Who wants to watch an entire film about veganism? Well, I do but I am already converted to the cause so I don’t really count.
Comedian Simon Amstell is aware that preaching to the choir isn’t going to change hearts, minds and eating habits. His savvy BBC film is therefore aimed at the not so silent majority who still cling to the outdated notion that being a vegan is unachievable, extremist and faintly ridiculous. Continue reading
Today the cities were full of people marching to demand action to prevent global warming. A good thing of course. It prompted TV news stations to dust off their stock footage of ‘natural’ disasters and smog-filled cities.
As individuals we can save water, ride bikes and use energy-saving lightbulbs but even if everyone diligently did all these things the problem would not go away.
Animal agriculture is the number one cause of climate change, a fact that governments and businesses have kept quiet for obvious reasons. To make matters worse, Al Gore, Greenpeace, Naomi Klein and other campaigners have also all but ignored this issue. Continue reading
THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING by Naomi Klein (Allen Lane, 2013)
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding” – Upton Sinclair.
Alternative titles to this brave and important book could have been ‘Everything Must Change’, ‘Everything is Fucked’ or even more despairingly, The End Is Nigh.
Whatever way you look at the situation that Naomi Klein presents, it is clear that humanity is well and truly up shit creek climate-wise.
It would nice to report that this book also provides us with some metaphorical paddles but, sadly, this is not the case.
Klein presents the scale of the problem but in terms of solutions ultimately offers only a faith in the essential resilience of the human spirit. Continue reading
INTERSTELLAR directed by Christopher Nolan (USA, 2014)
Looking to the stars for hope.
Should we stay or should we go?
Brion Gysin , the English-born painter and poet who introduced William S Burroughs to cut-ups believed that leaving the planet was the only thing that gave any purpose to life on earth; “we are here to go”, he said.
This perverse notion is one that Christopher Nolan and his brother Jonathan transform into the interstellar overdrive of their extraordinary cinematic vision – a space odyssey of epic proportions.
Reasons to go are indeed pressing since Earth is rapidly becoming uninhabitable with crops literally turning into dust. We are not privy to the precise reason for this state of affairs but Professor Brand (Michael Caine) alludes to humankind’s selfish tendencies as being a primary cause. This is also something Naomi Klein, in her book This Changes Everything, has rightly identified as a key factor in climate change.
If, as seems probable, the future of humankind is due to the largely man-made catastrophe of global warming, it begs the question as to how we are going to prevent fucking up another planet too. The mysterious Eureka solution that saves the world suggests that a last-minute reprieve is possible; a central message that is as delusional as it is dangerous. Continue reading
CHASING ICE directed by Jeff Orlowski (USA, 2012)
Scientists can show us charts, produce statistics and even talk about the real possibility of a ‘mass extinction event’ but it is hard visual evidence that real makes you see that global warming is real.
The astonishing work of nature photographer James Balog and his Extreme Ice Survey shows what Balog calls the “miraculous horror” of what is happening.
By documenting the collapse of glaciers in Greenland, Iceland and Alaska with time-lapse pictures we can see with our eyes what no-one has ever witnessed before. The images are beautiful but terrifying. Continue reading