Throughout history, the rate of carbon dioxide release was predictable. In the past 100 years, the rate of carbon dioxide release has skyrocketed, faster than at any point in human history. Without dramatic intervention, the consequences will be existential to humanity.
In addition, the rate of pollution and plastic consumption is corroding the rest of the world. There is not a single natural habitat that remains untouched by humans. There is plastic in almost all our food sources and toxins in our air. We must come together to address these threats to our collective well being.
The first step of addressing climate change begins with awareness. Please take a moment to read the articles and information presented here and to learn more about conservation efforts, recycling, reducing our carbon footprint and asking our lawmakers to help corporations do their part.
The most important thing we can do as individuals is to reduce our carbon footprint. From driving less, to making an effort to recycle, or take measures to curb pollution, to eating a more plant-based diet, there are many things individuals can do. Perhaps the most important step is to ask our government and business leaders to do their part to help us all reduce energy expenditure. Look under Further Reading for more suggestions.
Now, more than ever, we need for citizens to be empowered via information. In this section, I share some of the best articles that I have come across in my research. You don't need to take my word on it; you can read it first hand for yourself.
Never before has science and data been so challenged. I find the more I read about the issues, the more I understand the complexity of the problems facing the earth. The more I understand, the easier it is to make changes, small and large.
I hope the articles here are but the beginning of the research you can do on your own.
Jacob Updyke was a sophomore at Millburn High School, NJ when he decided to teach himself animation in order to spread awareness around an issue he felt was not getting enough attention: Climate Change. Jacob spent seven months teaching himself, through trial and error, how to animate. His first film, "You Reap What You Sow" has been screened worldwide in 33 film festivals to date. YRWYS has won 13 awards including the One Earth Award and the Youth Free Expression Climate Award, among others.
Jacob completed his second film "One Man's Trash" in April 2019. OMT follows the plight of a plastic bottle to see where it ends up. This one-minute PSA won one award and has been an official selection in 13 film festivals including All American High School Film Festival, which also accepted Jacob's other two films.
Always socially conscious, his new movie "AYEO" was released in late February of 2020. Since it was released, "AYEO" has been viewed in 39 different film festivals as either an Official Selection or as an award winner. To date, it has received 9 awards including Semi-Finalist at the NY Animation Film Awards, Third Prize at the Frame by Frame Film Festival, and Winner of Central Film Festival. He is most proud of his first place at the Millburn Film Festival in Millburn NJ, which is where he lives!
Together, Jacob's films have been seen at over 85 film festivals all over the world, including Istanbul, Milan, Krakow, Moscow, Beirut, Vancouver, Karlsruhe (Germany), Toronto, Miami, Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Richmond, VA and throughout New Jersey.
Now a high school senior, Jacob hopes to pursue animation and visual storytelling as a career.
Although Jacob does not enjoy writing about himself in the third person (as he has throughout this whole website) he did enjoy writing the Q&A.
To compile it, and since he doesn't need to air the conversations he has with himself, he got some help. He asked his family to collect the most pressing questions about his films and he then thoughtfully answered each one.
Click below so you can learn more about his process for animating, his thoughts about his films and his passion for the environment.