AREDAY brings solution-oriented documentaries to Snowmass Village | AspenTimes.com

AREDAY brings solution-oriented documentaries to Snowmass Village

"Power" is one of 15 documentaries screening Friday and Saturday at American Renewable Energy Day's Impact Film festival.
Courtesy photo |

If You Go …

What: Impact Film, presented by American Renewable Energy Day

Where: Snowmass Village Town Hall

When: June 23 & 24, starting at noon

How much: Free

More info: ‘Power’ screens at 2 p.m. on Saturday; full film lineup at www.areday.net

There are now 7.4 billion people on Earth. More than a billion of them don’t have any electricity. Many don’t have enough to meet basic needs like educating children and feeding families.

The documentary “Power,” which screens Saturday at 2 p.m. at American Renewable Energy Day’s Impact Film festival in Snowmass Village, looks at energy globally — at how some corners of the Earth use so much it’s causing global warming while others don’t have any. It’s one of 15 solution-oriented environmental documentaries screening at the conference Friday and Saturday.

“We’re living in a world of energy scarcity,” one expert says early in the 35-minute documentary, which debuted in November at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Morocco.

Directed by Oscar nominee Michele Ohayon, “Power” looks at the issue of energy inequality on an intimate and personal level. It shares stories of energy inequality from five continents. In a remote Ugandan village, for instance, the film takes viewers to an outdoor classroom where a teacher moves a chalkboard and his students throughout the day to stay in the sunlight. The film then follows students into their homes, where they study by kerosene lamps that emit toxic fumes. One villager rigs up an old car engine to power homes on diesel fuel in the hopes of giving kids in this isolated community a chance to educate themselves and break out of the cycle of poverty.

In Sao Paulo, Brazil, we meet a gas station owner who explains how the country, since 1973, has replaced half of its fossil fuels with ethanol and biofuels. At Cal Tech, the film introduces us to researchers trying to develop even cleaner sources of energy.

The deprivation of electricity is still used as a tool of oppression, but renewable energy, the film suggests, could not only mitigate the effects of climate change but also give lights and power to every person on Earth.

More energy hits the Earth in one hour of sunlight than what’s consumed on the entire planet in a year, explains Cal Tech professor Nate Lewis. Harness that power and the playing field could be evened globally.

“Plants figured this out — photosynthesis,” Lewis says. “We think we’re smarter than a plant. So we should be able to figure out how to do it better, cheaper, faster.”

Impact Film is free and open to the public. It features nine films today and six Saturday at Snowmass Village Town Hall. Screenings begin at noon daily. Other titles include Fisher Stevens’ “Before the Flood,” Jeff Orlowski’s “Chasing Coral” and Jared P. Scott’s “The Age of Consequences.”

atravers@aspentimes.com


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