Loading...
Element: Jeff
Now Watching
Element: Jeff
Jeff, along with delegates from around the globe, descended on Bali for the 2007 Climate Summit. But Jeff's goals were unique: he made the trip in order to coordinate videoconferences for virtual delegates who decided to abstain from flying in order to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Flash Player 9.0.115+ or HTML5 video support is required to play this video.
Loading...
Director: Emily McDowell
Producer: Mark Harvey

A production of tve.

Read about the European Commission's development work.

Find out how Oxfam Novib plans to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

Read about the Com + Alliance of Communicators for Sustainable Development's efforts to make a more sustainable world.

Element (the series) was made by Element Partnership, with the assistance of Internews Europe and One World Media.
Loading...

Share this video

Include start time Get current time
Include related videos, articles & actions
Loading...

Segment 1

TITLE
Element
JEFF ALLEN [Managing Editor, OneWorld]
Remember when the Internet was just about porn and poker? Cast back to the end of 2007. International delegates converged on an island in Indonesia, to talk about how to deal with climate change. But who was talking, and who got to listen? OneWorld.net made another island, on the virtual world of Second Life, where anybody with an Internet connection could listen in and join in to transmissions from the conference. We gave chat rooms a new meaning. This was Virtual Bali.
TITLE
Jeff
JEFF ALLEN
And this is me. I just got off a ten-hour flight. Which is ironic because the conference was all about reducing the amount of greenhouse gases we’re pumping into the atmosphere, including by flying. Scientists are telling us that to avoid the worst effects of climate change, we’ve got less than ten years to radically cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.
TITLE
Bali, Indonesia
JEFF ALLEN
I was in Bali to set up a link between the conference and the Second Life site, so more people could engage without getting on a plane. Thing is, back in Washington, I’m usually the one writing the articles, not doing the wiring. This was a combination of technology, and people, that had never been done quite this way before.
JEFF ALLEN
Hi everybody.
DANIEL NELSON
Hi. This is rather chaotic. We had a sound problem, but we’re back. And we’re in the middle of an incredibly busy corridor where people are moving the camera in order to get past.
JEFF ALLEN
The plan was to record interviews with climate commentators at the Bali conference, broadcast the interviews on Second Life’s OneClimate Island, take questions from the avatars representing real people in different countries, and have them answered by the real life interviewees. We’re apparently going live early, and our guests are showing late. Which is a problem.
JEFF ALLEN
Standing by, standing by -- waiting for cue.
DANIEL NELSON
Welcome to Second Life. We’re here in Bali for the United Nations Climate Change negotiations.
JEFF ALLEN
Things were working, more or less, and people were tuning in from all over. One guy was even from Turkmenistan, hardly your average Washington policy wonk. But not very many people were tuning in. And a secret? It was my OneWorld colleagues and I making up the questions.
JEFF ALLEN
Hi, is it possible to turn the fountains off in the Flamboyant Lounge again tonight? We needed a higher profile. We knew we could make good content, but could we get enough publicity to fill the seats? And enough people for someone else to ask questions? We needed an Al Gore.
AL GORE [Former Vice President, United States]
We the human species face a planetary emergency.
JEFF ALLEN
Biggest audience the conference got. Everyone listens to Al Gore. It is Al Gore mania. Mania! They love him here. They love Al Gore. I do too.
JEFF ALLEN
Then our big chance turned up: the biggest guy in the United States Congress on global warming. Instead of coming to Bali to give his speech, he’s decided to stay in the US, not spend the carbon dioxide emissions by traveling across the world, and give his speech via Second Life on our island.
JEFF ALLEN
The press would go wild. I started getting the word out. Best six dollars OneWorld ever spent. So right now we need to scramble and see if we can get a room. Are there any rooms, anywhere with an Internet connection? I had no idea that the high level session is happening at the exact same time tomorrow. Terrible planning. Terrible. On OneClimate Island, avatars were turning up. But back in the conference center, no one seemed interested.
JEFF ALLEN
If you guys are free in about nine minutes, Markey’s going to be on.
JOURNALIST
I don't know. I’m going to go see how busy Plenary Two is.
JEFF ALLEN
All right, good luck. I'm trying to round up a crowd, but I don’t think it’s going to happen with the prime minister of Australia signing the Kyoto Protocol at the same moment. There was no time for more crowd wrangling. We just had to go for it. My mike is in; it’s not picking our audio. We got nothing! Got it. We’re good.
SUE
So Chairman Markey, thank you for teleporting your way to Virtual Bali.
REPRESENTATIVE EDWARD MARKEY [D-MA]
Thank you Sue. I believe I am the first member of the United States Congress to be introduced by someone with a blue dragon on her shoulder.
JEFF ALLEN
And this funny thing started happening. The conference people started watching, like they’d remembered there was a world out there, even if it was virtual.
REPRESENTATIVE EDWARD MARKEY
But now we are serious again and this bill in my opinion will become the law before the end of this year.
JEFF ALLEN
Now we had a profile, and a model for other people to use: an open platform for talk on climate change, for high profilers and people who’d never had access before. Everyone talks in vague general terms: “We need to harness the power of new technologies.” But this is a concrete example of one thing we can do. We can’t hold this whole conference and all the negotiations on Second Life. Of course people are going to need to fly to a centralized location to meet each other. But maybe not everybody.
REPRESENTATIVE EDWARD MARKEY
Thank you for joining me today on the virtual island of Bali created by OneClimate in Second Life.
JEFF ALLEN
That was wonderful! That was fantastic! What do you think? I mean, I thought it was great! Virtual Bali was a real life success story. We’d made the technology and the vision work. I could pack up and celebrate, far away from cables and computers. I haven’t been out of the booth in days. I feel like I could have been in Scranton the last week. Okay, so talking at the conference or online is just the start. But this way, more people can connect with what we need to do to prevent the worst effects of climate change. The next big climate change conference is in Denmark, December 2009. This time, OneClimate Island will be in Virtual Copenhagen. Come join us. Save some carbon. Show we can do something about climate change, while we talk about doing something about climate change.
TITLE
www.oneclimate.net
TITLE
Element. www.element-tv.net. For more information, please visit http://www.tve.org