By Jess Scanlon
Carbon Nation, not to be confused with sound-alike carbonation, begins the third season of the ESSC Green Film Series with a tongue-in-cheek attitude.
The opening documentary discusses solutions to a serious problem, and claims that even if viewers do not believe that humans are the cause of climate change, viewing this film will benefit everyone.
“Some films we show focus on just one topic, but Carbon Nation touched upon many different sustainability topics,” said Amanda Pinto, graduate assistant for sustainability. “I think this was a good film to kick off this year’s Green Film Series because it gave [students] a general understanding of sustainability and exposed them to many different issues surrounding it.”
The film does indeed jump around from topic to topic. It begins with a cartoon about carbon dioxide, the gas considered to be the most prevalent greenhouse gas, and transitions to a Texas wind farm that has revitalized a small town. It then switches to an Alaskan hot spring that creates energy from a geothermal generator and later features numerous other mini-stories. All of these together create a documentary that is more a patchwork quilt of information than a cohesive story, using the idea of sustainability as its thread.
The screening was a decidedly low-key event. Many of the students present were either science students or eco-reps — student workers with a passion for the environment who help out at the Green Film series and other events.
One such student is Stephanie Eppolito, a sophomore psychology major who applied for the position after attending the on-campus job fair as a freshman. Eppolito’s passion for the environment dates back to high school, as she was vice president of her school’s Green Club.
“I’m excited,” she said. “There’s a really good turnout.”
This was apparent, as the Green Films tend to experience low attendance, but Carbon Nation drew between about 50 students to the event.
Chris James, a sophomore biochemistry major, attended for his organic chemistry class. He enjoyed the film because it did not just focus on environmental problems.
“It showed how people are creating solutions,” James said.
Greenberg and Pinto spent the summer researching films for the new season and contacting professors to urge their students to attend. They also kept their audience in mind during this process.
“It was very interesting,” Pinto said. “There were many more movies that focused on issues in sustainability. I tried to steer away from movies that were all ‘doom and gloom,’ or ‘boring’ or ‘dry,’ which some documentaries in general can be.”