By Andrea Bilton
After a nationwide screening of “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” Hofstra students were given the opportunity to view a live Q&A with environmental activist and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. The film follows Gore as he explores international climate policy and asserts the claim that the dangers of climate change can be overcome by human ambition.
Hosted by Hofstra’s Sustainability Club, the event gave students an opportunity to view a live webcast of Gore answering questions provided by college students around the country. The questions probed Gore’s opinion on various environmental phenomena, and also requested tips to help people make small differences within their daily lives. The Q&A paired nicely with the film, as it truly brought the issues discussed on screen closer to home.
- Christina Farmer, a professor in the Department of Geology, Environment and Sustainability, introduced the film and subsequent webcast.
“Having the opportunity to watch ‘An Inconvenient Sequel’ with a broad group of Hofstra students and local community members was very inspiring,” Farmer said. “I hope that the solutions to the climate crisis that were highlighted in the film, especially the evidence presented for a recent turning point in solar panel investment, give folks hope that the actions we take now can and will make a difference on this issue.”
“I liked the film because it brings light to such an important issue,” said Caroline Bowes, sophomore and president of the Sustainability Club. “I thought this event went really well, and I’m happy with the turnout.”
A number of students in attendance found the film to be thought-provoking, as many initiated engaging conversations about climate control with friends and faculty after the event.
“I’d say that climate change is one of the most pressing issues of this time, and I don’t think we’re spending enough time focusing our energy on it,” said Katya Freitas, a sophomore film major and sustainability minor. “I think people become so stuck in their ways, and just assume that they can’t make change or that it’s too difficult … but it’s really important to see what each of us can do individually, because even if we don’t think we can make a huge difference, we can.”
Nilesh Rakhani, a sophomore fine arts major, agreed with Freitas’ statement. “As a country, we definitely need to be more actively involved in climate change. A lot of this stuff could be preventable, but nobody wants to do anything about it.”
Gore focused a lot of the webcast around the fact that many people don’t know what exactly they can do to help make a difference. Gore recommended visiting climaterealityproject.org, a website where people can inform themselves on the state of the environment and learn how to spread the word and make a true impact on the future of the planet.
Gore said, “I hope that you enjoy the movie, I hope that you learn a lot from the movie – but I really hope that you personally will decide to be a part of the solution to this crisis. If anyone doubts that we have the political will to solve this crisis, just remember that political will is a renewable resource.”
Freitas feels that it’s time for the masses to take action in order to reverse the harmful damage we’ve caused the planet. “Some people assume if you can’t do everything, then do nothing. But … we have to do as much as we can individually to really make a difference.”