Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine

POLLYWOOD | Laurie David: Too Hot Not to Handle

Documentary producer's HBO film an environmental wake-up call

Actor Alec Baldwin and Pierre Dulaine

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 Warming March?
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?
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.

Senator John McCain, Documentary producer and environmentalist, Laurie David and Robert F. Kennedy, JR

WL: If you were President Bush what would you do about it?
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 for them?
: 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?
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?
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?
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?
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 the better.

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 Persian Gulf."

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 watching 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."



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