POLLYWOOD | Laurie David: Too Hot Not to Handle
Documentary producer's HBO film an environmental wake-up call
Heat waves, melting glaciers and rising
sea levels. Catastrophic storms,
migrating viruses and population
displacement. Not to mention hybrid
vehicles and alternative power... "Too Hot Not to
Handle" has it all.
"Too Hot," Laurie David's follow-up to the
Sundance documentary sleeper "An Inconvenient
Truth," starring Al Gore, premiered April 22nd
on HBO, but Washingtonians received a special
advanced screening early last month. The packed
event included speeches from David as well as
Washington green heavyweights such as Senator
John McCain, Senator Joseph Liebermann and
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Afterwards, David sat down
with WL and gave her insight on the film, her
Stop Global Warming Virtual March, and what
she would do if she were president.
Washington Life: Is this a political film?
Laurie David: The issue itself is not political, it is
moral. I think that shift has happened this year
-people are starting to realize this is about
all of us; we are all guilty, and we all need
to be part of the solution.
WL: Are you coordinating with any other
green groups during the Stop Global
LD: The fact that we have gotten
all the major environmental
groups to sign onto this march,
to blast it out to their email lists
and say "we want you to march
too," is a huge statement. But
this isn't just an environmental
issue anymore. Global warming is a
national security issue, a public health
issue and an economic issue.
WL: What specific public policy changes are
you pushing for?
LD: Washington is the last hold on this issue; the
rest of the world is already engaged. We haven't
even gotten to the point where this country and
our government has acknowledged that we're
causing global warming. We need the government
to put the debate about the problem behind us and
talk about the solutions we need to get to quickly.
Eighty-seven percent of the American public say
global warming is real. Fifty-nine percent said they
would pay a gas tax if they new that the money
went directly to solving global warming. That's a
huge change, against all conventional wisdom that
says Americans wouldn't sacrifice anything.
WL: If you were President Bush what would you
do about it?
LD: I would be launching a huge national
campaign to fund clean energy solutions and add
incentives to solutions that already exist. I'd make
this a number one national priority, and show
leadership to the rest of the world that we can
start slowing our carbon emissions down. The
CEOs of coal companies are saying that they
need regulatory mandates-that's another huge
shift. We have to start mandating technology to
clean up our power plants. The technology
already exists to start doing that, but
there's no federal legislation saying that
they have to do it. The technology is
sitting on the floor in a basement
somewhere. There are a thousand
things this president can do:
Tomorrow, raise fuel economy
standards substantially. It is
criminal that we are not allowing
cars made in this country to get
40 miles per gallon.
WL: Are companies not "going
green" because it's not profitable enough
LD: The truth is that being green
is going to save money and it is being
proven every single day. There have been
great reports about what DuPont, Johnson &
Johnson, and GE are doing. They are reducing million for
the cause.their carbon emissions and saving millions of
dollars doing it. It is documented -it was in
Business Week magazine. It is a complete and
utter lie that the economic cost is stopping global
warming; the opposite is true.
WL: So why do the majority of our cars still run on oil?
LD: Because automakers are stuck in their old
ways and change is hard. They're talking
about waiting for hydrogen in twenty years.
We don't have to wait for hydrogen, we have
ethanol. We have bio diesel. We have the
hybrid engine. We have everything that we
need to start solving this problem.
WL: Can we rebuild New Orleans as America's first
true green city?
LD: I think it's completely doable, that's such an
interesting topic; I agree with you-absolutely
yes. I think we have to-it's not sustainable to
build any other way.
WL: Is Green Living the next American revolution?
Will it have the same affect on society as the
locomotive and the automobile?
LD: In the documentary, we talk about the fact
that it was only 60 years from the time when
Lindberg flew the first non-stop transatlantic
flight to the time we landed on the moon. The
future and the irony of the whole thing is that
there is nothing that is going to give America
more jobs and more economic security than if
we launch on a clean industrial revolution. This
is where it is heading and the only question is
how long will it take, how fast will it happen.
And that goes back to the American people. The
people have to start demanding this.
WL: How long do you think it will take before we hit
the tipping point?
LD: Scientists say that we have less than 10 years
to really start addressing this problem. So, to
me that says we probably have five years. We've
come a long way in this one year, what can we
accomplish in another year? I am optimistic that
we are going to get on the case and start making
changes-not sacrifice, but changes, changes for
Save the Date!
Get your passes now for SILVERDOCS:
JUNE 13 - 18, 2006 WL is the offical magazine sponsor of the festival, so, look for us at: JUNE 5: Heart of the Game kick-off screening with Sheila Johnson JUNE 14: Reception with Al Gore at Ceviche JUNE 15: Reception with Martin Scorsese Ticket and festival info: www.silverdocs.com
GREEN TALK HEATS UP
ROBERT F. KENNEDY, JR.
"Raising fuel effi ciency by one mile
per gallon would save as much oil as we
could ever get from the national wildlife
refuge. Raising it 2.7 miles is equal to as
much oil as we were ge ing from Iraq and
Kuwait combined during their peak of
production. By raising it 7.6 miles, we will
save more oil than we import from the
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN
"I went to the Antarctic and we got on a
ship with the Norwegian Prime Minister.
When it stopped, he showed me a satellite
photo and said: "that's where the glacier
was twenty years ago." We went another
ten miles north, and that's where the glacier
is now. They are going to have to rename
Glacier National Park because there are not
going to be any more glaciers."
SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMANN
"We have been
in slow motion as
evidence grows of
the reality of our planet
warming, and yet we in
the United States are still not responding
to it. We're not preventing."