The acclaimed Hollywood director James Cameron, creator of the powerful green message movie Avatar, was in Abu Dhabi recently to tour Masdar. Unsurprisingly to me, with his green perspective, he had some very positive things to say. Hollywood’s greenest director was given a comprehensive overview of Masdar’s approach to tackling the complex energy challenges the world faces, and included a tour of Masdar Institute, the Middle East’s first graduate research institution dedicated to clean energy research and education, according to Arabian Business.
After his tour of the new low carbon city under construction, he made a point of praising the UAE leaders for advancing the low carbon vision of sustainable living, despite being an oil-rich nation.
“Through Masdar” he said, “the leadership of the UAE has taken a visionary path towards the future. In the heart of a major oil producing nation, Masdar is a shining ideal of what a long term, sustainable future for energy can be.
Cameron is a man willing to risk big money on a radical movie that has been decried as shrill and polemical by green future opponents in the US. He was far more positive than more local environmental critics like my fellow writers here at Green Prophet.
“This is a test bed, and this is where the technology is going to come from that will allow us to have a renewable energy future,” he said at Masdar.
Like James Cameron, I live in the US, so I understand his perspective. From over here, Masdar, with all its faults, shortcomings and failures, looks like a real attempt at designing change.
Masdar is evidence of a governmental commitment to a clean energy future that contrasts sharply with that of ours – even though the UAE leadership is even more dependent on oil than our government, now that bribery has been legalized in US politics.
In the US we are impeded by a governing body that proudly proclaims the entire science of climate change – and the necessity of transitioning to clean energy – as some kind of a “hoax.”
It would be un(eco)imaginable for the Tea Party (the new branding for the Republican Party) in the US to fund a major carbon-neutral city, as the leaders of the UAE are attempting at Masdar.
Still, I wonder if the Na’vi themselves would feel at home visiting Masdar – perhaps to take in a rare night at the movies. Or I wonder if we would design more like this for them…?