Today in class we watched a video called “The 11th Hour.” The film called for drastic changes to take place in order to preserve the environment–and our place in it. By juxtaposing an array of scientific testimony, personal opinion, and shots of our world, this movie created a compelling argument for environmentalism. One of the main points of the film was that in order to enact meaningful environmental change, society’s priorities will have to change on a fundamental level. Currently, people consume things because they are filling a void–one that used to be filled by nature, and the beauty of the world.
One quote from the film really stood out to me-“You can never have too much of something you don’t want.” This felt like a very apt descriptor for American society. I know so many people who feel overwhelmed by how much they own, yet seem powerless to do anything about it. I am the same way–I often feel so attached to my possessions, even while desperately wishing I had less. If consumption patterns would change, and people would place their value on what truly matters, so many sustainability problems would become simple to solve. The current strain on our energy resources could be considerably lightened if the constant demand for unnecessary goods let up. A shift in priorities would be the first step in repairing the damage we, as humans, have done to the Earth.
“The 11th Hour” was effective to me because it juxtaposed personal human testimony with sweeping imagery of our planet. The film showed the beauty and diversity of nature, all the while reminding the viewer that this nature is in danger. It was fatalistic at times, but still provided solutions for the problems we now face. Although these solutions require participation on a large scale, they do not seem impossible. Although it is very late to begin correcting what we’ve done, it’s not impossible, and I think the movie adequately conveyed this.