Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital: Tidewater
(Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital) Tidewater explores the challenge of sea level rise in the Tidewater region of Virginia and North Carolina, encompassing Hampton Roads, arguably the region whose vulnerability most affects our overall national security. An area rich in diversity and historical significance, it is the second most vulnerable community in the U.S. to sea level rise, after New Orleans. With over 1.6 million citizens, the region is comprised of 17 jurisdictions and hosts 18 federal government agencies along with Naval Station Norfolk, the largest naval station in the world and a major deployment point for U.S. forces globally. The region is also experiencing land subsidence, which exacerbates the effects of flooding. Hampton Roads requires $1 billion in urgent infrastructure repairs with 900 miles of its roads and electric grid threatened by permanent flooding. Faced with these unprecedented challenges that can only be tackled by a wide range of stakeholders, from ordinary citizens to the U.S. Navy to local businesses, Tidewater will highlight the innovative whole-of-government problem-solving model being pioneered by local leaders.
If Hampton Roads succeeds, it will mean success on several levels. They’ll save their homes, schools, businesses, the naval base, and that’s no mean feat. But they’ll also create a powerful template for success, a model other regions can use to prepare for and deal with disaster – and more: a model that can demonstrate how people, businesses and government can pull together to solve any complex problem.
KAINE SCREENS SEA-LEVEL RISE DOCUMENTARY: Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine today (June 19, 2017) delivers opening remarks and hosts a screening of a new documentary, Tidewater, exploring the impacts of sea-level rise on the Hampton Roads region. It kicks off at 6 p.m. in the Congressional Meeting Room North of the Capitol Visitors Center. READ MORE
Excerpt from Yale Climate Connections: A film maker documents sea-level rise risks facing Virginia’s Hampton Roads region, and avoids the baggage of the terms ‘climate change’ or ‘global warming.’
Low-lying roads flood so often that drivers use depth markers positioned on highway shoulders to gauge whether they’ll be able to pass through.
Why is this happening? Sea level rise. And why are the seas rising? Well, let’s not talk about that.
Shortsighted!, you might say. Or worse. But to film director Roger Sorkin, talking about sea-level rise – and more importantly, how to adapt to it and build more resilient, forward-thinking communities – without talking about climate change is a well-considered strategy.
Avoiding buzz words that may turn people off
For the record, Sorkin is no climate change contrarian. He acknowledges that carbon emissions are responsible for sea-level rise. And that we humans are responsible. But he also believes in meeting folks where they are. That’s why, he explains, his audiences do not hear the words “climate change,” “global warming,” or “carbon” in “Tidewater,” his documentary film about sea-level rise in Hampton Roads. READ MORE