Fixing climate change in Fairbanks

Josh Hartman / Sun Star

The Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition showed the movie, “The Yes Men are Revolting,” in the Murie Auditorium on Dec. 2. Before the film started, attendees were handed a paper with “actions to support a livable climate.”  The purpose of the event was to invoke a desire to stop climate change, according to Jessica Girard, the program director from Northern Alaska Environmental Center which is part of the Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition.

“There are people in Fairbanks that want to address climate change in a meaningful way,” Girard said. “It’s not just small groups, there is a large voice.”

After the film was shown several people went on stage to discuss their organizations and what they do about climate change in Fairbanks. The organizations represented were the Citizen’s Climate Lobby – Fairbanks chapter, Chena Ridge Friends Meeting and Call to Action.

“Youths in general are feeling a bit of pressure from all the environmental problems happening and it’s finals week so we thought we would go with a funnier movie to uplift the mood,” Girard said. “To get people engaged in a way that they normally would not.”

The Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition showed the movie in line with the discussions that world leaders are having about anthropogenic climate change during the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) in Paris, France.

The movie was about the two activists, Igor Vamos and Jacques Servin, who worked under the aliases Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum respectively. Vamos and Servin conducted most of their activism by impersonating their climate-change-denier opponents.

For example, one of their “pranks” involved pretending to be officials from the United States Chamber of Commerce, a conservative lobbying organization. For the stunt they rented a press room to give a statement on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce to reporters. The statement was a reversal of the Chamber’s stance on climate change.

The fake press conference was cut short by real officials from the Chamber entering the press room.

The Fairbanks Climate Action Committee will be showing the movie “This Changes Everything” about the challenge of climate change in seven different communities around the world. The movie will be shown on Dec. 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the Morris Thompson Center. Admission for the movie will be free.

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