement is connecting to the women’s movement. The women’s movement is connecting to the LGBTQ movement. So we cannot just simply look at these problems in silos.” The common thread for all of these groups is the survival of humanity on a planet where large swathes of coastal areas will become inhabitable over the next century. Collaboration is not only possible, but necessary.
“One of the things the film does is show how the pieces can come together to focus that power to make policy, or at least push policymakers to make climate change a priority concern,” reiterates Ankele. The 55-minute doc follows longtime climate change activists including journalist Bill McKibben, author Joanna Macy and biologist Roger Payne as they tirelessly educate and advocate while maintaining an unflagging hope for the future. “One of the things about this film that I feel is impressive is that all of these people are not giving up,” says Ankele. “When you hear these strong voices together, you realize there’s a lot being done—and that there’s a place for everyone, wherever you interests and energies lie.” That place can be found at Friday’s forum, where Kyler, environmental activist Steve Willis and others will explore possible long range strategies for Savannah, Brunswick and other coastal communities. While South Carolina and Florida have outlined policies, Georgia’s elected leaders, including Rep. Buddy Carter, continue to deny climate change as a factor in future economic growth and infrastructure projects. “Thirty-four states— and almost all coastal states—have a climate change action plan—but not Georgia,” says Kyler with disbelief. “We’re trying to make up for that lack of initiative at the state government level by doing it in the private sector.” In addition to rallying residents and consumers, local activists hope to bring insight and opportunity to the area’s business community about the flooding and other effects coming to the coast sooner or later. “We may not be able to stop climate change, but we’ve got to do as much as we can to find out,” declares Kyler. “Doing nothing isn’t really an option.” cs
“One of the things the film does is show how the pieces can come together to focus that power to make policy, or at least push policymakers to make climate change a priority concern...”
Wisdom to Survive screening @ Climate Change Forum
When: 5-7pm, Friday, Nov. 11 Where: Coastal Georgia Center, 205 Fahm St. Cost: Free, donations welcome Info: (912) 506-5088 or sustainablecoast.org
NOV 9-15, 2016