The Courage to Act Before it’s Too Late

potusOn Tuesday, President Obama delivered remarks at Georgetown University, laying out his bold vision for a comprehensive plan to reduce carbon pollution, prepare our country for the impacts of climate change, and lead the international effort to address global climate change.

The impacts of climate change, including severe weather, threats to public health, and our food system are affecting our economy, our communities, and our national security.  In 2012, the cost of weather related disasters exceeded $110 billion in the United States, and climate change will only increase the frequency and intensity of these events.

During his historic speech, the President asked if, “we have the courage to act before it’s to late” and suggested that, “failure to do so will betray our children and future generations.”

Since 2010, my team, working under the auspice of documentary filmmakers, have witnessed many of our Nation’s disasters up close and personal.  From the devastating and deadly effects of the BP oil catastrophe, to Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane’s Isaac and Sandy, to massive tornado storms in the Great Plains, Midwest and Deep South, to wildfires in California and Colorado, and the lingering effects of blistering heat waves and drought throughout the country.

Our film, Storm Surge affirms the tragic reality that our addiction to fossil fuels and the production of CO2 are compromising everything we value as Americans — our environment, our economy and our political system — and the resulting changes in our climate will put everything we’ve accomplished as a nation into jeopardy.

Climate driven severe weather is not just a problem for the residents of the Gulf Coast, Great Plains, Midwest, or the East Coast, but for all of us.

We are doing our part to help our fellow Americans adapt to climate change, as well as build healthier, safer, and more resilient communities through the power of narrative storytelling and social impact media.  We are heeding the President’s call to take action.

We hope you will join us.  


Stacy and the Team Storm Surge


The Gulf Coast Dead Zone

You’ve heard how hurricanes, oil spills, and industrial development are affecting the Gulf of Mexico, but have you heard about the “hypoxic” or low oxygen dead zones?

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting that a massive dead zone the size of New Jersey (8,561 square miles) will plague the northern Gulf of Mexico this summer, citing a combination of heavy rainfall, flooding, drought, and human activity in the Midwest as the primary culprits.

Data from the U.S. Geological Survey finds that nonpoint sources of nitrogen and phosphorus based fertilizers, animal wastes, sewage, and other nutrient-rich pollutants (i.e., lawn fertilizers) from six major tributaries along the Mississippi River watershed are flowing toward the Gulf at an alarming rate, resulting in the growth of algae blooms that deplete the waters of oxygen as they die and decompose, thereby creating a biological desert.

Runoff fueling the Gulf of Mexico dead zone
Courtesy Donald Scavia / University of Michigan

The USGS estimates 153,000 metric tons of nutrients flowed down the watershed to the northern Gulf of Mexico, an increase of 94,900 metric tons over last year’s 58,100 metric tons, when the region was suffering through drought. This is 16 percent above the 34 year average nutrient load.

The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico will not only affect nationally important commercial and recreational fisheries of pogie, redfish, shrimp, crabs, oysters, and fresh water eels, but will significantly threaten the region’s economy; still reeling in the aftermath of the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Catastrophe.

Courtesy P. J. Hahn/Coastal Zone Management Department

Ironically, NOAA models suggest that the size of the dead zone could be reduced by a large storm or hurricane, which would help churn up the water, thus reducing the hypoxic dead zone to roughly the size of Connecticut (5,344 square miles).

Which in and of itself is pretty big.

The Stafford Act

Hurricane Sandy

The US pours millions into beach relief & maintenance. But are we just putting our coastlines even more at risk? 

Video Editor Wanted

Storm Surge Film is looking for a talented Video Editor to join our team to produce a multi-episodic documentary film series and a transmedia marketing campaign on climate adaptation, disaster resiliency, and citizen action.

We are a lean, agile, and fast growing company based in Seattle, with the majority of our production work being developed in New York, New Orleans, Tuscaloosa, AL, Joplin, MS, and other locales throughout the country.

What You’ll be Working On:

You will be working with our video producers, hosts and editing team to edit and produce interesting and engaging video content.  You will be a part of a production/post-production team who are talented, experienced and good at what they do.  We plan on producing content at a fast pace and you will be expected to work at this pace while always keeping a focus on quality.  We also expect all members of the team to contribute creatively with fresh ideas and concepts to enhance our shows or even launch new shows.


  • 3+ years’ experience with Adobe Premiere
  • Solid experience using other Adobe products like Photoshop
  • Adobe After Effects experience a plus
  • Able to work at a fast pace, while still maintaining quality and creativity
  • Experience shooting with various cameras, mics and in variety lighting and weather conditions


  • Edit archival and daily flow of video content for our Vimeo and YouTube channels
  • Work with team leaders to manage your daily editing/production schedule to optimize your time.
  • Work with hosts/producers to fulfill their vision while also making creative suggestions of your own
  • Execute any production needs like shooting in our green screen studio or assisting with a live studio shoot or on location shoot
  • Work with content managers and producers to receive assets and comply with our asset management guidelines
  • Suggest ways to improve the production / post production process
  • Work with your team to make sure all team responsibilities are getting done on a day-to-day basis.

We are looking for video editors who love the world of documentary film production and transmedia campaign development and are looking for an editing position creating the type of content for this space.

Please don’t apply if you are a filmmaker just looking for a side job to make some extra money – these are not the type of people we want on our team.  We want passionate individuals who are excited about being part of multi-year project with national ramifications.

Storm Surge Film is committed to a diverse workplace and is an enthusiastic equal opportunity employer.

Please email a cover letter, resume, and three (3) references stormsurgefilm [at]gmail [dot] com by 5:00pm, Friday, June 21, 2013.  No phone calls.

Democratic Senators Ask For Tougher CO2 Emission Standards

Democrats from states ravaged by Superstorm Sandy ask the Obama Administration to impose tougher carbon emissions standards on power plants, suggesting the disaster makes the case for stronger actions to address climate change.

Image: Stacy Noland

Read more: 

Research & Production Internship

Storm Surge Films is seeking an enthusiastic individual for a documentary Research & Production Internship for the summer 2013. The internship program at Storm Surge Films is a unique opportunity for young and emerging filmmakers to learn about producing innovative documentary films alongside other passionate storytellers.

Image:  Stacy Noland
Interview with BP Safety Officer, Shell Beach, LA

Interns will find numerous opportunities to build relationships and learn from those working in documentary, arts and non-profit communities throughout the US and beyond. Internships are ideal for candidates who bring strong individual creative sensibilities combined with an interest in participating in a highly-collaborative environment where a diversity of ideas are respected and embraced.

Self-motivated individuals with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, interested in learning about documentary films, media education and community-based outreach and engagement are encouraged to apply. S/he will work closely with the studio’s director, producer and other interns on a daily basis.

Interview with Habitat for Humanity, Tuscaloosa, AL

As SSF projects commonly involve the creative participation of community members typically experiencing filmmaking for the first time, it is highly desirable if candidates demonstrate an interest in education and community engagement.  S/he will work closely with the studio’s director, producer and other interns on a daily basis in a highly collaborative environment where ideas are respected and embraced.

Duties may include but are certainly not limited to:

  • Recording sound with a small crew in the field
  • Logging and transcribing interviews
  • Online and library-based research
  • Field research including informational interviews, phone calls and information gathering
  • Organizing research and story materials
  • Occasionally serving as a Production Assistant with the SSF crew when filming in the field

The ideal candidate should possess:

  • Ability to work in the field in diverse and sometimes fast-paced environments
  • Passion for documentary films and strong knack for non-fiction storytelling
  • Confident research, writing and note-taking skills
  • An interest in the grant, treatments and film project proposal process
  • Confident verbal communication skills in diverse environments
  • Strong capacity for synthesizing and organizing a diverse range of research materials
  • Ability to work in a team environment and independently
  • Interest in learning about climate change, disaster resiliency and current trends in environmental, social and economic sustainability
  • Experience working with HD video and sound recording are a plus
Interview with Rebuild Tuscaloosa
Interview with Rebuild Tuscaloosa

Other details:

  • The internship will ideally run from June 2013 through August/September 2013
  • Requires a minimum commitment of 16 hours/week, with flexible days depending on applicant’s schedule
  • Proficiency in other languages beyond English is welcomed
  • Storm Surge Films’ is headquartered in Seattle, with field locations in Bay St. Louis, MS, Joplin, MO, Tuscaloosa, AL, and New York City.

Storm Surge Films is committed to a diverse workplace and is an enthusiastic equal opportunity employer.

Dependent upon execution and performance over a multiple month time frame, this position has the potential to become a paid part-time job.

Please email a cover letter, resume, and three (3) references stormsurgefilm [at]gmail [dot] com by 5:00pm, Friday, June 21, 2013.  No phone calls.

Arctic Methane found at “Amazing Levels”

Attribution: NASA

NASA scientists report disturbing bursts of methane being emitted from the tundra as the spring thaw progressed northward over Alaska’s North Slope.

To view full report visit: