Hawaii Preparatory Academy will launch this school year’s Ohana Sustainability program with a special screening of “Dirty Energy” at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 29, at the school’s Gates Performing Arts Center; doors open at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. A panel discussion will follow at 8 p.m.
“Dirty Energy” brings to light the personal stories of the Louisiana fishermen and local residents directly impacted by the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. Filmmaker Bryan D. Hopkins gains intimate access to the lives and homes of these people, as they struggle to rebuild their lives and contend with emerging health crises related to the toxic dispersants used in the BP oil spill response. The film questions whether the cure to oil spills — dispersants — might be worse than the harm. “Dirty Energy” challenges Americans to reassess the risk of offshore oil, our oil dependency in general, and toxic dispersants. It is a call to action.
“’Dirty Energy’ is particularly relevant to the state of Hawaii now because, like most coastal states and U.S. territories, Hawaii has pre-approved use in state waters of the very same toxic Corexit dispersants that were used in the Gulf of Mexico and now are known to cause extensive long-term harm to human health and the environment,” said Dr. Riki Ott, an internationally recognized oil spill expert, community organizer, and Exxon Valdez oil spill survivor. “People in at least nine coastal states are working together to ban toxic dispersants in state waters as a first step in banning use of toxic chemicals in oil spill response. Screening ‘Dirty Energy’ is a good way to introduce this timely issue to the people of Hawaii.”
Ott, who is featured in “Dirty Energy,” will participate in a panel discussion that follows the film, along with representatives from health, culture, and science.