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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

An exert from my film, Climate in Action - on climate change and increasing poverty, is airing in Times Square today
link will hopefully be at http://twitter.com/350.

The drought in Kenya which effects millions of people and animals shows the disastrous effects of
being over the safe limit of 350 ppm carbon equivalent in the atmosphere. Currently at 387 ppm, whole populations are marginalized and dislocated.

Animals were dyeing right in front of me in Amboseli National Park and the Mara. Maasai tribes have abandoned Boma's as over 80% of their cattle have dyed and there is no water for miles. Dyeing cows and goats are thrown in trucks one on top of the other, with men hitching rides on top of all that suffering hoping to sell them for something at the market. A cow dropped in front of me one evening on my way to camp, I asked for someone to relieve it from its suffering to no avail. When I passed in the morning dogs were tearing at its carcass. I am thankful the well went in at the school were we are filming as I know if it hadn't this would have been the fate of many of these children. It literally had not rained here since I was here in Dec. 2007. This was my experience 1000 times over in ten days and no I still can not accept it.

Crops have failed throughout the country and starvation looms for thousands in the northern and eastern regions. Those who flee to the cities to find support most often end up in slums
displaced and with out access to resources. Scavenging garbage in swamps that were once rivers, damns and lakes. I photographed over 20 dry river beds.

We did not have water in Nairobi, electric was intermittent. The water delivered was brown and contaminated. The smell of death still lingers in my memory and the sadness of leaving children covered in flies and filth behind will haunt me forever.

The cost of Fossil fuel must begin to account for species and habitat loss, water degradation, climate change, drought and health care costs. Externalizing the costs of industrialization we have crossed ethical boundaries. A clean energy economy can restore abundance and prosperity to populations and habitats. Millions of animals and people are waiting for policy and industry to embrace solutions in hand. We have the technology, now we need the will.

Climate policy must include clean development mechanisms to aid those who have already been deeply effected by climate change. As the snows on Kilimanjaro disappear so does hope for those who live at her feet and depend on her for the life force....water.

Kilimanjaro in the distance I was filming an orphaned baby elephant searching for food, only to find a small mouthful of dry grass so dusty she expended more calories trying to shake the dust off than the handful of grass would afford her. As she stumbled not to fall from weakness I turned off the camera and cried. I knew she would not make it until morning. What have we done, what have we lost for such poison comfort? How could it be that we can not embrace this change with more exuberance to preserve life beyond our own.

I just got home yesterday after a world wind tour of Kenya and then quick edits for 350.org in Paris.

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