Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Leonardo DiCaprio Presents The 11th Hour

I'm The King of the World

I guess we can attest that the local weather of late has gone bonkers. More often than note, we have incredibly hot and humid weather with bright sunshine one half of the day, before the skies turn grey and piss heavily on us. We've seen even more occurences of water spouts emerging just off our shore, and we've done the boogie when neighbouring countries suffer jolts in the earth, from which we will feel tremors enough for us to abandon our high rise buildings. While we're relatively buffered from direct adverse weather effects, not a day goes by without reading or knowing about strange weather phenomenon from around the world.

The Earth is dying, and nature is taking its revenge on us for plundering her lands and exploiting her resources in a wasteful manner. The signs are out there, but we'd rather be oblivious to them. And Al Gore, after his attempt to ascend the White House, has gone back to his pet subject, and evangelized about saving the earth through his very slick package, which was given a cinematic life by Davis Guggenheim with An Inconvenient Truth. A call to action, I don't deny that I've started to pay a little more attention to it, and though my effort can be considered minuscule, I suppose it's but a start.

Leonardo DiCaprio lends his star power to The 11th Hour, which he produced and narrates, but unlike Al Gore who can be considered a subject matter expert in his own right, given his years of devotion to this topic, DiCaprio realizes his deficiency in this area, and smartly takes a backseat by just narrating a very small portion of the movie, leaving most of the talk to true experts who can properly articulate and appeal to our common senses. In that respect, The 11th Hour provided a much more diverse perspective of the entire situation, from the micro to the much bigger picture of the entire ecosystem, and the various views, philosophies and schools of thought.

Arguments come fast and furious, with content ranging from discussions of fossil fuels, global warming, an interesting articulation of present and ancient power sources, and the astonishing rate of our population boom vis-a-vis the ability of the planet to sustain life, not just ours, but every other species on the planet which will depend on our (mis)management of common resource. The 11th hour contains a very compelling look, not just at the environment as a standalone, but turns the spotlight on us as its inhabitants as well. We get bombarded from all directions with opinions, and statements of an impending apocalypse of our own doing, and I assure you if you're not frightened by the Revelation, I don't know what will.

It's not just slick Keynote presentation which Gore's material is utilizing to bring the message across (and a very effective one I might add), and we also get the usual stock videos of hurricanes and well referenced clips of the melting polar caps. It's unfair to compare Inconvenient Truth to 11th Hour, as both have used different styles to bring across the same message - that the fate of the world, and of course, our survival as a species, is very much dependent on what we do now to effect a change. The Earth is renewable and can self-heal given an immense amount of time, but we have but one chance to make things right, for ourselves.

But before you think of this documentary as just being another harbinger of doom and gloom, The 11th Hour does end off on a very hopeful note, just like how An Inconvenient Truth did. Here, it focused on renewable and recyclable methodologies which we might have already come across, albeit in a small, niche way yet to convince mega corporations to adopt. Perhaps with time, when feasibility is demonstrated, they would, and that's when we need to wean ourselves off the reliance of oil, which are hitting record prices per barrel, and arguably the cause of unnecessary war. The new building designs look awesome, especialy with the incorporation of green technologies, adopted no less from the learning of how organisms operate. Think of it as adapting the best practices from species and the natural environment, and fusing it with our modern day technology and designs.

The 11th Hour is a must watch, not only for enlightenment purposes, but rather for a call to action once the lights come on. Again we need to be reminded on how much we can do, and to actually do it. Last year we listened to An Inconvenient Truth, and now, The 11th Hour brings forth that sense of urgency to do much more.

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