I had a knot in my shoulder and zero motivation to do anything yesterday evening when my dad reminded me that we had plans to go see This Changes Everything, a film (based on a book by Naomi Klein) about climate change. I almost cancelled, but I am glad I didn’t.
My dad is an active member of the Sierra Club and they were co-hosting a film screening. I’ve seen plenty of documentaries—I’m as likely to binge watch PBS nature documentaries as I am a show like Breaking Bad or Family Guy—but this was definitely different than your usual film about climate change.
While I can’t say that the film itself will change everything, I think the ideas in it could if people would listen. It’s a rather different take on climate change and ties in with so many other frustrations that I know many, many people are feeling right now. The film focuses on how protecting the environment and building a better economy don’t have to be at odds.
Rather than using shock tactics and leaving you with a feeling of hopelessness, the film highlights changes that average, ordinary citizens around the world have made. I had heard about Germany’s massive switch to renewable sources of energy but had no idea that pressure from the country’s citizens was what was behind it. I had no idea that people in India had been able to block the building of coal power plants.
The film doesn’t claim to solve all the problems or give us a blueprint to change the world. But it does present a different way of thinking and I think if enough people considered it and took action, it could make a difference.
As for what I personally will do? I’m still mulling that over.
I do know that one of the highest compliments I can give a film or book is saying it made me think. This film definitely did.
If you’re curious to learn more, and especially if you feel helpless and frustrated that there’s nothing you can do to change what’s happening in the world, visit the website, buy the book (or get it from the library), or find a nearby showing of the movie. It’s worth your time.
It’s worth everyone’s time.