“The age of stupid” is a documentary that focuses on the evolution of climate changes on earth until 2055, when supposedly, the earth is destroyed.
The film begins by showing images of the earth from 2055, so it can be seen that Sydney is burning, London is flooded, the Alps have no more snow and Las Vegas is swallowed by the desert, all of these being effects of the catastrophic climate changes.
In order to explain these facts and how the climate changed in the manner that everything got destroyed until that year, the documentary starts by putting the main actor Pete Postlethwaite in the center, he being the one that explains with facts and proves how the earth came to this result.
In this film, Pete Postlethwaite plays the role of an archivist entrusted to guard the last remaining materials form the dead earth. He lives in a lighthouse, of some sort, in the middle of the Artic, named The Global Archive. This lighthouse holds the remaining work of arts of the world, two of each species of animals kept in formal and every book, every movie and every scientific report ever made.
The documentary enters in the main idea when the main actor decided to look upon some stories from the archive. All of these stories are actually interviews with real people, none of them being directed or adulterated.
In the film there are six stories of different people, from different parts of the world, all of the stories leading to a single idea, the devastating end that will come in 2055.
“We could have saved ourselves, but we didn’t. It’s amazing. What state of mind where we in to face extinction and simply shrug it off”
The first story is of Jeh Wadia, a rich heir, which lives in Mumbai and tries to fulfill his long life dream to build an Indian aircraft company as large as the ones from USA or Europe. He doesn’t take in consideration the large emission of CO2 and the fact that he is building something that will cause the planet harm, but only on the fact that the airline he designs will improve the quality of life for the Indian society.
Another story is of Alvin DuVernay, from New Orleans, a paleontologist working for Shell Company, a company that is extracting oil from all over the world. Paradoxically, he is a person that cares about the environment and he is also known by a hero in New Orleans, managing to save almost 100 people after the hurricane Katrina.
Another case is of Layefa Malemi, a Nigerian 23 old girl, living in poverty in a small village adulterated by Shell oil extractions. She explains the severe damages that occurred in her village and the neighborhood villages from the oil exploitation like polluted water, undrinkable, polluted air and soli, all of these causing diseases and deaths in that area. She says that all the money from the oil goes to the government that doesn’t do anything to help them and that she dreams of becoming a doctor in order to help the people from her village, but she has no money for that so she has to work as a diesel distributer in the black market.
Piers Guy is an environmentalist. He works as wind-farm developer and is trying to convince people to build wind-farms on their land. He is very discouraged when he sees that people don’t care about the benefits of wind turbines, rather they would like for their land to look esthetic, being that a wind-farm is unappealing to the eye.
The story of Fernand Pareau is a live demonstration of the climate change. This 82 year old man is the oldest mountain guide that works in the France Alps. Among his career he witness the alpine glaciers melting by 150 meters and also the pollution caused by the trucks that carry goods on the roads from the bottom of the Alps.
A more touching story is the one of Jamila Bayyoud, an Iraqi refugee living on the streets of Jordan. She with her brothers witnessed the death of their father and the destruction of their home during the US invasion in 2003. Their dream is to go back to Iraqi, but when it will be better and when it will be no more war.
The conclusion main problem in the world that link all of these stories together is the “oil war”. Pollution caused by the extraction of oil, war started because a land that has oil and so on.
The main idea in not the problem of the oil extraction, but the fact that we need so much oil for all our day to day activities. If we could not live without oil maybe we can reduce some other polluting activities, but as it is showed in the film, people are far to commode with the way that they live in order to make a change.
It is showed that if most of the people are living “the good life” they are bound to ignore what is happening around them and this state is relevant mostly for USA and Europe. The main problem is consumerism, and so we are destroying the earth.
“Lots of ideas have tried to take over the world (communism, fascism, religion, scientology, democracy) but there is only one winner (consumerism). 3000 ads bombard us every day telling us that we will be happier, more attractive and with better skin if only we buy their product. To get there they create the incentive of insatiable desire to buy more and more stuff…If all 6.5 million people here on earth consume like the European and the Japanese we would need two more planets worth of resources, if everyone would consume as the Americans, the Australian or the Canadians we would need another four”
The depth in which this documentary is formed can make all of us realize the state in which we are but, if we don’t care for others from other continents, or that we are using and spoiling most of the resources, and all we care is to have it all we will lose the planet, not for us but for our children children.
As seen in this film, all of the used earth resources and the methods we use to get to them are harming the environment in such manner that the clime will change and little by little the earth will be destroyed. In 2009, when the documentary was made, it already started, and now in 2013 is continuing without any change.
I think this documentary is a wakeup call for everyone on this planet and seeing it makes me thinking of making a change, but a single person is not enough, we all need to take in consideration the effects our mass consumerism has over the world.
“I think that everyone from the future will blame us for not thinking to protect the environment. We knew how to profit but not how to protect”