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This (Film) Changes Everything


This (Film) Changes Everything

Emily Schwartz Greco

This op-ed is a joint publication of Foreign Policy In Focus and OtherWords.

Writer Naomi Klein and her filmmaker husband Avi Lewis lucked out with the release of their new documentary, This Changes Everything. This film about why humanity must kick our fossil-fuel habit before it wrecks the planet arrived at an ideal time.


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So right you are. Emerson and Thoreau had it right, too.


Another "win" for the "pro natural life" team is the exposure of Exxon's massive deception campaign. This opens the door to serious prosecution. After all, if the primary oil deliverer's own scientists knew of the dangers decades ago and thwarted what could have been remedial action taken far earlier, countless lives and countless billions in climate-related destruction would have been saved. In other words, this level of criminal malfeasance constitutes a Crime Against Humanity.

Add in, too, the efforts being made by Indigenous South American leaders to enshrine Mother Nature's RIGHTS into law--via the U.N.--and being put in place is a massive bulwark to stand against the "legal right to plunder" as prized by corporations and their 7-figure lawyers, everywhere. Just think: TPP and TIPP for starters with clauses that protect corporations' right to plunder regardless of the cost to people, species, or the green natural world.

All over the world persons on the front lines of would-be conquest by the new conquistadors are setting virtual battle lines. However, if the courts are owned by the 1% it will be inordinately difficult to acquire lawful ways to stop these plunderers in their massively-machine assisted paths.


From a very young age I was awestruck by the beauty of trees; my parents took us to see the sequoias in Sequoia National Park, and we lived in a house that was surrounded by cottonwood trees, I now live in a house that has an enormous maple tree that shades the backyard so well that I can't even grow a garden b/c there's too much shade. Early in this article the author described what Transcanada had done to the forests and I had trouble fighting back the tears; it astounds me that these corporations think nothing of the beauty they are destroying, rather, they think only about the next billion they are going to make on the backs of workers who will be discarded as soon as the work wears them out, or they contract some disease that will kill them in the end. All of those who care at all for this planet MUST fight back until there is no fighting left to do!

Pwr 2 the GAIA-RESPECTING peons!


"Green Energy" can and will drastically cut greenhouse gases, which is an absolute must.! As an engineer, I was involved in the funding and construction of 9 CSP* plants for Southern California Edison in the 1980's. The nayslayers** of the day claimed they would not pay for themselves until oil got to $18. per bbl. (*Concentrated Solar Power)
Those peaking plants have benn functioning successfully ever since, with ZERO fuel costs & carbon footprint.

"Green Energy" not only makes environmental sense, it is rapidly becoming less costly than fossil fuels.

The stone age did not end because we ran out of stones. Coal fired power is especially a Neanderthal approach, and must be ended unless they too can get to ZERO operating emissions.

(**that's not a misspelling, but my label for the opponents to thoughtful progress


This changes nothing.

This article and the film mentioned simply sells false hope with the ultimate effect of allowing everyone to do nothing different because "so many good things are happening all the time, cleaver people are handling things" so we don't have to worry, all we have to do is BUY the "new" things as they become available.


We can get off fossil fuels for the most part in the US by the middle of the century but it will not be easy. To do this requires a huge increase in energy efficiency. Houses are a particularly central problem because homeowners have to make the necessary investments. Since each house is different each homeowner has to be informed about what make economic sense for their house. This could involve new windows, a new boiler, plugging leaks, insulation, new duct work, etc. Also, if they use fossil fuels for heating they need to get a heat pump so they can get heat by electricity which is far more efficient. This is not exciting stuff but it is necessary. Then most people have to take advantage of net metering so they can reduce their electric bills through solar and wind. This may mean putting solar panels on a roof or if that is not feasible then investing or leasing in solar or wind through some cooperative arrangement. Also, if people want cars they will need all electric cars with electricity from renewable energy. This can be done.Some programs at the state level are already in place to make this happen. And Congress needs to continue tax credits for solar which expire at the end of 2016. We can make this transition happen but if the entire US does not participate the transition away from fossil fuels cannot occur fast enough.


You are also right, but in this day and age I think our fellow peons are less 'hypnotized' than they are exhausted from working 2-3 jobs just to have enough to get by. My husband and I worked 3 jobs between the 2 of us for many years b/c not one of our jobs gave us enough to make a car payment and rent an apartment, and I truly believe it has gotten much worse since 2008.
I liked your "'jobs' that have the longevity of a gnat" statement -- way too true in my estimation, but it's still funny, and a good descriptor! :sunglasses:


Of course we need green energy. It seems absurd to even have to make the argument that we do in a discussion among people who believe in anthropomorphic global warming. But you never know what you will read in comments sections. We need to replace fossil fuels with green energy as fast as possible. But energy efficiency and energy conservation measures will also be needed.


I'm looking forward to seeing the film, but I hope it is about far more than the shift from fossil to alternative energy sources. I hope that, like the book, it is about economic, social, and spiritual transformation.


While people can clearly see your point, especially since it pertains to something so immensely and obviously critical, I believe it's important to give consideration to what I think is the underlying purpose behind 'Cookies' comments. Granted, a bit more elucidation would have helped, but who isn't guilty of that. My interpretation is people see a bigger picture of human existence. While seeking to find/create a better existence, such as a real tangible functioning democracy as a necessary first step, a huge emergency occurs. Metaphorically speaking our ship has a vast hole below the water line. This HAS to be addressed. That 'emergency' is the climate change issue. We don't have a choice. We're running headlong into the abyss. How anyone can look at the science and not have a cold shiver run up their spine is beyond me.

What I believe 'Cookie' and others are saying is should we manage to get an understanding and control of the physical conditions that brought about the 'climate issue' there is still the bigger picture. Will part of that 'solution' be embedded in commercialization, a religion we're all forced to live with? The domination of concentrated financial and political power that created the climate 'problem' to begin with via its philosophy and obstinance gives zero confidence, let alone certitude, of another crisis not occurring and is a drawback to any rational effort.

Our bond with nature is extremely strong. As in this commentary section people wax poetically about mother nature. And some of the strongest examples I've ever read or heard came from engineers, physicists, mathematicians, chemists, people in the biological and cognitive sciences. The two sides of the brain do connect. Even the story from a year or so ago with Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson whose involvement is at the height of fracking activity. Yet he joined a lawsuit to prevent fracking near his home in Texas. A degree of effrontery a dictator would envy.

And while our tie to nature is strong, indeed necessary, and the realization that our species has been given a generous helping by way of evolution, we nevertheless have no more claim for hierarchical privileges in nature's eyes than any Pre-Mesozoic invertebrate. To include the privilege of existence. Something all too forgotten. Nature got us going but we're on our own. But so is everything else in nature. At our evolutionary point in time the biggest problems we as a species face come from our own species. And hopefully so will the solutions. They won't come from anywhere else.


If, and only if, the energy sectors were truly nationalized in the U.S. will this be a win-win for all citizens. If it isn't nationalized it's the typical zero-sum game that captured gov't always plays. Tax credits and 20 year subsidized loans galore for the top 10% of the citizenry and just slightly less hot air, crowded public spaces and lottery-like deluges for the rest. New subsidized utilities, building materials and appliances for McMansions, solar powered irrigation and water pumping systems for wineries in the Napa Valley, huge solar plantations for server farms owned by Google and Facebook, seems to be the continued " comforting of the very comfortable. " I'm sure the Native Americans given shirts, shoes, ties and suits were told, " this will make all the difference in how you're treated, trust me on this, ", too. More Reaganomics or, " well, there's really 2 pies in this pie chart, but you only get to see and eat from 1; got it? " I really do hope this changes everything, just like The Shock Doctrine has, too. Have you noticed how income inequality has just fallen off the radar?


I think we have a slim chance at best to avoid catastrophic climate change at this point but probably to maximize whatever chance we have for success the main thing we need is o focus on is where greenhouse gases are being emitted from and formulating plans to reduce these emissions. In this dire situation going off on tangents probably isn't a good idea. The only way to get people to cooperate is to convince them that this transition will make their lives better. Generally, this means that by making the transition they will either gain employment or save money in the long run. For the many whose lives will be disrupted adversely due to loss of jobs we need programs to help them find another way to make a living. There is no reason to nationalize the energy sectors. Such a proposal would just end up in political arguments. However, individuals can become generators of electricity which may result in big changes for utilities. Things will be changing but exactly how is difficult to predict.


To "get off" fossil fuels, there would have to be a reengineering, reorganization, and reconfiguring of most of the large scale industrial processes that industrialized "civilization" is based on. Food production is only one example. Large scale agriculture is heavily dependent on oil based fertilizer as well to fuel all the enormous machines that plant and harvest most of the foodstuffs produced and consumed.

Food could be produced without oil based fuels and fertilizers, but I don't see how such a changeover could be designed and implemented without periods of widespread "food insecurity" aka "famine." There would have to be an agreed upon plan.

Add transportation to the picture and by this get a glimpse of the scale of change that would need to happen to stop the human "carbon footprint" from stomping us down.

To quote the Beatles, "you say you got a real solution, we'd all love to see the plan."


As usual I will need only one shopping day for Xmas, also for my granddaughter's birthday.


no. this film is a simpe re-hash of every environment lesson i learned since childhood (1960s). to truly change 'everything', klein et al have to interview fellow canadian paul hellyer, former canada defense minister, who IS trying to change the energy paradigm forever...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAbFrQpfGM0


I focused mainly on what we can do as homeowners, renters, drivers, etc and I only focused on carbon dioxide emissions, not the other greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide. But industry and agriculture also need to make investments in energy efficiency and renewables and often that makes economic sense with the proper incentives. Certain industrial processes have to changed. I think the emissions from agriculture of methane and nitrous oxide are going to be difficult to address but they comprise a much smaller percentage of greenhouse gas emissions than carbon dioxide.


Not sure if I read you correctly - while we want green energy, I believe you are saying we don't want unlimited green energy because of the consumptive spoilage that humans endlessly create. I agree with that end - we need to use less energy and consume less. Green energy won't stop us from consuming the planet. We need other ideologies to imbed green energy into if we are to solve the insatiable appetites and numbers of humans. Green energy can only solve some of our issues.


Mother Earth is wisdom - may you be well.