Human-Powered Film Tour comes to San Diego
n February 2000 filmmaker Jeff Barrie will embark on a 4,500 mile bicycle journey across America in a grass-roots effort to protect Alaska's spectacular wilderness from unnecessary oil development. Barrie will pedal his bicycle from Los Angeles to Washington, DC, where the fate of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is being decided. Along the way, Barrie will be showing his award-winning documentary film, Arctic Quest: Our Search for Truth.
Attend a screening in San Diego:
Light refreshments will be provided and a $5 donation is requested.
Barrie wants to attract America's attention to the threat of oil development facing the Refuge, enlist the support of the public in helping protect this wilderness area, while promoting cleaner, more efficient forms of energy and transportation. Barrie plans to collect thousands of letters from concerned viewers and deliver them to Congress when he arrives in DC.
Protecting the Refuge through Federal legislation is only part of Barrie's mission. He also advocates embracing more efficient cars and renewable forms of energy. Barrie's trek is being accompanied by a superefficient Toyota Prius, driven by Alex Tapia, one of the stars in the film. The new "hybrid" Prius uses a combination of gasoline and electric motors to achieve nearly 70 miles per gallon. "We'll cross America on less than 7 tanks of gas, more than 800 miles per fill-up," boasts Tapia. Barrie adds that "by driving cars like this and riding bicycles on those short trips to the grocery store, we could simultaneously protect Alaska's wilderness and clean our nation's air."
The fate of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been fiercely debated between oil interests and wilderness preservationists for nearly 20 years. The oil industry claims that development will have minimal impact on wildlife, but critics contend that oil drilling would destroy the wilderness area and its 150,000 member Porcupine Caribou Herd, which provides subsistence for the Gwichíin people, indigenous to the Arctic. This debate is portrayed in Barrie's film Arctic Quest, the true story of five teenagers who travel to Alaska in search of the truth behind the debate rhetoric. Their discoveries shed light on the complexities of this debate and the film presents a solution through energy efficiency.
The resolution to this hard-fought environmental battle lies in Congress. Barrie hopes letters from the public will convince Congress to permanently protect the Refuge. Such protection has been proposed in the Morris K. Udall Wilderness Bill (HR 1239) This bill needs more support before it can be passed, which is the motivation for his grass-roots effort.
The Arctic Quest Clean Energy tour is crossing the United States, passing through Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia and DC. Call Jeff Barrie at (310) 327-1187 for other screening times and locations, or for more information about the tour, or visit www.arcticquest.org. For local questions, contact the local hosts, San Diego EarthWorks, (858) 272-7370.