“11th Hour” – Film and Panel Discussion

Earth, Film, Movies | | September 11, 2007 at 08:10

11thhr.jpgI went to 11th hour with a certain sense of dread. It was a film that was going to reiterate a lot that I already knew, expose more and generally leave me slightly depressed. I was most pleasantly surprised. Using a format similar to "The Secret," with cameo interviews by shakers and movers of the environmental movement, interspersed with sometimes beautiful and often disturbing images of Mother Earth, Leo DiCaprio‘s work managed to imbue a dire sense of urgency with an optimism that if we all do something NOW, it may not be too late. And by too late, we’re not really talking about the planet, which is vaguely understood as being able to recover from almost anything, but about the future – or lack thereof – of our species humankind itself. Having grown up in the Cold War with grade school drills cowering under desks in mock nuclear attack, I have already lived through one period of "We are on the verge of destroying ourselves," and don’t relish the thought of another big black cloud looming our our heads. But just as the danger of nuclear extermination was acutely real in the 50s (and not really gone away, let’s admit), so is this peril of irreversible climate change something to be taken very very seriously. This is a film that should be seen by everyone, but most likely will not be seen by those who need to see it most. But at least last night at Suncoast, at the special screening arranged by the Laswarner.jpg Vegas Global Affairs Council and Warner Entertainment, there was an audience paying attention and looking for ways to make a difference on both an individual and societal level. The panel discussion with Q&A was revealing in how far we have to go in Las Vegas to approach sustainability, but hopeful in the fact there is a movement afoot not only to bring awareness to the population of the necessity and desirability of change of consciousness, but also that there is real activity and measurable progress. Star of the evening was Pat Mulroy, visionary of the Las Vegas Valley Water District and the Southern Nevada Water Authority. Here is a lady who knows her stuff, is on a mission to save our Valley (at minimum) and has an action plan with real teeth. But I don’t want to leave out the other panelists who are all alive, well and active in substantive change in our environmental awarenessChris Edwards of the NV Conservation League, Mark Stone of the Desert Research Institute and Eric Dominguez of Harrah’s Energy & Environmental Services Division. A gambling establishment with a social conscious? There just might be hope for the future after all! Nate Tannenbaum, TV celebrity Weathercaster, did a good job of moderating. He kept a sense of humor and a certain levity to the discussion which could easily have descended to dark levels. Without hope we have nothing and we lose the desire to even try. We are at the 11th hour, which means not that it is time to give up, but time to start doing something. lvwaclogo.JPGThanks again to the Las Vegas World Affairs Council and the herculean efforts of Ben Ducheck for spearheading another stimulating and intelligent evening. If you have not attended a LVWAC event, you need to. The variety of the programs means that there has got to be something that catches your interest. And if there isn’t, well, shame on you. Related China Town Hall: US-China Military Relations, LVWAC Downtown Presidential Series, Future of Space Program Dinner, Las Vegas World Affairs Council, Saving Our Planet, UNLV Free Lecture Series – Climate & Future, Grand Opening of Springs Preserve