Unravelling the Narrative
Last Updated on September 25, 2020
This Changes Everything (2015)
Time for a Rewrite
This Changes Everything is a brilliant documentary examining the paradigm of mankind’s dominance over nature. It investigates the impacts of capitalism, in particular the effects of fossil fuel demand on both the environment and society. According to the film, the 400-year-old tale of mankind’s scientific conquest of nature, is false and untenable. This promoted illusion has in turn led to the quest for limitless economic growth. A pursuit that is incredible destructive and ultimately responsible for the current climate crisis.
The film makes this abundantly clear. The planet can no longer support the status quo. This is evidenced by the rapidly changing climate, the rampant loss of biodiversity, and the exasperating social inequality. The consequences of this outdated mindset are rapidly catching up.
Although potentially heart-wrenching at times, the documentary does provide a balanced approach. It attempts to offer hope to viewers, through the numerous climate activists and environmental organizations that are taking part in the struggle for change.
Fighting for Change
The film is based on Naomi Klein‘s book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate. It’s a powerful read, and an equally potent doc. Klein also happens to narrate the film, explaining the dynamics behind the current climate crisis. Indeed, Klein gets into the details that contribute to the issues we face as a global society.
She connects the dots by sharing her research and experience with us. The film crew follows Klein, as she travels the world witnessing the impacts of resource extraction on local communities. The audiences observes the struggle for climate justice, and the conflicts that ignite from those seeking to resist the fossil fuel industry.
Advocating Climate Justice
Klein interviews a few of the countless individuals that are standing up for their environment. They confront formidable opposition. Activists put their health and safety on the line, as they try to protect their land, air, and water.
They take what they believe are necessary risks, as they fight the industrial interests that hunger for their resources. Environmental resources that sustain life, but also happen to feed the archaic model of infinite growth. It becomes painfully clear that it’s time to update the model.
Despite the evident suffering and frustration, the film is not a tragedy. Indeed, it seeks to encourage hope and resolution. One the one hand, viewers are exposed in small doses to the piecemeal destruction of our planet. One the other, the filmmakers provide examples of people coming together to defend what they know to be important.
It is genuinely inspiring to see so many people standing up for the environment. That for me was one of the major take-aways of this documentary. We are going through a rough time, and it will be a rougher one yet if we don’t change. This crisis is therefore a very real opportunity for reinventing the socio-economic model and creating something better.
Be The Change
The present socio-economic system is at fault. It’s clearly untenable in the long run. However there also exists opportunity for very real change. The same characteristics that cause our system to be unsustainable, will also force society to find an alternative model.
If we hope to survive our blatant disregard for the environment, then we (as a species) have to change the way we interact with nature. On the bright side, history has taught us that humans are clever and resilient problem-solvers. All we have to do, is accept that climate change is a problem, and come together to solve it.