10:10 storms Parliament

Location | Mood | Date 21 October 2009
Author (full name): 
Franny Armstrong
21 October 2009


Big news first....

10:10 storms Parliament

At 4.15pm today, the UK politicians will vote on whether the House of Commons, the House of Lords, all Government Departments, all local councils, all schools, all hospitals, all prisons and even the Army must sign up to our 10:10 campaign and cut their emissions by 10% next year. A YES vote would clearly be fantastic news, not just for the carbon dioxide which wouldn't be pumped into the atmosphere, but also because it would be the most significant short-term emissions cutting program ever introduced anywhere in the world. (Sorry Maldives, but your ten-years-to-go-carbon-neutral is looking positively long-term.....). And with less than 50 days till Copenhagen, a bold move from a rich country is desperately needed to break the deadlock in the international negotiations.

About 5,500 people have so far contacted their MP asking them to vote YES, which is a moderately convincing number for such things, but we really need to double that in the next few hours or they'll conclude that nobody much cares. So if you live in the UK, go to this website - http://38degrees.org.uk/get-parliament-to-vote-1010  -  and zap off a quick email to your MP. There's only a few hours left, so pretty please do it straight away and then bug everyone near you at work/college/baby yoga/prison to do the same. If you're not in the UK, please send the link to any UK friends and if you're a Twitterer, here's a sample tweet: Parliament is voting on whether to join #1010 today. Please ask your MP to be Not Stupid & vote YES: http://retwt.me/ZzbD

Meanwhile, in other news...

Yes Men storm Fox

Speaking of voting YES, our friends who never say no have been up to their tricks again. This time they dressed up as official spokespeople from the Chamber of Commerce (though would the real versions have worn 10:10 tags?) and announced a U-turn in official climate policy... only to find their fake press conference then hijacked by a real spokesperson, who had somehow snuck in the back. Anyway, it was all enough to fool Fox News, who merrily broadcast the fake announcement and then had to retract it live on air.

Stupid storms schools

Anthony Horowitz and I are going to be launching ActionAid's brilliant School Resource Pack - "Stupid Or Not? - A new multimedia resource on climate change for learners aged 12+ supporting geography, science, citizenship and film studies" - on Tuesday 27th October at 4pm at the Guardian office in Kings Cross. If you'd like to blag a place for the festivities, email jenna.downes@actionaid.org.uk or, if you are a school, you can order the pack from ActionAid. But looks like the first 1,000 free copies have already been snapped up.

Stupid storms TV schedules

Our indomitable sales agents, Celluloid Dreams, are busy surfing the success of the Global Premiere and finalising as many TV broadcasts as possible on or before Copenhagen ("Yes you did hear that right, the production company will take a reduced fee if you can confirm that the broadcast will be before Copenhagen.... What's Copenhagen? Er, aren't you the national broadcaster??"). Will send details as soon as we have them.

4227 storms in 170 countries

Busy this weekend? There are now a quite astounding 4227 climate change actions/events/screenings happenings happening in 170 countries this Saturday for the International Day of Climate Action. The map of them all has to be seen to be believed....  There are plenty of Stupid screenings happening all over the place as part of the fun and there's still time to organise your own should you be so moved.

Stupid storms Turkey and doesn't storm Middle East

Lovin' this Turkish Stupid website that someone's set up (it probably says the film is rubbish, but oh well). And we weren't too fussed about coming second at the Middle East International Film Festival, until we found out what the prize for coming first was.....

That's about it from Stupid Towers. Please do write to your MP and a couple of heart-warmers below for some late October inspiration.

See you,

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Letter from Indonesia: 700 people + the rain tamer

This past Saturday, the GCCA Indonesia (GP, WWF and Oxfam), in cooperation with ITDP (Institute for Transport Development Policy) and Green Radio finally held the long awaited Premiere screening of the Age of Stupid.

In order to reduce our carbon footprint and reminiscent of old fashioned open air screenings, back in the day a popular Indonesian past time, it was an open air screening at the Proclamation Monument, in Central Jakarta. The Jakarta rainy season usually hits off in November so we felt comfortable enough to give this a go. Just to be on the safe side, in line with another good Indonesian tradition, we had consulted a so-called rain tamer. Besides, it was a beautiful day, by late afternoon there was not a cloud in the sky. All our worries of rain were gone...

Besides the screening there were various side activities. ITDP had donated 3 folding bicycles to us, produced by students from the University of Indonesia, two of which we would auction and one of which we would give away as doorprice. We had prepared questionnaires about the film, which we distributed to the audience. All participants filling in and returning the questionnaire to us had the chance of winning the doorprice. All throughout the program, quiz questions on climate change and energy efficiency were shot at the audience, who could win goodie bags with merchandise and materials from participant organisations.

The day started at 2 pm with a Green Bazar, where a wide variety of environmental groups and communities, with animal rights, green schools, recylced paper products, comics and organic food, sold and promoted their products and activities. Greenpeace and WWF also had fundraising stands at the location.

The Depok Orchestra made up of young buskers, played at 4 o'clock, followed by a (rather long) speech by a representative of the city council's environmental dept. The planned Green Carpet reception had to be adjusted as only 4 of around 14 confirmed artists and celebrities showed up, but was still worthwhile as they arrived on bicylcle, escorted by a group of cyclists, made up of volunteers and members of the Bike 2 Work community. MCs Malika and ZAki from Green Radio did a fantastic job keeping the audience entertained and adapting at all last minute changes in the schedule.

After 5pm, 3 prominent speakers with interesting perspectives on climate change from  their respective angles (science,  grassroots and cinema) held a discussion which was well attended from start to finish. Acapella band Jamaice Cafe played for the next 30 minutes drawing lots of people to the stage, many of whom were dancing. Before the screening at 7 the MCs and Rully from Oxfam gave an introduction to the film and the GCCA.

At this point, around 700 people had assembled in front of the screen. Not only was the number impressive and did the audience, as we had aimed for, consist of all walks of life, once the movie started people were nailed to their chairs or the floor.... While the Age of Stupid was still highlighting global inequality and the 'resource curse', a chilling wind started to blow over the venue. We started frantically discussing what to do in case it started to rain, when sounds of thunder roared from afar, and 5 minutes later it started to pour. We are not talking drizzle, this was a full on shower, with thunder, lightning, the works. Equipment had to be turned off immediately and carried away. Viewers ran away looking for shelter and those seated were stuck under a tent roof for the next half hour. I don't need to explain our disappointment. Only halfway through the film, no bicycle auction, no doorprice and everyone soaking wet. The rain tamer failed.. It must be hard being a rain tamer in times of unpredictable weather conditions... Obviously, rain halfway through the movie was one of the worst things that could've happened, but I am happy to say that we were all in good spirits. The event was overall a huge success. The atmosphere was good. Many people came and were enthusiastic. Not even a rain tamer could have predicted what was waiting for us at a quarter to eight pm...

best, Tessa

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Letter from a viewer in Australia

[The Age of Stupid] had a profound effect on me and I have been a bit of a basket-case ever since.
Aside from being on the verge of tears for the past 16 hours, I had a shocking sleep, cracked the shits at T for no reason at all, almost had a panic-attack when I realised I didn't know how to turn off the outside sensor-light and despite not being a particularly materialistic person, have been over-analysing practically every purchase and questioning every major decision I've made for the past 10 years.
- Why am I doing this stupid meaningless job?
- Why did I choose journalism and marketing when I could have studied sustainability or environmental management?
- Why the hell did I vote for Labour and not the Greens?
- How much greenhouse gas have the 50 (or so) flights that I've taken emitted?
- What do I have all this crap at home for?
- Who do I know of political influence that would actually listen to me about this?
Added to which I feel absolutely devastated about the guilt attached with flying now. Travelling is what's given my life meaning and made me the person that I am today. I have a holiday booked to Vietnam and another three booked in my head to Japan, South America and the South Pacific. It's a shitty feeling.
I was sitting there last night listening to you talk and ask if anyone wants to help and I couldn't say anything. I DO want to help, but I think I need to make some changes in my own life first.
So I've made some decisions;
1. I have ordered an Age of Stupid DVD and donated to the film cause on the website
2. I'm going to talk everyone I know into watching the doco and try to organise a screening somewhere. I have a massive family and a huge circle of friends, many of who are mad activists and humanitarians so I reckon if I can get them on board they will spread the word.
3. Tonight is my last night eating beef, which is going to be horrible because I'm a complete carnivore. But I'm going to slowly cut out other forms of meat and dairy - in a few months it'll be pork, and then chicken. (I don't know about roo or goat yet)
4. T and I are going to majorly invest in eco-friendly technology when we buy a house and we don't care how expensive it's going to be. T is researching wind-turbine kits, I'm researching worm-farms, we're buying 2 tanks and a solar panel. Hopefully we can make our house carbon neutral.
5. I am going to write to Penny Wong and SA Minister for Environment and Conservation Jay Weatherill every week up until Copenhagen
I don't know if I'm doing all this because I actually think it will make a difference, or to make myself feel better about the whole situation but I have to start somewhere. So thanks again. I really respect what you're doing and you sure as hell have converted someone.