James Cameron and Eric Schmidt discuss technology and the environment, “We’re the Comet”

Google’s Eric Schmidt moderated a two hour conversation with James Cameron

James Cameron on “Avatar 2″ and the Impending Environmental Crisis

James Cameron

On stage at a private event in Silicon Valley last night, legendary director James Cameron and Google CEO Eric Schmidt held a fascinating two hour conversation that touched on everything from the technology needs of the upcoming Avatar 2 film to the perils that face the environment if action isn’t taken.

Green was a dominant part of the conversation.

The vast majority of the conversation turned toward ecological issues when Eric Schmidt described Avatar as a narrative about the world’s ecology. “Why do you care so much about it?” Schmidt asked Cameron. “What is your responsibility and why are you using your significant perch?”

“Any movie can be a teaching moment, but it has to be wrapped in powerful entertainment,” Cameron stated in response. He says part of the reason Avatar succeeded was that it spoke to the human psyche and heart. Specifically, it spoke to something he believes we all know: that we’re becoming disconnected from nature and that we are on a precipice.

“If we don’t take control over our stewardship of our planet,” Cameron began, “the planet we bequeath to our children and our grandchildren will be in significant danger.”

The next part of the conversation focused around the statistics supporting Cameron and Schmidt’s positions on the environment. They said that 70% of species will be extinct by the end of this century if we do nothing to stop the rise of world temperatures. Both men pointed out that while an average temperature rise of a few degrees would be devastating, the temperature rise would be three times as great at the arctic and antarctic poles.

We’ll see how green the data center environment is for Avatar 2.

One closing quote stuck with the author.

While they covered a lot of ground (more than I can reasonably type up), there was one quote that really summed up Cameron and Schmidt’s thoughts on our treatment of the environment. It was in reference to the comet that killed the dinosaurs.

“We’re the comet this time,” Cameron said.