Ever since our early ancestors began walking upright and scanning the far horizon for danger, opportunity, or just a change of scenery, vision has been our most highly developed sense. Now, in the modern age, a household in the US is more likely to have a TV than a telephone, or even functional plumbing. Nearly half of all children have a TV in their bedroom, and everywhere advertisers seek to gain our attention by using images, bright colors and visual cues to manipulate our thoughts and feelings in order to buy into the belief system that sells their product.
This year, the ADP is using this powerful tool by bringing the Wild & Scenic Film Festival to Pittsburgh as part of our efforts to increase awareness and action around climate change. The one-day event will be held at the Phipps Conservatory, sometime in the fall. The exact date is yet to be determined and will be announced on our events calendar. The event is made possible with support from Heartwood and the local Sierra Club group.
Seeing creates awareness.
Images, like windmills in a truck commercial, familiarize people with the new technology. When they hear about alternative power sources, images of windmills won’t be new and may just come to mind.
Violent movies make it seem okay to carry out real live massacres, which in turn creates a catalyst for addressing gun control problems. Children imitate what they see on TV as they learn what is acceptable social behavior, just as they do from their parents and other role models. The imprinting of visuals is a powerful tool for bringing a concept into the mainstream. Why not inspire people with visual imagery that evokes constructive activism that helps to protect our environment? YERT did it, Gasland did it, Triple Divide did it!
“Triple Divide [ is a film that ] uncovers how the state's most protected forested watersheds are being handled by the state's Department of Environmental Protection. Repeat offenders are permitted to break laws and pollute without fine, and the state is using “compliance” to avoid enforcing the law. Our most precious natural resources are not being protected, and the political will doesn’t exist to do so. It’s up to citizens to demand that it be done,” said film maker Melissa Troutman.
When we see forests devastated by mining, or communities wrecked by crazy weather patterns, or dry land where glaciers existed 20 years ago, we can bet that seeing is believing. And believing truths is the fuel for action.
Change can be brought about by seeing healthy propaganda.
Being chained to the gate of a forest that is slated for clear cutting to drive home the impending doom is one way to get these issues into the mainstream media. But, we can promote the earth through visually stimulating information via the ﬂat screen, smart phone or monitor! Through tools like Public Access Cable, YouTube, and other free media outlets, we can create and project the reality that needs to be shared if our society is going to come to grips with the realities of climate change. The effects that global warming has on every living being should not be buried in exclusive in-the-know pockets of the corporations that control media programming. It needs exposure, it needs its own TV channel, it needs to be knowledge that is integrated within our culture so that it becomes second nature. Elizabeth Edelstein is the administrative coordinator for Diagnostic Energy Auditors of Western PA . She has a BFA in Sculpture and Printmaking and a Masters in Interior Architecture.