Greenspace, film May 3, 2012 By Jordan Sayle

Australian dry lake/ATO Pictures

Australian dry lake/ATO Pictures

The other thing, I was curious about what it is that prevents us from acting in ways that are really in our best interest. All of these water issues – drought, pollution, people fighting over water, issues of regulation – these have been around for as long as people have been around, but we don’t seem to be able to confront them or address them in any kind of holistic way. So that was curious to me, like what’s the tipping point there? That was the idea behind that experiment.

Well let’s talk about tipping points. In an earlier era, the burning Cuyahoga River was the perfect rallying cry for change. Today, the crises that occur don’t seem to have the same impact. Have we lost our ability to take action?

I think if you look at some of those situations, action is taken, but each incident seems to be looked at in isolation. Something that covers long-term adjustment or sacrifice is just a lot less sexy if we all feel like there are other things that need our attention more. I get it, people’s lives are busy, resources are strained. But when you look at something as fundamental, as essential as water, it seems insane that we are not willing to plan more for the future, imminent and otherwise.

To your credit, you talk not only to activists looking for solutions but to farmers from California all the way to Australia. They’re often seen as the most resistant to change and blamed most for overuse of water and for contamination, yet ironically they face the most severe consequences. What are the challenges in reaching that group of people?

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