Friday, April 3, 2009

Virtual Graduation Speech on YouTube for ''Class of 2099'' Raises Eyebrows

Virtual Graduation Speech on YouTube for Class of 2099 Raises Eyebrows
About Need for Drastic Action on Climate Change to Prevent Global Warming From Putting an End to the Human Species If Nothing is Done to stop CO2 Emissions Worldwide Soon

[Webposted 2009]

When climate activist Danny Bloom decided to create a virtual graduation speech to the graduating university classes of 2099, he knew exactly what he was doing.

"This speech is meant as a wake up call, a cri du coeur, from an old man not long for this Earth," he said in a recent interview from his home office in Taiwan. A graduate of Tufts University in Boston, Class of 1971, Bloom has been active in climate blogging for the past two years, when he created the concept of "polar cities" for possible survivors of global warming in the far distance future, if things get really bad on Earth and millions of people have to moved northward to find refuge in climate refugee settlements (which he has dubbed "polar cities"). [GOOGLE: "polar cities"]

Bloom wrote the speech to the class of 2099 a year ago, and put it on his blog. A few months ago, he published it as an oped piece in the China Post newspaper in Taiwan, an English daily there. In late March, with the help of a student at Chung Cheng University in southern Taiwan, Aremac Chuang, a junior, Bloom made a video of the speech. Produced and directed by Mr Chuang, the video is now on and is slowly gathering eyeballs around the world.

Bloom said he hopes to get 10,000 hits the first year, and 25,000 hits by 2012.

When a reporter asked him why he wrote the speech to the class of 2099, as yet unborn, Bloom said: "Since the speech is for the class of 2099 at universities around the world in 2099 A.D.....I hope the video will stay up on YouTube and other video-sharing websites for another 90 years, perhaps even more. Of course, I won't be around much past another ten years or so to see the new comments that come in or to see how many hits the speech gets on YouTube, but I am hoping for 10,000 in the next 12 months and maybe 25,000 hits by 2015."

"I hope that each year that passes, more and more viewers will see it and try to interpret it, each in their own way, from whatever point of view they bring to the viewing process, and my guess is that everyone will see and hear the speech in their own individual ways, according to their own personalities and interests, and according to the "times" they live in, and according to their awareness of the situation their world is in at that time."

"I suspect that by 2030 will take on more urgency, and even more in 2050 and 2080. By the time, humankind reaches the year 2099, the speech might be seen in a new light, either completely validated or completely invalidated."

"So I feel we have made a speech that will last a long time, more than just one year, more than just five or ten years, but for at least 100 years, and then some. And I also suspect that the speech will take on greater urgency and added meanings as time goes on. One might describe this speech as a virtual graduation speech inside a viral time capsule hosted by YouTube."

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