Back in April a few of us went to see this film by the makers of the McLibel documentary. In a similar vein, The Age of Stupid tells the story of human kind looking back on itself from the future (2055) and asking how we could have saved ourselves from a climate apocalypse. Its an insightful documentary, which really emphasises the critical crossroads that we are at - in how blinkered our society is to the damage that is being done by a small percentage of the worlds population to the world, and our inability to believe that there is a real problem. I'm sure there will be a lot of debate by climate change experts, climate change non-believers, etc ... but the really provocative moment for me was the live Q&A session after the film. Having been shocked into the urgency of the need for pro-active change in our consumption patterns, the post film momentum launched straight into a cornering of Ed Miliband, putting pressure squarely at his doorstep and his actions at the Copenhagen Summit in December - seen by many as the seminal moment in the future of climate change. And beyond the content of the film, the way in which it was financed and launched is another fine example of the micro massive. The film was made possible through a combination of volunteering and crowd funding that ranged from small donations through to larger investments with a share of profits in return. The launch of the film was organised as a People's Premiere with screenings simultaneously held at over 60 cinema's across the UK, with a solar powered link up to the premiere in Leicester Square. Basically - the film would not have been feasible without the involvement of the crowd.
For me, the film surfaced many questions about the role of the individual - how disempowered many of us feel from being active citizens. And at what point do we stand up and become accountable for our actions. What will it take to shake us from our apathy?
Well - yesterday, the team Stupid launched the 10:10 campaign at the Tate Modern, that asks individuals and institutions to vow to cut their carbon footprints by 10% with the hope of creating enouogh mass momentum to be able to challenge the UK government to make the same commitment. Supported by everyone from Stella McCartney, Ken Livingstone and Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall to the RSA, NHS Hospitals and energy company Eon, there will be the inevitable critics out there who will debate the affect of a single persons actions - but as we are seeing more and more, it is the collective action of many individuals coming together that is the solution - a solution made from simple everyday actions. Its not complicated.