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We recently launched a new website and with that has come a new blog!

From now on, you can find us over at www.mountainfilm.org/blog.

Tweet Topic Explorer is a fun online tool that retrieves recent tweets and displays the most common words in those tweets. The area of the circles is proportional to word frequency. Words that are most often used together are grouped and given the same color. This is a great way to get a feel for what’s most on our minds at the moment!

Today at 3 pm Eastern, 1 pm Mountain time, family, friends, heads of state, and colleagues will gather at the Kennedy Center to commemorate the life of Richard Holbrooke, who died last month at the age of 69. His son and Mountainfilm in Telluride Festival Director, David Holbrooke, President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will speak at the memorial that pays tribute to the American diplomat. You can tune in to watch the memorial on C-SPAN2 or you can watch online at the following link: http://www.c-span.org/Live-Video/C-SPAN2/. Click Here for More details.

Our presenting sponsor, Eddie Bauer, has just announced $50K in Explorers Club Grants.

From Expedition News: Working in conjunction with The Explorers Club, retailer Eddie Bauer is funding two significant grants for research and exploration. The Explorers Club – Eddie Bauer Grants will support cutting edge discovery and field research programs. Award recipients will be notified in early February. Grants will be awarded at The Explorers Club Annual Dinner, March 19, 2011.

The Explorers Club – Eddie Bauer Youth Grant of $25,000 will be awarded to one or more eligible applicants (valid student I.D. required) for work in climate change, preservation and sustainability, consistent with the mission of The Explorers Club.

The grant for Expeditions is a $25,000 award to fund one or more eligible expeditions relating to climate change, preservation and sustainability, again consistent with the mission of The Explorers Club. Applying for a grant requires first a written request for an application. More information at  www.explorers.org.

Bill McKibben was a guest at Mountainfilm in 2009, when he was just launching 350.org. The following note came from him:

“The enormous 350 EARTH project ended this past weekend, and the pictures that have rolled in over the past ten days are absolutely amazing. Click here to see these incredibly images.

 

A polar bear on the Langjkull Glacier, Iceland

“The final event took place on the beach at Brighton in the UK, where Thom Yorke (the lead singer of Radiohead) assembled a few thousand of his closest friends and biggest fans to brave the cold on England’s coast.  Together, they formed the image of the legendary King Canute attempting to hold back the waters.

“Over the course of the last seven days artists have paid homage to elephants, eagles, scarab beetles, and polar bears; they’ve called attention to rising seas and gathering storms and dying rivers; they’ve shown how solar cookers and careful farming can help reverse the tide.

“But it’s appropriate to end with an image of King Canute, because he sends a powerful message to the world leaders gathering today here in Cancun, Mexico for the next round of UN climate negotiations. King Canute wanted to prove to his subjects that God, not man, ruled the waves. He commanded the ocean to recede and it paid no heed. But now we’re in the opposite situation; humans are raising the seas and destabilizing the rest of the planet with our carbon emissions. As artists–and scientists, and religious leaders, and everyone else who makes up the 350.org coalition–keep insisting, this time it’s up to us to take action.

“Our leaders won’t do what we need them to do until we build a movement powerful enough to challenge the might of the fossil fuel industry. All around the earth this week, artists have shown that they’re going to be a crucial part of that fight. We’re going to have to call on them many more times in the months and years ahead.

“And we’re going to have to call on all the rest of you too. Keep an eye on your inbox this week–we’ll email you if there are strategic moments to help influence the climate talks in Cancun. I’ll be here for the next couple of weeks with members of the 350.org team, and we’ll be working with a big coalition of allies to make the most of this round of climate negotiations.

“The expectations for these talks are not as high as they were for last year’s conference in Copenhagen, but there is hope to be found– in the eyes of the 300 youth activists that I addressed yesterday gathered here in Cancun, and in the incredible 350.org team assembled here that is already getting to work delivering the EARTH photos to country delegates, passing out 350 pins and ties, and planning actions to keep science at the center of these negotiations.

“These negotiations won’t move until we force political change in individual countries, and that’s exactly what you’re helping to do.  Working together, we can move the world a little closer to the sea-change we must have.  King Canute couldn’t stop the waves–but all of us working together can keep the oceans in check for centuries to come.

Onwards,

Bill McKibben for 350.org

P.S. The list of people to thank for the success of this week’s events is literally too long to contemplate–there were tens of thousands of people involved in making these images. But Heidi Quante, the central hub of the project, has made it all happen. And our friends at the satellite company DigitalGlobe have been endlessly patient–they’ve shown that they not only know how to photograph the earth from up high, but they care deeply about what happens to it.

P.P.S. One of the best ways to understand the full scope of 350 EARTH is to view the photos in a large format.  Click here to see the “Big Pictures” on our website.”

On the road with Emily Long, program director.

It was my pleasure to attend the Port Townsend Film Festival this past weekend as a judge for the Documentary Feature category.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Port Townsend, it is a small town on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington with quite a few similarities to Telluride, although they have a big body of water surrounding downtown…I think there’s a name for it? Oh, ocean!

The crew of I Am were out for the event, and here are a few links to their interviews. With a little one down at the bottom of the page filmed during Mountainfilm. 🙂

The Department of Homeland Security in Pennsylvania has been tracking groups and events — such as a screening of MF10 official selection Gasland — as  enemies of the state.

Really?

Yes, really. Check out this blog, and the embedded video.

2010 Mountainfilm poster artist, Alex Beard, will have his art and his studio featured on CBS Sunday Morning on August 29. Click Here for more details.

We’ve published a number of photos from MountainSummit in Aspen. Check them out here.

Here is a note we received from the director of the Acumen Fund in Pakistan:

We are deeply concerned about the devastation caused by the recent flooding in Pakistan and wanted to share ways in which you can help support response efforts in this grave and urgent situation.

Pakistan has been affected by the worst floods in living memory. 13.8 million people have been displaced by the floods in Pakistan and 6 million of these require immediate help according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The floods have severely affected all of the provinces of the country and the magnitude of the devastation dwarfs other recent natural disasters. The millions who have been displaced were living at or below the poverty line and whatever little possessions and assets they had have been washed away, and their crops destroyed by the flood. The public infrastructure in the region – including access roads and bridges – have been badly damaged or have collapsed. There is a desperate need for temporary shelter, clean drinking water and toilets to avert a public health catastrophe. People also need basic goods and essential medical care.

Acumen Fund is deeply committed to Pakistan, where we have worked since 2002, but we are not directly involved in relief work. While many organizations are doing extraordinary work in Pakistan right now, here are four organizations that we recommend you consider supporting in their Pakistan flood relief efforts:

Rural Support Program Network
The Rural Support Program Network (RSPN) is a national organization and the largest non-government network of rural development programs in Pakistan. RSPN’s partners have worked extensively in disaster relief efforts in Pakistan, including the 2005 Earthquake. RSPN is collecting donations for flood affected families. Donations will be provided to affected families through the on-ground network of RSPN’s partners, including SRSO that is headed by Dr. Sono Khangharani, a long time Acumen friend.
Kashf Foundation
Kashf Foundation is one of the largest microfinance organization in Pakistan and an Acumen investee. Kashf will be distributing relief packages to 10,000 households in the most affected areas. Given Kashf Foundation’s focus on provide sustainable livelihoods, the next phase of rehabilitation will involve support through access to financial services so that affected households can rebuild their income streams. To make a donation, contact CEO Roshaneh Zafar via her assistant at fatima.raja@kashf.org
International Rescue Committee
The International Rescue Committee is responding to the devastating floods in Pakistan. With a robust network of local staff and partners already on the ground, and 30 years of experience working in Pakistan, the IRC is well-positioned to provide shelter, clean water, sanitation, and essential supplies to those who have fled the rising waters.
The Citizens Foundation (TCF)
TCF is a non-profit organization set up in 1995 by a group of citizens concerned with the dismal state of education in Pakistan. Although its focus is on education, TCF was actively involved in relief efforts after the earthquake and is once again mobilizing resources to contribute towards the flood relief efforts. To give to TCF in the US, follow this link.
Sincerely,

Aun Rahman
Country Director – Pakistan | Acumen Fund