XCHC Friday - Documentary Film

Bar open at 5:00, film starts at 7:30
THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING (2015) Dur: 1 hr 35mins (trailer)
Director Avi Lewis, Researcher. Naomi Klein.
The documentary film series is coordinated by Stephanie Beth of Common Dreams.
@commondreamer

There is a panel discussion format available to follow for three participants. Please email your expression of interest to be one of these to Stephanie at commondrms110@gmail.com

Koha for the screening hire from Canada is requested. 

Naomi Klein has several published non-fiction books. Her most recent journalism is the book with this title. The book aims to inspire all businesses and governments to take  more urgent steps towards a fossil free future. 

Klein profiles a forty year history of neoliberalism to expose the reader to the effects  that dominating capitalism has upon our biosphere. There are 58 endnote  pages let alone the 466 in the central writing.  Naomi Klein launched her book at  The New School, New York, 2014.

The New School is a private, progressive graduate school in New York City, famous for educating scholars to disrupt the ‘status quo’. Founded in 1919 it specialises in Design, the Arts and social research and it's motto could be, " Creativity Changes Everything".

A year before this film Here, Klein, who selected this school for the book’s international launch, answers a few questions backstage .

A reviewer, Miles,  in 2014 wrote,
“This could be a wildly depressing book. Indeed, The Shock Doctrine( Klein’s last book, released in 2007 that is about Neo-liberalism) was one of the most depressing works of nonfiction I’ve read. But This Changes Everything(2014) is a resoundingly hopeful document. Klein’s central message is that fixing climate change requires radical solutions that, if implemented, will not only mitigate the damage we are doing to the biosphere, but also begin to put right the most egregious sins of capitalism and globalisation: “The fight against violent resource extraction and the fight for greater community control, democracy, and sovereignty are two sides of the same coin” This insight––that beating climate change is as much about fighting for a better world as it is about avoiding the possibility of a much harsher one––imbues Klein’s book with an infectious, ebullient energy that sways skepticism and dispels indifference."

Here is the book launch

A solution to some of the density of all the book’s information is the existence of this film as a companion piece. It is directed by Klein’s husband, Avi Lewis and is a Klein/Lewis co-production. “Filmed in nine countries and five  continents over four years this is an epic attempt to reimagine the vast challenge of climate change”. (from film blurb)

“Sometimes, you have to step outside of the person you've been and remember the person you were meant to be. ... “Nature never appeals to intelligence until habit and instinct are useless. ... “Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.” - H.G.Wells

Consider new vocabulary in the Oxford English Dictionary. Two words, ‘selfie’ and ‘Anthropocene’, two linguistic beacons of our time. The first suggests many humans wanting to belong to and be seen to be in the flourishing and happy tribe- the selfie is a rapid fire instance of social psychology. The second word originates in Geology. We humans are now envisioned at a dimension of impact as much as prior whole geological  ages -now as like an ocean system or large atmospheric systems such as El Niño, Humans are seen as a hyperobject.

An essay, Generation Anthropocene: how humans have altered the planet forever is a recent Guardian contribution. Words by the Marxist Frederic Jameson quoted in the Guardian essay is a succinct sentence about our overwhelming impact , “ the modernisation process is complete, and nature is gone for good, leaving nothing but us.” The  Guardian essay sub - title goes on to say, We are living in the Anthropocene age, in which human influence on the planet is so profound – and terrifying – it will leave its legacy for millennia. Politicians and scientists have had their say, but how are writers and artists responding to this crisis? ( April 1, 2016).

In a New Zealand instance we might wonder about correlations between DDT and the diminishment of insects, or we read about the Pacific ocean and note the vortexes of floating and decomposing  plastics there and wonder about energy, production, marketing , packaging and trade ethics.(It is predicted that plastics shall outnumber fish in the sea by 2050 if nothing is done) Do figures and facts about excess can give us heart palpitations?

The wide view
Capitalism began as an exploitation of resources and labour, with markets made more free, less tariffed. We have made shifts in our perceptions of three dimensional space and time.  What is now change from some capitalist orthodoxies is awareness of interconnectedness in all behaviours within the ecological matrix. We know more about ocean currents, we know more about Radioactivity. We are now all confronted with the visible presence of extinctions and the complexity of all this is terrifying as we seek out ways to find the core of fragility and hope in a, we realise,  heating world so as to positively carry on. Questions arise about what commercial practices best be viable in planetary terms. What might be best to reign in or moderate. Is it this capitalist drive?

A deeper knowledge of human systems, in my adult generation, was triggered peripherally by reading of early writings from The Club of Rome.  A publication, The Limits to Growth (1972) contained an early use of computer modeling exercised by a number of thinkers to create a kind of template for action for  leadership and initiative as we faced up to a changing industrial complex that had been the orthodox model of capitalism’s practice since the late 1700’s. A coalition body of scientists was set up (IPPA intergovernmental panel on climate change). A reality is also that much scientific funding is politically influenced. Dominant views have focused on CO2  emissions. (An example is Obama legislating to close coal plants  in the US). Some of the IPPA views have been considered alarmist (see writing by Patrick Michaels, 2014 who considers that the IPPA overstates human role in climate) whilst other science continues looking into theoretical mitigation e.g bio engineering.

Early times were inflected with the principles of Newton and the application of the theory of local time and space. It was a mechanistic view that saw the planet more as a machine. The word globalisation reared into our vocabulary around 1930 and quantum physics, a theory more holographic that surpassed Newton, with principles that embrace ideas like entanglement, needed to be better understood. The concept globalisation was largely used by economists and social scientists from the 1960’s. The Predicaments of Mankind (1976), was a book published after The Club of Rome initiated, The Limits to Growth.  It simulated interactions between  industrial growth, population, food production and the ecosystem.  A later group called The Club of Budapest(1993) put forward more widened layers of concerns by applying quantum theory. Thinking  warned about the narrow view of globalisation. It faced up to Anthropological, spiritual and creative perspectives. There was philosophy developed  about the realisation that the challenges that humanity is facing can only be overcome through the development of a global cultural consciousness. Examples were Greenpeace fights for ecological issues, UNICEF for children, and Amnesty International for human rights.  

A Generation Y interview  conducted recently with a club Budapest founder Ervin Laszlo has the interviewer suggest that  it is possible to locate many critiques of systems, but less of what plans we  need make for change. In response Laszlo introduces the significant  factor of political will and the importance of understanding that change in social systems always happens on the periphery 

Helena Norberg- Hodge, one of this group, has produced a  recent documentary titled , The Economics of Happiness(2013) that is available now by download.

Inspiration to think and critically go forward in this Anthropocentric condition means that there is much more learning to be undertaken. The key is to see the links, or, as Laszlo suggests, the kaleidoscopic view. Klein went and saw political will in action. The Lewis film gives us the opportunity to feel  epic scale and hear questions raised about lifestyles of economy. Of value to planners for the next generations, it shows  horizons for fresh roles, responsibilities and adaptive measures occurring.

Coordinator. Stephanie Beth. T@commondreamer Email. Commondrms110@gmail.com
Huffington post, CNN et al. January 2016
Book review. September,2014