We started and ended last week with youth screenings. On Monday, we drove to San Rafael, where the Mill Valley Film Festival's Environmental Youth Forum was screening Worse Than Poop!
Vanessa and Elliot onstage with "Racing with Copepods" Producer Barbara McVeigh
On Friday, we attended a screening as part of Los Altos High School's annual "History Week" - which had an environmental theme this year.
Vanessa and Elliot answer questions at a Los Altos High School screening of Worse Than Poop!
As you might imagine, the elementary and middle school audience on Monday was a bit more engaged than the high school students - most of whom agreed that the film was most appropriate for a k-8 audience. Still, when I asked the high school students if they thought it might be appropriate for 9th and 10th graders, a few shyly raised their hands. And the parent volunteer who introduced us (a middle-aged surgeon) spared no effort in finding scatological references for his introduction ("I think you'll find it's a moving experience", etc.).... Proof, yet again, that you're never too old for poop jokes.
Worse Than Poop!
Why is carbon dioxide worse than poop? Find out with the help of an 8-year-old science expert, the Green Ninja, and a fleet of pooping cars!
Today, humans are creating more than 38 billion tons of carbon pollution every year - in fact, over 2 million pounds of it gets spewed into the air every second. This massive amount of pollution is now threatening the climate that all life depends on, and in the US, almost a third of that pollution comes from transportation. But the problem with CO2 is that you can’t see it, you can’t smell it, you can’t taste it - and that makes it hard for people to take it seriously. But what if you could see it? What if the 19 pounds of crap coming out of your car’s tailpipe was... crap?
Elliot Ingle, a bespectacled 8-year old wearing a necktie and lab coat, takes us on a short journey to imagine just such a reality. Using a combination of live action video and animation, “Worse than Poop” will illustrate basic scientific facts (why DOES a gallon of gas produce 19 pounds of CO2? How is that possible - and where does it go?). It will also work to undermine some outmoded cultural norms (what’s a better status symbol - a poo-spattered Lexus or a spiffy clean Tesla - or a fun shiny bike with a cool sidecar?). Featuring mom’s minivan (one pound of poo per mile!), the lumbering Suburban (19 pounds of poop in only 10 miles!), the Tesla S (faster than a speeding Captain Underpants!), the Nissan Leaf, the Mitsubishi i, and a flotilla of electric and people-powered bicycles and scooters, “Worse than Poop” will engage children ages 5-12 in the most important issue of our time: rejection of the fossil fuel lifestyle.
It’s bound to make a difference. I mean, what kid doesn’t love talking about poop?
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