As we stand at a crossroads for the entire planet we can choose. As this virus has driven us indoors and changed all our behaviors for the sake of under 200.000 deaths worldwide so far, so this film reminds us that changes even more radical are needed to save billions.
We have practiced not consuming, not flying, not living in excess for 6 weeks now. It has been hard but it is OK. As we emerge from this time of trial the great machine of commerce is waiting to suck us back in, to tell us that we are consumers, that our consumption is what is needed to sustain the global markets and that recession must be avoided at all costs… we have to keep GROWING…. or as in the favorite book of our children and grandchildren…. the Lorax …… BIGGERING! This film is essential watching to help us to see the reality of unrestricted growth on a finite planet… it is simple and clear and deeply moving.
I was sent this by a friend as this film has been criticized for being far to negative about the renewable energy industry and the enviromental movement and you can read that critique here.
My own response to the criticism is this….
Many, many years Jonathon Porritt spoke about the need to reuse not recycle. We learnt the idea that it takes more petrochemicals to make a new car than in the whole of its lifetime of driving and that recycling the raw materials from scrap cars takes even more. The question that I have consistently asked is how much energy and natural resources needs to go into the making of solar, wind and electric cars and is it really ‘greener’ to scrap my old car and by a new battery powered one? How long do they last and can they be efficiently recycled? I am convinced by the movie that my suspicions about the pay offs from production costs into energy production make so called renewable energy at the present time difficult to support. I do understand that this is young technology, ‘the Betamax of energy production’, but I have no confidence that the as long as we are trapped in this present industrially wasteful culture the right questions are being asked, this film asks the questions. In the end the answer has always been to limit consumption… to restrain ourselves. The figures for airlines use of fuel are incredible and our industrial machine is just to big making products with built in obsolescence and vast amounts of tat that we really don’t need. I am sure that some forms renewable energy are an answer on a small and local scale but this movie exposes the way that a greenwash has been used to perpetuate the present paradymn of dirty and wasteful earth destroying industry so that we can live our ‘business as usual’. He also touches on the massive use of petrochemicals in farming. So all in all, even with a pinch of salt I would completely endorse this film for its important contribution to this debate. Thank you so much for the critical article it is always good to get some balance.
And his response is here too…
I agree, and the article that is critical uses a transition anecdote. What is rarely articulated in that discourse is what are we transitioning to…. are we attempting to transition to an economy and society of the same size and nature but only fuelled by less or zero carbon? Or do we recognise that this is either impossible or undesirable as an outcome. A study by the RSA over the last few days recorded that only 9% of people want to go back to the status quo of ‘pre-Corvid’. That is no surprise, the message of ‘change’ has been the most consistent theme in recent elections etc. What we have not yet built a consensus around is what we want to change into. That is the same issue with the transition argument for energy etc. What do we want to transition to? Do we need a grand plan or do we just need a set of values? There is a book by Mike Berners Lee (no planet b), where he is quite good at articulating this. I don’t agree with all his outcomes, but it is thought provoking.
What do you think?…. Email me and I will post your thoughts.
Having watched this we all need to look again at our personal global footprint. To look at how we live our lives and how the foundation of our Christian discipleship; which is the person and teaching of Jesus, helps us to truly love our neighbors and the earth that is Gods blessed and fragile creation.
Every thing we buy, every meal we make and item of clothing we wear says something about our relationship with our global neighbour that we are commanded to Love. Every new car, piece of throw away furniture and fight we take, says something about our Love of God for God is in the very life of Gods Creation.
As Christian Aid has quoted …. ‘Let us learn to live simply so that others may simply live’