At the risk of sounding rather grim, it’s a fact that the world loses 200 species every day. Adding to that, it seems every day the White House eagerly rolls back essential environmental protections. Climate change is so grave (pun intended) that U.N. scientists warn we’ve got 12 years to confront it or it’s basically all over for the planet. (Is that all?)

Thankfully, environmentalists are fighting back, including the amazing 16- year-old climate activist, Greta Thunberg. She recently sailed the Atlantic on a 100% emissions-free boat to attend the U.N. Climate Talks. As you read this, Greta is leading young people in 150 countries world wide on a “climate strike” demanding governments take action. (I, on the other hand, will be pleased today if I accomplish getting my laundry done.)

Please Google “YouTube Greta Thunberg. As you’ll see Greta has clearly found her mission. The same might be said of SMC Adjunct Professor, Dr. Sheila Laffey who educates students via “Eco movies.” Dr. Laffey has spent decades immersed in the environmental movement and also has vast film experience, having produced 10, directed 6 and written 1. (So as not to make her blush, I’m only mentioning two of her compelling documentaries, Last Stand: The Struggle For the Ballona Wetlands and South Central: Oasis in a Concrete Desert.) South Central Farm: Oasis in a Concrete Desert.

The remarkably energetic Dr. Laffey is also host of “Green Screen,” a free, open to the public, series of films on the environment, an extension of her Film Studies course “Green Screen.” Sponsored by SMC Global Citizenship, this Monday, September 23, Green Screen begins its 3rd season. The series is shown in the state of the art Auditorium 180 of the SMC Center for Media and Design, which has a huge screen and seats 180.

In fact, CMD has everything a sophisticated movie goer would want, except popcorn. The documentary featured on Monday (at 4 pm) is The Earthing Movie – The Remarkable Science of Grounding (2019, 75minutes.) It’s a nostalgic subject to anyone who can remember a childhood of occasionally playing in the dirt or lazily lying on the grass watching clouds go by. (Oh, how I’d love to turn the clock back even for a day.)

The movie explores the effects on human physiology and health of connecting one’s skin to the ground for extended periods of time. It turns out such contact, as barefoot on the grass or in the sand, a connection with earth which is called “grounding” or “earthing,” can significantly reduce inflammation in humans and often lead to dramatic health benefits.

The film features author Deepak Chopra, actress Mariel Hemingway, and Clint Ober, considered the “father” of grounding. After the movie, Dr. Laffey will lead a discussion with the film’s award-winning filmmakers, Josh and Rebecca Tickell.

The SMC Center for Media and Design (CMD) is located at 1660 Stewart Street. Parking is limited, so attendees are encouraged to arrive via the Expo line, the bus, or a ride-sharing service. (Or, as Sheila often does, biking.)

Next in the series, on October 7, at 4 p.m., Green Screen presents Bringing It Home (2006, 60 minutes.) Directed by Linda Booker, the film explores the subject of hemp, using animation, archival images and interviews with hemp business leaders and growers to better understand a crop with so many widespread benefits. A discussion follows the screening.

On October 28 at 3 p.m., there will be a screening of Free Willy (1993, 102 minutes) an enormously successful feature film about a boy who befriends a captive Orca whale. The film drew attention to the real-life captive whale Keiko, who was released thanks to the efforts of the film’s producers, Lauren Shuler Donner and Jenny Lew Tugent, who will participate in a post-screening discussion.

On November 4 at 4 p.m., the last in the series will be Poisoning Paradise (2018, 75 minutes.) ” Executive produced by Pierce Brosnan and produced and directed by Keely Shaye Brosnan and Teresa Tiko, Poisoning Paradise looks at the seemingly idyllic world of native Hawaiians.

Unfortunately, these Hawaiian communities are surrounded by experimental test sites for genetically engineered seed corn and pesticides. The film presents the insights of activists, scientific experts, and health care professionals on the effects of environmental injustice and what it means for the future of food, sustainable farming practices, and the health of our planet. A discussion also follows this screening.

One of Dr. Laffey’s students recently told her he prefers documentaries because, “I want to know what’s really going on.” If you want to know what’s really going on, the Green Screen Series is the ticket. Clearly, it’s not as dramatic of an environmental statement as Greta sailing the Atlantic, but with Green Screen you won’t have to worry about getting sea sick.

For more info, click on this link: or Google “Green Screen at SMC” or phone (310) 434-4100.) Jack is at: