Hundreds gather at Southampton Arts Center

Festival Addresses Global Warming




Southampton Arts Center saw over 650 attendees turn out for the inaugural Drawdown East End Festival held on Saturday, January 11. The free event presented three screenings of the documentary “2040,” an Australian film by award-winning director Damon Gameau, which will be released in the U.S. in March. Informative forums followed.

Project Drawdown is a research organization dedicated to identifying the most viable global climate solutions. It then shares that information with a greater community. Its vision is to achieve drawdown, the point where greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere begin to decline, thus achieving a reversal of global warming. Drawdown East End is a grassroots group focusing on the five East End towns to achieve green practices and educate the local community on available solutions.

In the film “2040,” Gameau meets with environmental innovators and explores ways to reverse global warming, such as marine permaculture and drawing down carbon dioxide levels from the atmosphere. Using computer-generated imagery, “2040” takes a look at the year 2040 if said practices were the norm. Gameau envisions the future through the eyes of his daughter. Through that, the film takes a tug at viewers’ heartstrings, as we see an evolved world where plants grow from skyscrapers, energy is recycled, and solar panel windows are the norm.

“It’s so positive and it ties in all the different generations,” said Dorothy Reilly of Drawdown East End of the film. “And it ties in drawdown, which is what we’re really interested in. We’re interested in solutions.” Drawdown East End aims to hold the new festival annually and create a template for others to replicate the festival elsewhere. The organization is currently in talks with the “2040” producers to include access to the movie for anyone interested in hosting a future Drawdown event.

Karen Silder, a Little Neck resident, found out about the festival through a friend. As someone who enjoys spending time with nature, she recently began composting through New York City’s “Zero Waste” initiative. “I’m going to find out more about what I can do,” she said.

Following the film, open discussion forums covered regenerative practices, a plant rich diet, and reducing food waste, while eco vendors filled the room from both the North and South forks. It gave guests a chance to learn about the various organizations in the area that are working to make a positive impact.

Sag Harbor resident Joe Lane said, “My wife and I always want to learn about the new processes being used. There are different ideas and things keep changing.” Lane is part of a group of farmers that turn over the soil on a plot of land given to them by the Bridgehampton Catholic Church. The experience, Lane said, brings people together and teaches sustainability.

Reilly noted that a simple way to make an impact is buying local produce, as it does not require transportation from far distances, reducing the carbon footpint. Growing food close to home also pulls down carbon dioxide right from the atmosphere, as trees and plants use it for photosynthesis.

Drawdown East End is also working on creating more opportunity for Carbon Farmers, a practice where the carbon dioxide is recycled into the soil rather than being released into the air. “We really want to support and create legislation so that we can create an opportunity to farmers to get paid when they carbon farm, which is a regenerative practice,” said Reilly.

“2040” will be shown again at Southampton Arts Center on Friday, January 17, at 7 PM. Learn more at www.drawdowneastend.org.

nicole@indyeastend.com