Lots of YERTy News!

Dear YERTians,

It has been quite a while since our last update, but we have lots of exciting news to report! Read on for the details…

  • YERT to present at 2010 Bioneers in CA
  • YERT featured on radio shows
  • Recent presentations
  • Plan a YERT presentation this fall
  • Seeking finishing funds
  • Vote for Solar Roadways in GE Ecomagination contest
  • Climate bill needs your help

YERT to present at 2010 Bioneers in CA

We recently found out that we will be presenting the YERT feature film in its near-finished state at the 2010 Bioneers Conference in California, Oct. 15-17. We’ll be screening at 7pm on Friday the 15th as part of their 2010 Moving Image Festival. If you haven’t heard about the Bioneers Conference, we highly recommended you check it out! We found many ideas for YERT destinations through the event, and both Ben and Mark are actively involved in bringing Bioneers to their respective communities in Louisville and Pittsburgh (find one near you here). Van Jones (Green for All) and Annie Leonard (Story of Stuff) presented at Bioneers several years before breaking out into the mainstream. It is an honor to present at the same event!

YERT featured on radio shows
Ben and Mark talked about the upcoming YERT film and the state of our environmental world during a couple of recent radio interviews. Chris Moore, a talk show host on KDKA radio in Pittsburgh, PA, invited us on his show on June 27 to share adventures and solutions we encountered during our road trip. He paired our interview with an hour-long segment featuring Scott Brusaw and his Solar Roadways! Then on July 22 we were interviewed for the premier episode of Live a Damn radio— created by Michael Parrish DuDell (EcoRazzi.com and VEGdaily.com). Want to hear about these interviews BEFORE they happen? Join the YERT Facebook Fan Page!

Recent presentations

One of the most powerful ways we have found to reach out to the community AND support our filmmaking efforts has been to give YERT presentations–at schools, universities, and now government and business audiences! Mark was invited by the Allegheny County Department of Special Events to share the YERT story as part of their “Summer Concerts and Events” series on July 10. Then, on July 13, we were invited to give a presentation to the employees of Centria. (This company makes LEED and “Cradle to Cradle” certified wall panel systems just outside of Pittsburgh.) Here’s a quote from one of the audience members: “Mark, Ben, and Julie have an intense curiosity about the world……..the videos demonstrate their child-like enthusiasm and genuine love of discovery. To a large degree, that’s what makes their investigation of sustainability far more compelling than any other one that I’ve seen; their adventures sparked a great deal of conversation among everyone who attended the presentation.”

Greenify your peeps! Plan a YERT presentation this fall

We are planning up a storm for YERT presentations in the fall to help us fund our YERTy work. Do you know a church, school, or business that might like to invite us? Do they want to join the ranks of previous hosts like Sony Pictures, YALE University, USC, NYU, All Saints Church in Pasadena, and dozens of other planet-minded organizations? Let us know! We can do partial “pre-screenings” of our film along with the best videos, stories, and good times from our adventure. We can also tailor the presentation to the audience, like when we created a business version for green MBA students at Duquesne, or a spirituality-oriented version for the Sustainable Brands conference on Monterey. We currently have a trip planned to Boston around Nov. 10, and trips to Los Angeles and San Francisco planned for September and October, respectively. We’re looking to fill our schedule with events at several colleges and communities, so please let us know if you’d like us to present for you (and bring a little YERTy motivation to your community). Just write to mark@yert.com. We’re also happy to offer a Skype-assisted presentation, where we send some videos to you and then Skype/videoconference into the venue anywhere around the world (Ben just did this for the Dutch Environmental Film Festival and it worked out great!). This saves CO2 AND reduces our speaking fee. Very YERTy. For more information and testimonials about YERT presentations visit: http://yert.com/presentations.php.

Seeking film finishing funds

After years of progress on the film, we can definitely say that our latest push for donations can be categorized as a hunt for “finishing” funds. Ben and Mark are actively bunkered down in Louisville, KY to push through some plot-related knotholes and key narration elements in the film. We have begun to work with a talented, fun narrator, not to mention a spectacular composer to score the film. And we continue to uncover great songs from brilliant, YERTy musicians around the country. Here’s the bottom line: every dollar donated to the project helps us get the film and videos out faster. We take odd jobs to make ends meet and keep the YERT machine running, but that pulls us away from the creative work of filmmaking. So, for the sake of the planet–one that doesn’t have much time–please consider making a tax deductible donation and joining a long list of noble supporters at http://www.yert.com/donate.php .

Vote for Solar Roadways in GE Ecomagination contest

YERT recently released our most popular video ever. By an order of magnitude. “Solar Roadways: The Prototype” has exploded into the blogosphere with over 250,000 views since it was launched on June 2. And now Scott Brusaw has an opportunity to take his idea even further. His project is currently ranked 1st out of over 800 entries in the GE Ecomagination “Powering the Grid” contest (and he is using YERT’s video in his application!). Please take five minutes to vote for him by visiting this page.

Climate bill needs your help

The YERT team recognizes climate change as one of the most profound challenges ever faced by our civilization, and some recent facts shared by 350.org underscore the dangers we face:

  • According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the planet has just come through the warmest decade, the warmest 12 months, the warmest six months, and the warmest April, May, and June on record.
  • A “staggering” new study from Canadian researchers has shown that warmer seawater has reduced phytoplankton, the base of the marine food chain, by 40% since 1950.
  • Nine nations have so far set their all-time temperature records in 2010, including Russia (111 degrees), Niger (118), Sudan (121), Saudi Arabia and Iraq (126 apiece), and Pakistan, which also set the new all-time Asia record in May: a hair under 130 degrees. I can turn my oven to 130 degrees.

We see glimpses of what a climate changed world might be like when we look at the catastrophic floods in Pakistan or the toxic smoke from fires in Russia. It isn’t pretty. What does look pretty to us is a world powered by clean and renewable energy that doesn’t run out or become more difficult and dangerous to extract with time. In fact, just the opposite is true. The longer we work with renewables, the easier it is to harvest energy from them. Climate change legislation is one critical brick on the path to clean energy. Please call your senators and demand that they do their part and enact strong climate change legislation. All future generations of every species on earth are counting on you. No pressure. 😉

Ben, Julie, and Mark


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