Greenspace, film May 3, 2012 By Jordan Sayle

Director Jessica Yu/ATO Pictures

Director Jessica Yu/ATO Pictures

There’s a contentious meeting we show. But the environmentalists there or the scientists don’t consider the farmers the enemy. They’re the ones like in Australia who are feeling the pain firsthand. At the same time, changes need to happen to agriculture. In California, how much water we’re using is not sustainable. Nobody likes to be told what to do, especially farmers who have been farming the same way sometimes for many generations. Some of them have adopted changes in irrigation. The question is will that be enough. I cannot say or venture a guess what’s going to happen in 60 years there, but somehow we’re still too much in a finger-pointing stage and not as much in a planning stage.

That’s the real take-away, I guess. We’re in this together. One positive example you give takes place among sworn enemies in the Holy Land who are able to look after their common interest in having clean, abundant water. We’re interdependent, aren’t we?

Yeah, in the Middle East you have very concentrated water problems with everyone on top of each other. But when the essential and precious nature of the resource to survival is so bluntly laid out, then compromise is inevitable. In contrast, in the United States, we are so insulated from feeling that our water is under any threat whatsoever. Turn on the tap and as much water as you want comes out. So as long as we’re insulated that way, the need to make changes, the need to adjust or think differently is not urgent enough in a lot of people’s minds.

“Last Call at the Oasis” enters theaters on May 4.

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