A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet

By Jim Carey

A Fierce Green Fire is the first big-picture exploration of the environmental movement— grassroots and global activism spanning 50 years, from conservation to climate change. The film discusses the early environmentalists and the development and protection of millions of acres of pristine canyons, rivers, and lands for future generations. From their difficult 1960s campaign to halt dams in the Grand Canyon, to battling 20,000 tons of toxic waste at Love Canal; from Greenpeace saving the whales, to Chico Mendes and the rubber tappers saving the Amazon; from climate change to the promise of transforming our civilization. The film tells vivid stories about people fighting corporate interests—and succeeding— against enormous odds.

The title is derived from a section in environmental philosopher Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac in which he describes his ecological awakening after shooting a wolf while working as a US Forest Service Ranger: “We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes.”

Film Occupy
Mon, Aug 17, 1pm
A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet
Quinta Loreto Hotel
TV room
Loreto 15

It melds history, science, and up­-to­-the-­minute urgency to save our living planet. The film is divided into five “acts,” each one beautifully filmed. Act One focuses on the conservation movement of the 1960s: David Brower and the Sierra Club’s battle to halt dams in the Grand Canyon. Narrated by Robert Redford, we hear Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi”: “Don’t it always seem to go/That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone?/They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” Narrated by Ashley Judd, Act Two looks at the new environmental movement of the 1970s with its emphasis on pollution, focusing on the battle led by Lois Gibbs over Love Canal. It’s 10 years after Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and the EPA finally bans DDT in 1972. Act Three is about alternative ecology strands and the main story is Greenpeace’s campaign to save the whales. Narrated by Van Jones. Act Four explores global resource issues and crises of the 1980s, focusing on the struggle to save the Amazon led by Chico Mendes and the rubber tappers. Narrated by Isabel Allende. Act Five concerns climate change, and none other than Meryl Streep narrates the documentary’s grand finale as she examines the science and politics of global warming. We see NASA physicist James Hansen testifying before Congress way back in 1988 warning, “the greenhouse effect has been detected.” The film is 101 minutes and a discussion will fo-llow. No charge.


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