How to Boil a Frog


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How to Boil A Frog The Movie

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How to Boil a Frog Free Goodie Release 6/24/09 - Sittin' in the Garden Edition

Hi All,

This week we’ve got the first of 2 mini-interviews with David Strahan, author of the excellent book “The Last Oil Shock”. This week David talks about whether the developed world has really become more energy efficient, a key question if we want to hang onto the world-view that technology will save us. (HINT: I’m growing veggies in my backyard.) Check out David’s take on the subject at

Our Book o’ the Update is “Peak Everything” by Richard Heinberg, a must-read overview of our current situation that goes way beyond just limits to our global oil supply (topping out now) into all energy sources, topsoil, forest, fish, phosphates, you name it, we’re using it up at unsustainable rates. Richard’s work is key to understanding that this is NOT JUST A BUNCH OF ISOLATED PROBLEMS you’re seeing on the news everyday. We’re looking at a systemic problem (too many people, too little planet) and all the symptoms are going to hit us at once: sniffles, aches, fever, insomnia, indigestion, gout, itching, swelling, shrinkage, annoying hair growth and a bunch of other things for which there is no easy remedy. That’s the real Domino Theory we need to learn about, and Richard’s book is a great place to start. Check it out at

Once again we’re replacing all 5 Essential Articles with new ones, to keep up with those dominoes. Note there’s an emotional progression of these articles – sort of like the flow from “Death Proof” into “Planet Terror” – so read all 5 in one sitting if you can put down the iPod/laptop/TV remote/Crackberry that long.

Up first is “An Inconvenient Talk” by Chris Turner, which tells the story of Calgary-based geoscientist Dave Hughes and his mission of spreading the basic facts about peak oil. Why this article isn’t on the cover of, say, everything, escapes me.

Move on from there to “What You Don’t Know Makes You Nervous” by Daniel Gilbert. You’ll find that, no, it isn’t just you - we’re all stuck in a kind of nervous ambivalence, knowing we should change our behavior but not doing it because maybe – just maybe – we won’t have to. So the question becomes, after you read this article, will you take action? Still not convinced?

Then move on to “Too Big to Fail: Ecological Ignorance and Economic Collapse” by Chip Ward, as he explains the cycles of the economy by looking at Nature…and takes you into your feelings. Continue that journey with…

“Solastalgia” by Sanjay Khanna, who wants to come up with a better name for what we’re feeling than “I-know-I-shouldn’t-drive-and-fly-and-consume-mass-quantities-of-conveniently-packaged-stuff-because-I’m-killing-the-polar-bears-and-my-great-grandchildren-but-it’s-too-hard-to-change-and-we-all-die-anyway-itis.” She got it down to 4 syllables, and came up with some good insights on how to get to action too. So now that you’ve felt your feelings, finish off with…

“Family Farmers: The Return” by Herve Kempf. A good career reminder: the real green jobs of the future are going to be in growing green stuff! Lawns are so 20th century. Zuke flower salads from the backyard are in! All these fine wordsmiths await you at

After all that reading, it’s time to move on to our Essential Movie, and not only is it free, but I guarantee it will dazzle you. It’s “The History of Oil”, written and performed by Robert Newman. Witty, beautifully shot and entirely powered by guys on stationary bikes, this is one of the most brilliant pieces of entertainment I’ve seen in a long time. Just click on and sit back for an hour of something I wish there were a lot more of. For more on this extraordinary comedian, songwriter & activist, visit

Our Essential Funny Web Short is called “Stop Pollution”, an animated featurette with penguins & polar bears, who by the way will soon be indigenous to Cleveland. Waitin’ for you at

We’ve also replaced all 5 Essential Links because there’s so dang much great stuff happening online right now.

Start with The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, if you’re looking for a new and extraordinary kind of commitment to saving Humanity. HTBAF the Movie advocates a voluntary restriction to one child (and adoption after that) – here’s the next step beyond!

Next is the GrowthBusters website, brought to you by Friend O’ the Frog Dave Gardner. Like HTBAF, this is both a website and an upcoming film!

New Society Publishers is a local publishing house with an amazing catalogue – a must-browse!

World-changing has a great motto – “Change your thinking” – from that all else flows. The link on our site goes to a page that has a video on urban eco-villages, which turn out to be nothing like what I had in my head. Check it out and then cruise the site for a zillion free resources.

The Green World Campaign. Plant a tree for a quarter! 2 bits! Best bargain on the net! And all of this awaits you at!

We’ve got a couple of different Actions o’ the Week. If you happen to be lucky enough to live in and around lovely Vancouver, BC, check out the summer courses being offered at Langara College by Village Vancouver – just click on to see what’s happening on the skill-building front. (If you live elsewhere, try googling Transition Towns to see what’s available in your area.) Or if you’re in the mood for some trouble-making, try out to sign up for civil disobedience or action offsets!

And don’t forget to check out the first review of HTBAF the movie at Not bad for a movie nobody's allowed to see yet! Thanks to FOF's Bart Anderson at and Kathy McMahon at for spreading the word about the movie!

And, as always, please spread this email to others who are not yet Frog-aware, and discuss with them some of what you see and read here. What you do matters!

Till next time,

Jon & all his friends at
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Thursday, June 11, 2009

First Review of How to Boil a Frog the movie!

Thanks to for reviewing the rough cut of How to Boil a Frog! Now to raise half a million bucks to get it to a theater near you!

Published Jun 11 2009 by Energy Bulletin
How To Boil A Frog (film review)
by Amanda Kovattana

A lively film promoting activism via video that is in itself a sophisticated example of the medium. With a personal narrative from author/activist Jon Cooksey, this is a rapid fire account of five problems that are bringing the human race to the brink of disaster due to ecological deterioration of the planet. Using a available low budget props high in visual humor, Cooksey outlines the impacts of population overshoot, habitat destruction of the natural world, increasing human wealth causing disastrous consumption and further destruction, peak oil and global warming.


Peppering his demonstration with illustrated factoids, easily understood metaphors and bathroom humor, his change of costumes and local are inter-cut with a series of visual cues referencing boomer culture from pong to disco. The humor keeps the viewer from too much despair at his state of the planet address, yet doesn't flinch from the dreadful facts of our abuse of the oceans with an assault of plastic, the rate of development in China and the disastrous reduction in forest and water supply due to resource depletion. Accompanied with magic marker charts to illustrate the point of overshoot when we should have leveled off our consumption and growth (in 1987), he follows with a "Red Asphalt" attempt at warning us of what will happen if we continue business as usual. Cooksey firmly establishes that we must understand that there are definite limits to what the planet will bear.

He follows with five solutions urging viewers to forget about a techno fix and work on shrinking our consumption to fit these limits starting with ourselves first. Beginning with cultivating a change of heart about how we live, his solutions include reducing energy use, growing food in our own backyards (he demonstrates in his own yard from scratch) and activism using youtube interviews to embarrass corporations that are causing harm into changing their evil ways. Convinced of this David and Goliath approach using nothing more than a digital camera, Cooksey delivers his main message "make friends, make fun, make trouble". And he is infectious in this energy. Everyone can be a youtube star and show and tell what they've done. Such is the appeal of a visual medium, that it can both showcase your personality and your accomplishments. The beauty of How To Boil A Frog is that it appeals to our altruism without seeming holier than thou.

It is worth noting that this is one of the few films of the "change the world" genre that actually states that we can't live as we have been doing and must transition to another way of life. The fast pace of the explanations and quick cultural references may go over the heads of an over 50 audience, but it is perfect for the video generation.