Earth Days

Synopsis: The story of our growing awareness and understanding of the environmental crisis and emergence, during the 1960's and '70's, of popular movement to confront it.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Robert Stone
Production: Zeitgeist Films
  4 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.2
Metacritic:
70
Rotten Tomatoes:
82%
Year:
2009
90 min
Website
98 Views

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Major funding is

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American Experience

is also made possible

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If we do what is right

now, in 1963,

we must set aside

substantial areas of our country

for all the people

who are going to live in it

by the year 2000.

Where 180 million

Americans now live,

by the year 2000 there will be

350 million of them.

Either we stop

the poisoning in our air

or we become a nation

in gas masks,

groping our way

through these dying cities

and a wilderness of ghost towns

that the people have evacuated.

The great question

of the '70s is:

Shall we surrender

to our surroundings

or shall we make

our peace with nature

and begin to make reparations

for the damage we have done

to our air, to our land,

and to our water?

And accelerate development

of technology,

to capture energy

from the Sun and the Earth

for this and future generations.

If we fail to act soon,

we will face an economic,

social and political crisis

that will threaten

our free institutions.

We must and will be sensitive

to the delicate balance

of our ecosystems,

the preservation

of endangered species,

and the protection

of our wilderness lands.

It's been said that

we don't inherit the Earth

from our ancestors,

we borrow it

from our children.

And when our children look back

on this time and this place

they will be grateful.

If we fail to reduce the

emission of greenhouse gases,

deadly heat waves and droughts

will become more frequent,

coastal areas will flood and

economies will be disrupted.

That is going to happen,

unless we act.

And here we have

a serious problem:

America is addicted to oil.

I am 87 years old.

I was a child

during the Depression.

The Great Depression

had an enormous influence

on the lives of all of us

that experienced it.

I lived in the country;

I'm a country boy.

Small town kid.

We didn't have electricity.

We learned to live simply

and get our sustenance

from the Earth.

I didn't own a car

until I was 27.

I grew up with conservation

because it was important

for our lives.

Then after the war,

everybody thought

they ought to have a chance

to be rich.

There was an enormous

economic boom

going on after the war.

There was this

"progress is our most

important product"

feeling to the 1950s.

And I was one of many

relatively spoiled

children of that...

compared to the people who

grew up in the Depression.

When I was a kid growing up

in Rockford, Illinois,

I was reading Outdoor Life

and I took

the Conservation Pledge.

"I give my pledge as an American

to save and faithfully to defend

"from waste the natural

resources of my country--

its soil and minerals, its

forests, waters and wildlife."

That's me at age ten

or something like that.

I got rubber stamps that I put

on all of my books

that said that.

And I guess like a lot

of that generation,

I saw pieces of that childhood

destroyed in one way or another

you couldn't go back to.

Then you get that sense

of angst of,

well, how much of this process

of loss is going to go on?

I grew up in a beautiful

Midwest town.

You drove around

and it was a green,

peaceful, relatively

intact system.

I really never was confronted

with issues of scarcity,

pollution,

man's impact on the planet.

These things just

didn't come up for me.

In those days,

environmental problems

didn't really impress

themselves on you.

It wasn't clear that we had

any very serious problems.

Americans want to believe

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"Earth Days" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 22 Sep. 2019. <https://www.scripts.com/script/earth_days_7401>.

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