This Changes Everything

By Jim Carey

Occupy is pleased to begin the new year with the San Miguel de Allende premiere of This Changes Everything, Avi Lewis’ movie inspired at the same time as his wife Naomi Klein’s book. Lewis tells us: “this is not a sad story. It’s not a slit ­-your­-wrists climate film. It’s a story about people who are making change happen in real time.”

Film
This Changes Everything
Mon, Jan 11, 1pm
At the Occupy SMA meeting
Quinta Loreto Hotel
Loreto 15
Free

Let’s look at the changes happening in real time in Germany. Prior to 2000, four major multinational corporate utilities controlled Germany’s energy. With Germany’s shift in 2011 away from nuclear power toward renewables—technologies ranging from solar power, wind power, hydroelectricity/micro hydro, biomass and biofuels—their energy sector has been democratized. Germany’s non­nuclear energiewende has empowered citizens, and now two-thirds of the clean power generation is in the hands of more than two million consumers: farmers, energy co-­ops, individuals, small and medium sized businesses, green investment funds, and municipalities. The big four account for only six percent of renewables. Germany has created hundreds of thousands of good jobs, has a surplus of electricity, and has experienced fewer outages than pro­nuclear neighbors such as the Czech Republic and France. Greenpeace Germany warns that it is not enough to support renewables; coal has to be taxed and disincentivized in other ways to bring emissions down, and their electricity grid needs modernization. Then, Germany could have two­ thirds of its power from clean renewables by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050. Germany is a model for the United States and the world to emulate. The problem is significant. Globally each day there are 2,300 coal­fired power stations (7,000 individual units), a billion passenger cars (by 2050, there will be 2.5 billion) cruising the earth, and 30,000 airplane flights spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. At the current rate, the average temperature around the world could increase by about 4° to 12°F by the year 2100. Unless policy changes dramatically, climate scientists are predicting that 414 US cities will be underwater and many more as hot as the Middle Eastern desert by 2100. However, our current path of destruction is not inevitable. Klein tells us, “In a lot of cases, people are engaging because they don’t have a choice. They see it as fighting for the health of their kids, fighting for their water, and fighting for survival. The biggest barrier for others is that we think things can’t change, and we’re constantly told that by our so­called realists, the gatekeepers of public opinion, and of policy in the political realm.” Avi Lewis says, “Once you feel the desire to engage, you have to think about what you’re good at and what you can contribute. It’s about breaking down the idea that there are activists and ordinary people.” Join our discussion Monday, January 11. Our events are free.

 

 

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