Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Wildscreen Volunteering Uncut: Day 4


Watershed Cinema 2 runs screenings of nominated films daily during the Wildscreen Film Festival.

"Can We Save Planet Earth?", nominee for the Earth Science Award, is a fantastic film about the future of our planet. It includes an amazing guide to a possible solution to climate change. "Can We Save Planet Earth?" just missed the deadline for entries to the 2006 Panda awards; lets hope their message is still in the front of our minds enough for them to take a Panda home. It should be noted that "Can We Save Planet Earth?" might be better suited to the Natural History Museum Environment Award, but with so many great entries competition is fierce!

"The Wolfman"
was nominated for the Five Award For Popular Broadcast. This features Sean, a British wolf enthusiast who has gone so far in his attempts to understand wolf behaviour that he has brought up and lived with three wolves, learnt their language and become integrated into their pack. This astounding story follows their way of life, and how the pack dynamics change when Sean must go away for a while. A definite must see!

The afternoon's debate "Too Little, Too Late?" saw Sir David Attenborough and the legendary Gaia theorist James Lovelock on panel with John Hanke (Director of Google Earth and Google maps) and HRH Prince Carlos de Bourbon de Parme. Queues for this event spread the length of the watershed but fortunately all were able to find a seat.

James Lovelock debates whether our impact on climate change has gone too far...

The debate? Whether our impact on the planet is irreparable. David Attenborough made the point that this question is dependent upon how we define "far" in that we may be able to change our ways in time to save 25% of the species on the road to extinction but greater percentages are out of reach. James Lovelock, whom many might expect to predict serious doom stated that he does have hope for the next few decades but they won't be easy.
All agree that the nature of our planet's future is dependent wholly upon our actions from now and that immediate action is the key. No one has all the answers but so long as wildlife imagery and tools like Google Earth can make the issues known to the public, the politicians can not escape their responsibilities.
John Hanke demonstrates the astounding uses of Google Earth in conservation
John Hanke emphasized that with ever-improving technology and exponential increases in access to information, the public are able to do what NGOs have been doing for years, and are able to discover environmental truths for themselves in order to make politicians accountable.

A fantastic debate and a brilliant day!


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