Friday, March 25, 2011

The Hummingbird and the Elephant

This year, Shawn Bingham and I organized USF's environmental film series.  We showed six movies including one we showed last night, Dirt.  The movie focuses on the significance of soils and sediments to the environment, food production, building, and our souls.

However, the best part of the movie had very little to do about dirt. 

Those of us who teach about environmental issues often hear from students who are disheartened by what they learn.  They find environmental problems such as pollution, global warming, or energy production too overwhelming. 

My response to them is to try to do what they can and support others who are doing good things.  But, like many who are overwhelmed, they can become inactive or uncaring due to the magnitude of the issues.

I’ve always struggled with how best to handle this issue.  I am lucky.  I was born on a sunny day and very little brings me down.  I see environmental problems, and my brain moves to solutions.  For others, they see environmental problems and they see destruction and hopelessness.

The movie Dirt addresses this issue directly in a charming sequence that contains animation along with discussion by Noble Peace Prize winner, Wangari Maathai.  Take a look at it.  What do you think?  Are you a hummingbird or an elephant?

1 comment:

LynneG said...

Love the clip! I agree that students may find this far more useful than lots of calls to action that they hear.