Jared P. Scott had one goal in mind when he set out to make his latest documentary, “The Age of Consequences:” look at climate change from a completely different angle.
Instead of looking at rising temperatures, Scott wanted to see how climate change will affect our national security. So instead of talking to scientists he talked with military personnel like retired Lt. Gen. Arlen Jameson and Army chiefs of staff.
The Jackson Hole Center for Global Affairs will host a free screening of “The Age of Consequences” at the Atlas Theatre on Wednesday night. Following the film, there will be a discussion with David Wendt, the president of the Jackson Hole Center for Global Affairs, Jean Garrison, a University of Wyoming professor and director of the Center for Global Studies and Jameson.
Wendt said the discussion should be interesting.
“We generally think of the implications for the environment, energy and economy when talking about climate change,” Wendt said. “But, this is an issue that affects so much more than that. When we have a natural disaster, it’s the military that gets sent in first. They’re the ones being affected by climate change and no one is talking about it.”
The documentary was released in January and takes a look at the impact of climate change on migration, global stability and how it affects societal tensions such as the European refugee crisis. Issues such as extreme weather like hurricanes, drought and food shortages will also tie in to the narrative.
The film is a somber look at climate change, but Wendt and Jameson are hoping it will start a dialogue among its viewers.
“I can understand why people don’t make the connection between climate change and national security,” Jameson said. “But, our armed forces can’t wait until disaster strikes and then try to plan for something that requires immediate action. I’ve noticed that the last three presidential administrations have been skeptical about the military’s talk about climate change, thinking it’s coming from civilian leadership. That’s just not the case.”
The two men hope that by having Wyoming natives come out to this screening, it will allow them to see this issue from a new perspective and get them interested in talking about climate change.
More importantly, they noted that this film takes a hard look at the facts it presents, but manages to not inflate them.
“I recognize that there are people who are passionate about climate change on both sides of the fence,” Wendt said. “It seems to me that the military has bent over backwards to stay modest when they’re talking about this issue, because they don’t want to lose anyone who might be willing to listen. We understand it’s hard to talk about, but it needs to be discussed as soon as possible.”