Patrick Gregston Producer, Ceilings Unlimited

Gregston is a film producer whose credits that include the post-apocalyptic Kostner fest, Waterworld. He is now creating a new documentary, Ceilings Unlimited (aviation term for blue sky) in association with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a federal agency focused on the condition of the oceans and the atmosphere.

His vision is one of entrepreneurial optimism. A term I have used in earlier posts, and which seems to be a recurring theme at this conference.

As a filmmaker, he paints the climate crisis in dramatic terms:
Act 1: We meet our heroine, she is in peril
Act 2: You find out that she is in worse trouble than you thought
Act 3: The peril is resolved and the heroine is transformed – either she dies, or lives happily ever after.
And we know which kind of endings do better in Hollywood.

He criticized the usual bipolar reduction of possibilities: Either doom & gloom or climate denial. In scientific terms, climate is a set of possibilities. Every possibility has a probability. The result: a bell curve with a big fat part in the middle. Right now, too many people are focusing on the little wedges at the fringe.

“The public is fatigued with fear.” States Gregston. His solution is a film that presents players who are trusted friends, proactive ‘actors’ with ‘skin in the game’, and who deliver p;ositive stories. The presentation opens and closes with some moving preview clips from the doc. Gregston himself remarks, “(Dealing with Climate Change is…) not a rock we are pushing uphill. It’s a snowball we are chasing. It should be fun.”

I myself am rooting for the happy-ever-after ending.

One in a series of articles on Lorne’s Sustainable Journey to the Sustainable Brands 08 Conference in Monterey CA. Click here for the full list of sessions, or here for the ‘Fear & Loathing’ road trip journals.

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