Synopsis

From independent filmmakers Steve Dorst and Dan Evans comes SHATTERED SKY: THE BATTLE FOR ENERGY, ECONOMY, AND ENVIRONMENT. Eerily reminiscent of today’s climate-change crisis, SHATTERED SKY recounts the dramatic story of how America led the world to solve the biggest environmental crisis ever seen. Thirty years ago, scientists reported a hole in the ozone layer “the size of North America.” The culprit was CFCs, prevalent in billions of dollars worth of products likes refrigeration and air conditioning that had revolutionized the American way of life. Doctors forecasted skyrocketing cancer: the stakes were “life as we know it.” But business remained bitterly opposed and politicians were initially slow to act. For the first time in film, SHATTERED SKY goes inside the ozone crisis to explore how America led the world to a solution. It inspires viewers toward the same can-do spirit on climate change today.

Director’s Statement

by Steve Dorst

This film compares the two biggest environmental crises of their generations: the ozone crisis that was all over the news in the 1970s and 1980s, and the contemporary challenge of energy security and climate change. This is a critical and timely subject. In 2009, when the House passed energy and climate legislation, America got as close as it’s ever been to formulating a national energy policy to accelerate clean energy innovation. But it died in the dysfunctional Senate. Since then no elected officials will touch the topic with a 10-foot pole. Meanwhile, carbon emissions continue; and Presidential candidates deny global warming. Our national reliance on fossil fuels continues unabated. In making Shattered Sky, I really immersed myself in the period between 1974 and 1987—from the discovery that chemicals were zapping a hole in our ozone layer; to the understandable reluctance of business to change; to citizen power that helped make a difference; and inside-the-Beltway debates on how best to craft a meaningful response. For people under 40 who didn’t live through it, the ozone story is going to feel a lot like what we’re experiencing today on climate. Yet the big difference is that during the ozone drama— during a recession and two consecutive Republican administrations—America chose to lead the world to a global solution. I hope that the film, in about an hour, will inspire us all to rethink the merits of strong leadership on energy and climate. If the ozone story shows us anything, it’s that despite whatever political opinions we may have, there’s a lot of integrity and reward in facing up to a global problem, getting our own house in order, and leading the world to a viable solution.

“This film reminds us of a time not long ago when we put politics aside and led the world to solve a global environmental challenge. We must do this again.”

— Larry Schweiger, President & CEO, National Wildlife Federation