Why the slow action on global warming?

Lofty in ambitions as well as ambitions, Mountainfilm never disappoints. Photo/Jeremy Barron, Mountainfilm at Telluride.

Lofty in ambitions as well as ambitions, Mountainfilm never disappoints. Photo/Jeremy Barron, Mountainfilm at Telluride.

Telluride’s Moving Mountains Symposium to probe climate response

TELLURIDE, Colo. – With evidence continuing to mount in support of the theory of global warming, Mountainfilm in Telluride will focus on solutions at its Moving Mountains Symposium at the start of Memorial Day Weekend.

“This is the right theme for our symposium because climate change is at a critical historical juncture,” said Mountainfilm Festival Director David Holbrooke. “At this point, we may still be able to stop the worst impacts, but only if we work together and move quickly. The momentum is there, and the time is now. This symposium will set the stage briefly — explaining climate change — but then the real focus will be on what we all can do to turn down the heat.”

A variety of factors, from Superstorm Sandy to scorching temperatures across the U.S. to collapsing ice across the Arctic, have brought a renewed public attention to climate change. Many scientists believe that a reversal in the steady rise in global CO2 emissions can occur, but time is quickly running out before climate change spirals out of control.

Memorial day weekend in Telluride is always a time of exuberance.

Memorial day weekend in Telluride is always a time of exuberance.

Mountainfilm’s Moving Mountains Symposium will feature a variety of speakers, including scientists, activists and philosophers who will examine a variety of climate solutions.

Award-winning journalist John Hockenberry, who looked closely at climate change deniers for PBS”S “Frontline,” will host the symposium. Speakers include:

•Nobel Prize-winning scientist Terry Root, from Stanford University, who worked on the IPCC panel on climate change;

•Harvard scientist Daniel Nocera, a speaker at Mountainfilm’s symposium on energy in 2007, who has developed a revolutionary way to create energy by simulating photosynthesis;

• Jeff Goodell—another guest from 2007—who has written a book called “How to Cool the Planet,” which is about geo-engineering. When appearing in Telluride previously, he had just written “Big Coal,” a study of the power over public policy of coal mines and public utilities that burn coal.

* Auden Schendler, of the Aspen Ski Co., who will discuss the effects of climate change on the ski industry if and what measures he is recommending for people who make their living from snow; and

• Philosopher Kathleen Dean Moore who argues that we are at a “hinge point in history,” and who has edited a book called “Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril.”

Tim DeChristopher at Mountainfilm in 2010.

Tim DeChristopher at Mountainfilm in 2010.

Returning to Mountainfilm after serving time in federal prison will be activist Tim DeChristopher who will talk about how the American public needs to get more involved in this issue by using civil disobedience to put pressure on the federal government. DeChristopher, featured in the award-winning film, “Bidder 70,” will be making one of his first public appearances since serving time for disrupting a federal auction of oil and gas drilling rights on public land. He also appeared at Mountainfilm in 2010.

In addition to speakers, Mountainfilm’s symposium will offer a mix of short films and other media.

Holbrooke explained, “I want our audience to feel that they have never been to an event like this year’s symposium. It will be educational and entertaining but, most of all, I want it to motivate people to be part of the solution because there’s simply no time to lose.”


About Allen Best

Allen Best is a Colorado-based journalist. He publishes a subscription-based e-zine called Mountain Town News, portions of which are published on the website of the same name, and also writes for a variety of newspapers and magazines.
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