This Changes Everything

This-Changes-Everything_FinalLast night I went to see the Seattle screening of This Changes Everything, a documentary by Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis about the ramifications of climate change around the world. The film depicts much of what you might expect in a piece about climate change: vast stretches of clearcut forests, huge machinery tearing up the earth, melting glaciers, oil polluted waters… the effect of climate change go on and on.

From the very first scene, Klein’s narration sets the film apart from all of the other climate change documentaries you might have seen. “Can I be honest with you?” she says as a large chunk of glacier falls into the water on the screen. “I’ve always kinda hated films about climate change.” A polar bear struggles to stay afloat on a small slab of ice, and she goes on to talk about how we’ve heard the same story so many times that we’ve become desensitized. “Is it really possible to be bored by the end of the world?

01_Halkidiki_Courthouse-1024x427In an attempt to tell a different story — one that empowers viewers instead of leaving them feeling helpless — the film takes the audience to nine different countries on five continents and highlights people’s personal stories of resistance, victory, and hope. It strives to illustrate that climate change isn’t simply something that is happening somewhere else to someone else, but rather a global crisis which affects all of humanity. From oil drilling in the Canadian tar sands to gold mining in Greece to factory pollution in China, the personal struggles of people most affected by climate change are deeply interconnected.

As a global educator, this is exactly the message I hope we convey in dialogue around all global crises: there is no other. Climate change is a human issue. Poverty is a human issue. Access to education is a human issue. All of these issues are interrelated and interconnected, and we are all part of a collective human race. Our actions — however small — to solve these seemingly insurmountable challenges have the power to collectively add up and change the world for everyone.

If you’re interested in learning more and getting involved, check out the film trailer below and visit Beautiful Solutions, the film’s interactive platform for gathering strategies to create a more just and resilient world.