A friend recommended that I watch this documentary. It gives some interesting historical perspective on the environmental movement for those of us who weren't born yet when the first Earth Day happened in 1970.
The movie ends with a heartbreaking moment when president Reagan tore out the solar panels that Carter had put on the roof of the White House. It is a symbol of the backward steps we took after what seemed like a promising start.
There are moments in this movie when you feel like the major battles have been won. We don't have the level of visible smog in cities that we did in the 70s. Our lakes and rivers aren't nearly as disgusting as they once were. Our society didn't collapse under the weight of our own filth by the end of the 80s. Yay, us! We did it! Right?
In the end it felt to me like the movie decreases the sense of urgency for our current moment in environmental action. No mention is made of the natural disasters that we face today as a result of pollution and global climate change. More over, having shown that some of the same interviewees on the screen had warned I the 60s and 70s that the environmental crises could lead to societal collapse in "one decade", there was no explanation of the ways I which the actions taken during the 70s and even the 80s managed to delay the crisis but not remove the problem entirely.
The ten minutes discussion after the movie is pretty much a waste of time. It does nothing to add to the information in the documentary whatsoever.
I recommend this movie, but with the caveat that it should be followed up immediately by a reading of Naomi Klein's book This Changes Everything.
Earth Days (2009) - Full Movie: http://youtu.be/cBVGzf-fFl0