Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Gaia Film Festival reflections

Spent the weekend helping out at the Gaia Film Festival in Boulder. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun also. I also had the good fortune to see some pretty great movies. On Friday, we watched the short film, Sacred Water, followed by Water, a movie about the properties of water, including the chemical properties, but water possesses qualities far beyond its chemical composition of H20, including the idea that not only can water be influenced by our thoughts and emotions, but also that water has memory. It was an interesting film, and I’m looking forward to getting it on dvd.

The movie that had the most impact on me, however, was Fields of Fuel, which I firmly believe has the potential to have an impact similar to An Inconvenient Truth. I have already made the decision to contact Subaru of America about the possibility of importing a Subaru Boxer diesel engine from Europe and putting it into my Forester if at all possible, then instead of using petroleum based regular diesel fuel, switching to biodiesel. I emailed Subaru and got a response that they are looking to bring the diesel Subaru to the United States in the next few years, but that’s not fast enough for me. I am completely sickened and fed up with the oil industry, and if it is at all possible, both logistically and financially, to get a boxer diesel in my car by summer’s end, I’m going to do it. I’m going to be calling Subaru this week and try to further explore my options.

The movie itself was well done. It addressed the issue of food vs. fuel, and included information that biofuels can and should be made from more than one source, including micro-algae. The movie looked at the issue from the progressive environmental piece, as one might expect, but also addressed the issue of national security and the dangers of our reliance on foreign oil, especially in regards to our importing oil from the Middle East. I found myself touched by the impact that petrochemicals have had on the people who live near its processing areas to outraged over the abuses that the petrochemical industry has inflicted on the American people for the past 100+ years. Overall, an excellent film. I will definitely own it on dvd when it is released, and will likely by the 45 minute educational version once it is released as well in order to share it with my colleagues.

The man responsible for Fields of Fuel, Josh Tickell, was in attendance at the festival, so I got to meet him, which was pretty cool. (That’s who is standing next to me in the picture.) He was very personable, and you could tell that he takes this issue seriously, and with a passion that is infectious. I only was able to talk with him for a few minutes, but really enjoyed our conversation.

I also had the pleasure of hearing Peter Russell speak on Sunday night. He had some really interesting things to say about what he sees as our potential future on this planet, and I definitely want to pick up some of his books and likely a few of his movies as well. I particularly am drawn to his book The Global Brain, which has also been made into a movie, and while I’ve never read the book or seen the movie, I have added the book to my reading list… well, right now it’s on my “track this down and get it” list, but once I do get it, it goes on the “get cracking and read these books” shelf. (Okay, I admit, it’s actually the “get cracking and read these books” shelves, but you get the point.)

I’m really looking forward to next year’s festival. Kyle, Blake, and I have already decided that we want to be involved in it again next year. We had a great time and met some great people. Next: helping out with the Boulder Adventure Film Festival in November!

(Cross posted to http://tmphaedrus.gaia.com/blog)

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