While many of my peers most likely spent their spring break frolicking in the sun with reckless abandon on a beach somewhere, I did not.
I did, however, attend a screening of the 2009 documentary The Age of Stupid. Described by the Los Angeles Times as “An Inconvenient Truth, but with personality,” The Age of Stupid projects what the world will look like in 2055: desolate and apocalyptic. English actor Pete Postlethwaite portrays a man (is he the last in the world?? I don’t know) living in some sort of tower in the Arctic that houses all of humanity’s achievements (mainly art). He laments the stupidity of humans in letting their world be destroyed due to neglect of the environment by looking back at various videos from the present day.
The film was entertaining and well done, but at the same time, I left feeling that there was something to be desired. I’m not going to attempt to provide a comprehensive review or any sort of groundbreaking analysis, but there was something about the film that stuck with me.
I feel that The Age of Stupid did a good job of highlighting many of the environmental problems that, if left unchecked, could potentially lead to a scenario as presented in the film. However, perhaps it spent too much time focusing on the bad and not enough time focusing on positive things, such as what we can do to make a difference and try to remedy the problems. Sure, I understand this film is probably meant to inform those who aren’t as environmentally conscious in an entertaining manner, but either way, I’ve never been a fan of scare tactics. I definitely didn’t walk out of there feeling motivated to make a difference; in fact, it almost made me feel like asking “what’s the point in even trying?” Of course, that’s obviously not actually how I feel – I probably wouldn’t be writing for a sustainability themed blog if that were the case – but I imagine I’m not the only one who had that reaction.
There are plenty of environmental documentaries out there that expose and inform people of serious problems, and I think that’s great. I just wish there were a few more that focused on what we can do instead of focusing on fear mongering.