How not the be “the Age of Stupid”.
Monday 12th October saw a showing of the “Age of Stupid” in Stafford. This was shown by Transition Town Stafford as the first film in their Climate Change awareness film season.

It is the first time many of the audience had seen the film. It is a hard hitting film set in the future. It is a record of why we ignored the threats of climate change and did not act to protect out world.

The archivist, Pete Postlethwaite, chooses random clips from the vast film archive. He is seeking the answer to the question “why did we ignore the obvious signs, why did we fail to act?” The problem is a simple one. Our actions now, the carbon we are putting into the atmosphere now will have an effect which will not be fully felt for another 30 years.

The actor pinpoints a very important statistic. Only 1% of scientists have any doubt that we are causing climate change, but because of the difficulties in explaining the science clearly enough 60% of ordinary people do not yet see the problem.

People find it difficult to grasp that emissions of a gas that they cannot see, can make the world an impossible place for our children and grandchildren. The actor also points to the flaws in our electoral system. Politicians have to face elections, and this means they are generally geared to offering what we want now, rather than confronting us with the many difficult choices we should make to benefit out children and grandchildren.

The film shows a film clip of the moment in time where we are right now. It talks about the build up to the Summit which is happening this November in Copenhagen, and the decisions we need our politicians to be taking on our behalf. It says that one of the most important things we as individuals can do is to demonstrate clearly and forcefully that we want the politicians to take the action needed to safeguard the planet.

Transition Town Stafford – who showed this film, are also part of the team organising the Stafford event for the International Day of Action which takes place on 24th October. This is a Rally in Stafford Town Square, beginning at around 10am when people can help build a message tree, and chalk the “Road to Copenhagen” and carrying on until around The Rally will include speakers including David Kidney MP, speaking as minister for the Department of Environment and Climate Change, and other local politicians. Musicians, Dancers, and informal speakers are also invited to take part. There is also a Road to Copenhagen information event in the Church Lane Church Hall, with a talk by David Kidney at 12.30 to explain more about why we need the Copenhagen summit to work. This event will give lots of information about the action individuals can take to help cut their own carbon emissions.

Scientists understand a lot about what needs to be done. The majority of politicians of all parties now see this too, – but know that they have to bring the public along with them. The technology to help us fight climate change is developing very rapidly and is now being supported by a wide range of government initiatives, so we can win this!

We have an important chance here in Stafford to come out and be part of the Rally on 24th October. This will help to show our politicians that we are prepared to accept a little short term inconvenience in order to safeguard the world for our children.

The following clip is the new climate change ad. It may help to show more people that action is needed now.