24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
What to Really Do
Opening speech and conversation among guests
The impact of carbon dioxide emissions on global warming has been known for decades. Climate change is increasingly becoming a leading topic in the world media and a subject of society-wide debate. And yet, global emissions of carbon dioxide continue to rise despite the fact that, in the Paris climate accords, the world’s governments committed to preventing a planetary increase in temperature by 1.5 degrees Celsius. In a situation where the climate crisis is not a catastrophic future scenario but is growing worse before our eyes, scientists and activists are increasing their pressure on governments, society, and individuals. Can the environmental movement be an effective agent of worldwide change? What can we do as individuals? And what should the role of scientists be?
An American author and environmentalist. His book The End of Nature (1989), regarded as the first educational book for a general audience about climate change, has appeared in 24 languages. He is a founder of 350.org, the first planet-wide, grass- roots climate change movement, which has organized more than 20,000 rallies around the world. He lives in the mountains above Lake Champlain with his wife, the writer Sue Halpern.
Director of DUHA – Friends of the Earth, where she is responsible for the management and strategic development of the organization. She represents DUHA when meeting with donors and partner organizations. She came to the non-profit sector came after working for the Office of the Government and the German Friedrich-Ebert- Stiftung Foundation. She earned her degree in European studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University and in Environmental Policy at the London School of Economics. She keeps bees with her husband in Prague’s Stromovka Park.
He has been active within the environmental movement since the late 1980s. He participated in the work of the headquarters of Public Against Violence. In 1993 he founded the civic association Friends of the Earth – Center to Support Activism (CEPA) and has since led programs that support civic activities, help communities threatened by commercial interests, and popularize the theme of sustainable development. Today he runs a program striving for energy self-sufficiency in the Poľana region.
Patočka studied sociology at the Faculty of Arts at Masaryk University. In 1989 he was one of the founders of the DUHA – Friends of the Earth and for ten years was its chairman. In 1991 he founded and until 1999 headed the magazine Sedmá Generace (Seventh Generation). In 1999 he became editor-in-chief of Literární noviny, which he led for ten years. Since 2009, Patočka has been the editor-in-chief of the online newspaper Deník Referendum. He is the co-author of Žlutý baron (The Golden Baron), about Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.