Pilot Bob Fulton still memorable
July 15, 2002
Six weeks after he died in an airplane crash, former Aspenite Bob Fulton managed to provide some of the greatest visual and verbal contributions to an environmental conference in Aspen.
The “State of the World Conference” was dedicated to his memory, but it was Fulton’s work that proved to be so memorable.
Fulton was a filmmaker, writer, pilot and teacher as well as a 34-year resident of the Roaring Fork Valley. He won an Emmy in 1997 for his documentary, “Denali: Alaska’s Great Wilderness.”
He was best known for his aerial cinematography. Five short films or excerpts of his films were shown during the three-day conference at Paepcke Auditorium.
In them, Fulton often provided stunning views from cameras strapped onto the airplane that he flew around the world. He narrated with descriptions of his experiences and astute philosophical observations about humankind’s connection to the world.
In a film on Sunday, Fulton challenged the way the mostly white, wealthy and well-established audience thought of world issues. He showed the squalor of “so-called Third World” countries and talked about their exploding populations.
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The world’s problems could be managed if “they just stopped having babies, right?” his narrative challenged the crowd.
Not so fast. Fulton said each resident of industrialized countries consumes the same amount as 60 residents of Third-World countries.
Overpopulation is definitely a problem for a sustainable future, he said, but overconsumption is an equal evil.
On Friday, a Fulton film featured magnificent scenes of towering peaks, dazzling desert mesas, lush river valleys and other wonders of nature. Then Fulton struck a chord when he said in the film, “I am almost inspired to do less and call it a contribution.”