Aussie attitudes annoy climate filmmaker
The director of a new film about climate change says Australians should be up in arms at the government's "pathetic" efforts to tackle the issue.
Franny Armstrong's film The Age of Stupid is told from the perspective of an archivist living in the year 2055 who looks back on why humankind failed to address climate change and save itself.
Armstrong, 35, is in Australia to promote the movie and said she had been amazed by the lack of debate, progress and public understanding of climate change here.
"What's come through to the UK is that you've had all these climate impacts - the fires and the droughts - and then the new guy (Kevin Rudd) came and he signed Kyoto and it's all positive - and that's really not correct at all," Armstrong told AAP.
"I have to say the state of your politics is a little bit depressing here. It's like being back in the 1980s climate change-wise."
The Age of Stupid was screened to 150 people at Parliament House in Canberra this week, where Armstrong met and talked with politicians, but failed to secure a meeting with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
The film states that countries like Australia need to cut their emissions by 40 per cent by 2020 to have a 50/50 chance of preventing the temperature from raising by two degrees and causing irreversible damage.
Armstrong said unless the Australian government commits to the 40 per cent cuts, it was giving us a less than 50 per cent chance of survival.
"Imagine if they were saying, 'ok Australian people, line up and get on this plane. It's got a less than 50 per cent chance, on you get'," Armstrong said.
"Nobody would get on. But we're all on that plane and I can't believe the Australian people are not up in arms.
"Why the hell is that?"
The Age of Stupid stars Pete Postlethwaite and uses a combination of documentary, drama and animation to engage audiences.
The film interweaves six global stories, based around themes like war for resources, even increasing consumption, and alternative energy.
While An Inconvenient Truth deals with the science of climate change, The Age of Stupid looks at the human impact and moral questions.
Made with a production budget of just STG450,000 ($A900,900) which was invested by members of the public, the film has been screened at the UK Parliament, the EU, Scottish, Welsh, Swedish and Dutch parliaments, as well as the World Bank, the UN, and the Global Humanitarian Forum hosted by Kofi Annan.
Armstrong said the carbon emissions required to fly to Australia to promote the film were worth it if the film educated and inspired people to take action.
"The UK politicians are saying to me, if we make a deal as strong as the science says is necessary, we would get kicked out in the next election," she said.
"So that's the public's role, to say yes we want that law, yes we're ready for it, we appreciate we're going to have changes, but that's what we want."