Friday, May 6, 2011

Experiential Journal: Learning from “Carbon Nation”

By John Clancey

In order to complete the experiential requirement of my class I attend a screening of the documentary “Carbon Nation.” The film, released in 2010, revolved around the increasingly prominent issue of climate change in today’s world; specifically to community-based energy solutions for lowering the carbon footprint.

Unlike other popular films on this topic, “Carbon Nation” did not revolve around negative information. Instead it makes a point to explain the situation as it stands, as well as offer inspiration to those who wish to make a difference. “Carbon Nation” is not a warning flag, it is a rally point.

Peter Byck, the film’s director, follows the stories of a few inspired individuals who have seen the need for renewable energy and fulfilled it though innovative means. Through a series of optimistic interviews with experts of various fields, it describes how we may meet the sixteen terawatts of energy the world consumes while reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

The individuals interviewed possessed not only a unique perspective on the current situation, but original ideas regarding its rectification. Wind power, solar power, even natural hot springs all proved effective as alternative energy sources.

Whether it was jobs brought on by new industry, help for a struggling small town economy, or even free energy for a town in Alaska, “Carbon Nation” demonstrates that every investment made into alternative energy has positive effects on communities.

Over all, the film was made very well and remained engaging throughout its two-hour run time. It pointed out ways that everyone can help reduce the pressures we exert on our environment. Through showing new means of alternate energy and simplistic methods of energy cost reduction, “Carbon Nation” sets an example for responsible eco stewardship.

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