Quotes from the film

Pete with interfaceThe Archivist (Pete Postlethwaite):  “We could have saved ourselves, but we didn’t. It’s amazing. What state of mind were we in, to face extinction and simply shrug it off?”

The Archivist: “Throughout our history, the deal was we left the world in a slightly better place than we found it. That was progress. The wheel, the rule of law, penicillin. It was our covenant with our children and grandchildren.”

The Archivist:  “It’s strange, watching these film fragments. It’s like looking through binoculars observing people on a far off beach. Running around in circles, fixated on the small area of sand beneath their feet, as a tsunami races towards them.

The Archivist:  “We wouldn’t be the first life form to make itself extinct. But what would be unique about us is that we did it knowingly. What does that say about us?”


Jeh Wadia (Indian entrepreneur starting low-cost airline): “We’ll be offering fares from 600 rupees all the way down to 1 rupee. How many people can afford a 1 rupee fare? I would imagine every single Indian can. Your rickshaw driver, even servants. In the year 2005, having an elite class who can fly in a country of a billion people is ridiculous.”

Jeh Wadia: “One simple sentence for me summarises it all: things can only get better.”


Alvin DuVernay (Shell paleontologist and hero of Hurricane Katrina): “You stare mother nature in the eye, usually she’s fairly benign. Then she comes along methodically, ruthlessly, and then she stands toe to toe with you and dares you, dares you. Go ahead, get your best equipment out, go ahead, do it, let’s dance.”

Alvin DuVernay: “I lost everything. Every thing that I owned. From family heirlooms to the paper towels sitting on the kitchen counter.  And the grief that comes with that is just, it’s, it’s profound.”

Alvin DuVernay: “In my opinion our use or misuse of resources the last 100 years or so, I’d probably rename that age, something like The Age of Ignorance, The Age of Stupid.”

Alvin DuVernay:
“Certainly I’m an ecologist and an environmentalist. I really don’t have a problem squaring that with working for an oil company  that I feel has done a pretty good job in being environmentally friendly.”


Layefa Malemi (wannabe doctor from Shell’s most profitable oil region in Nigeria): “I want our place to be like America. In a comfortable house, flashy cars, drinking good water, eating good food. I always want our people, my people – at least me myself – to live that kind of life. It’s a beautiful life. If you were living that life you wouldn’t even like to die. You’d just want to stay on Earth forever.”

Layefa Malemi: “Through being a medical doctor, I really want to be famous. It’s not easy, it’s hard work. But that’s my dream.”


Fernand Pareau (French mountain guide): “When you’re in the mountains you’re roped together. The risk is the same for you as it is for me.”

Fernand Pareau: “I think everyone in the future will perhaps blame us for not thinking to protect the environment. We knew how to profit, but not to protect.”


Piers Guy, UK windfarm developer: “I’m almost jealous of the time, 5, 10 years ago, when I could just jump on a plane with impunity, I didn’t even think about it, it was blissful. No moral dilemma there whatsoever.”

Piers Guy: “You only have to look at the terrible things in our history, which everyone regrets now: massacres, the Holocaust etc, and a lot of that was just going along with what was the predominant thinking at the time.”

Piers Guy: [Referring to the anti-windfarm campaign] “It’s an emotional campaign, it’s about fear and mostly based on complete bollocks frankly, but never mind, facts are not a problem.”

Piers Guy: “How the heck are we meant to persuade people in India and China to develop in a more sustainable way when we’re not even prepared to accept the odd windfarm in the landscape?”


Victoria Reeves, anti-windfarm campaigner, UK: “Everyone is very unhappy about it. We’re going to lose the values on our properties, we’re not going to be able to sleep.”

Victoria Reeves: “Of course we’re worried about global warming. That’s got to be something that we’re all concerned about. I mean we’re all doing our bit to conserve and looking at renewable energy, absolutely.”


George Monbiot, Journalist & Author: “The very fact that the crisis is taking place within our generation, that it’s happening right now, means that we are tremendously powerful people. So this position of despair and I can’t do anything and there’s no point is completely illogical, it’s exactly the opposite.”