Do you know “Someplace with a Mountain”?

 The other night by pure chance  I viewed “Someplace with a Mountain” on my local PBS station KCPT 2.  Lately, as in ever since the GOP attack on funding for PBS the station seems to have found some sort of backbone and has been airing programs dealing with environmental issues. Perhaps this schedule was lined up long ago–but the timing is currently rather interesting from my perspective. Now if they start giving air time to Al Jazeera news as they do for the BBC news late at night, then we’ll know for sure that a revolution is at hand in American media. But, for whatever reason, this wonderful and terribly disturbing independent film aired during prime time. Thank you, KCPT, for presenting “Someplace with a Mountain.” This film is the result of one man’s encounter with some very traditional people living on the Island of Puluwat.  The Islanders have a serious problem caused by US. Yes, US, if you’re living in an industrialized country while reading this then you too have contributed to their problem in one form or another. Why? Because it’s the industrialized countries, USA at the top of the list, that are responsible for the pollution that is affecting the lives of the Island people.  These people don’t pollute the Earth. Their traditional sustainable lifeways have not created any toxic oil spills. They don’t drive cars. They don’t have money. They don’t destroy their environment for profit like we do. Yes, we do, every one of us by virtue of how we  currently LIVE.  Our actions have led to rising sea levels which are responsible for the destruction of the atolls on which the Puluwat have lived for thousands of years. Think about that for a moment—people living in the same place for a few thousand years and it’s not a toxic waste dump. What are they doing right and what are we doing wrong? They live in harmony and balance with nature. We do not. We rape the world for everything we think we “need.” Or we allow the people who run oil corporations to do it for us.  Or we allow the use of nuclear power and suffer the consequences as are the Japanese–who will  share the toxic waste with the entire world in one form or another over time.  All because of what we think we require in order to live what we deem is the “good life.” Well is it the good life when your water can be set on fire? When your soil is full of toxic chemicals? When our children are born with diseases due to the food and water consumed by their parents? If we have such a “good” lifestyle, then why are so many people addicted to legal and illegal drugs? If life is so great then why are we waging war around the globe? People talk about escaping to islands with beaches and no stress. Hmm. Gee, why is that? Well consider that such islands with peaceful beaches will be no more because of our greed and how that plays out in environmental ways.  Heat the planet, melt the ice, raise the sea levels and the islands are the first to feel the pain of going under water. Bye, bye atolls everywhere. So sorry but since you have no oil or diamonds or anything else that feeds our  industrial addictions your islands mean nothing in the Wall Street–World Bank scheme of things. Okay, have I rained on your Earth Day? Well, I’m not apologizing because we’re all past due for accepting responsibility for the way we live and how the way we live affects us, the Earth and other people who don’t live as we do.

See “Someplace with a Mountain” and consider how you’ve helped destroy a people’s home and potentially their culture and them.  Yes, they have the hope of relocation thanks to Yap. But that is not  a reality yet.  The Puluwat have done nothing to you or me. But we have done plenty to them–ignorance is no longer an excuse thanks to Steve Goodall’s film. This is the age of information. We’ve got it at our fingertips. Now how are we going to use it for the future of our survival–and that of the Puluwat Islanders?

Meet The Last Navigators at  

Click the photograph to visit “Someplace with a Mountain” for trailers, photos and information.

Someplace with a Mountain “Like” on Facebook.

No, this is NOT a happy happy, joy joy, Earth Day to everyone–to say so would be a huge LIE.


  1. flandrumhill said,

    April 28, 2011 at 11:29 am

    It’s only a matter of time before everyone living along a coast is going to be looking for someplace with a mountain.

  2. artistatexit0 said,

    April 24, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Look within you…what do you need and what can you live without? The Puluwat already understand this.

  3. Berit Westby said,

    April 24, 2011 at 7:09 am

    Great rant!! Required reading for proponents of “our way of life” – if I can get them to read it of course…

  4. Stafford said,

    April 23, 2011 at 3:51 am

    OK guys, let’s not throw in the towel.
    A post like this would have been unthinkable even a few years ago and its message is spreading.
    So what do we do next?
    We can bemoan the damage and wait for someone to fix it, or we can do something.
    The simplest thing to do is to become politically active by joining a political party. I don’t care which one because they all need a conscience.

    Somer years ago I joined the Austrtalian Greens. There I found my tribe.
    Concerned, gentle people who respect others and rather than join in the blame game, are working away presenting the voice of reason.

    I met Bob Brown (founder of the Australian Greens and still leader of the party) a few years ago and he offered me a wonderful snippet. He said; “Win or lose, you will FEEL better when you are involved.”

    PS. There is no longer a mechanism that removes CO2 from the bioshere. Therefore, the only goal that makes sense is ZERO emissions.
    Congratulations. Your post improved my Earth Day considerably!

    • April 23, 2011 at 4:12 am

      Thank you very much! Your commentary improved mine, Stafford. I agree–we each need to find our way of engaging and addressing the problem as best we can. We must become ACTIVE participants in achieving a “cure.” Zero emmissions is needed. We’ve reached 390+ –beyond the 350 range. There the Greens, Peaceful Uprising founded by the remarkable Tim DeChristopher, Greenpeace, the demanding young people of Power Shift–plenty of “tribes” to go around. Everyone has some place and part to play.. We ALL must play NOW.

  5. Don in Mass said,

    April 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    It’s truly sad what we have done to this earth, all in the name of money.

    • April 23, 2011 at 4:23 am

      What do you suggest “we” do about it, Don? Come on, don’t be shy. Share your thoughts.

  6. slpmartin said,

    April 22, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Changes due to global warming impact far more people than we realize these days or are willing to admit to.

    • April 23, 2011 at 4:28 am

      Admit or not–reality is in plain sight–as you so often write in poetry, Charles.

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