Look Back Black-Carbon Update

This is Aravind.M (Coordinator/Co-Director) from the Indian HEATING UP team, finishing up the project: LOOK BACK, BLACK-CARBON. The Indian Peninsula, home to the great Himalayas, is an area highly threatened by global warming. Our team learned that the Chullas, or the traditional stoves, were hazardous to our health, yet there were no effective measures being taken to tackle the issue, nor was research being conducted on the issue of Black Carbon pollution in India. We took time to understand the big-picture, and spot the right support.

In early meetings, we understood the script had to focus on the present condition, and high-time need, which are the avoidable respiratory ailments with cooking due to acute lower respiratory infections (or ALRI). During our quest, we had the opportunity to meet environmentalists like Dr.Vandhana Siva: Director of The Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Natural Resource Policy, during a conference at Loyola College, Chennai, and were given advice on the Black Carbon and global warming issue. After our meeting, we developed our script.

We spent a lot of time recording the voice-over (which involved a lot of revisions), experimented directly in camera mic, a friend’s studio, and finally in a professional studio. Our many try-outs were in vain due to a lengthy script (around 7 minutes), nearly double the expected time.

Once the voice over was finalized, we had no trouble shooting the scenes. We were in Delhi for the shooting of the flooded Yamuna River, and also captured some excellent shots of the slum sequences, which are areas still using the traditional stoves. We wanted to show the recent calamities of the climate change, especially that of the Yamuna River flood, which put Bihar and other North Eastern States into trouble, and contributed to the vanishing/submerging beautiful Sunderband Bio Diversity. Our idea was to get the visuals from television, but later learned that it wasn’t easy. In wondering how to show these disasters, visually, Vivek suggested we capture the videos directly from the site to the computer. I (Aravind) captured the pictures of the fishermen at Nagapatinam, TamilNadu. For the glacier shots, our dear friend Ryan (from Delhi), came forward to go to Leh and bring us some wonderful images.

We started posting the visuals in sync with the voice overs. Our designer brought us three interesting 2-D Graphics: the graphical chart of different green house gases, the Earth and Black-Carbon effects, and the beautiful wipe Green at the Dark Earth, which may be noted in the last frame of the video. We were very happy that our collage worked out. We believe our video highlights sustainable solutions, and support from the Government and NGOs working on clean fuels.

Additionally, as per Article 6 of UNFCCC, which calls for Education and Outreach, we organized an event called CLIMATE COLLAGE, at Chennai. Scholars from various fields such as: Bio Diversity, Coastal and Marine Eco-system conservation, Solar and LED lights, E-waste management, Air Pollution, and Rain Water Harvesting, spoke freely about the issues at hand.

We look forward to comments from other HEATING UP teams on our video and also would like to work together for this high-time noble cause.

Love to The WGBH Lab and Cheers to all.

Aravind M


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