Does the world need another film about climate change? Absolutely, and the reason why is embedded in the question itself. Everything’s changing, fast. That’s obvious when you watch Time to Choose, a new film by Academy Award–winning documentary director Charles Ferguson. But although Ferguson’s film acknowledges the enormity of the challenges the world is facing, it’s even stronger on the rapid rise of available solutions. The film also shows how the same activities that cause climate change also cause many more immediate problems, ranging from air and water pollution to loss of natural beauty and the extinction of species.
As the COP21 climate talks begin next week in Paris, Time to Choose will stream on The Huffington Post for free on Monday, November 30. Anyone who cares about the future should set aside 99 minutes to watch.
Ferguson’s film takes us around a rapidly changing world. In China, we see how coal is shortening life spans, but we also hear from clean-energy executives about their mission to replace dirty fuels with enormous solar, and wind farms. Deforestation in Indonesia, mountaintop-removal mining in Appalachia, and oil development in the Niger Delta are all shocking, yet clean-energy technologies and policies from Brazil to California to Kenya offer hope grounded in reality.
The power of the film is that it won’t let us forget that it’s within our power to avoid the worst consequences of climate change — we need only choose to do so. That’s important for all of us to remember, not just those who are tasked with reaching an agreement in Paris.
Even in the time since Time to Choose was completed, we’ve seen incredible examples of the global climate movement’s transformative power. Early this month, the U.S. rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, of course, but the following weeks have brought equally astonishing news. The United Kingdom has committed to phasing out coal plants entirely by 2025. And in Canada the province of Alberta (!)announced a climate change strategy that includes a carbon tax, a cap on tar sands emissions, a phasing out of coal-fired electricity, and an emphasis on wind power. When you add up each bit of progress like that (and those are merely the biggest ones), the result is irreversible change. If the world keeps making those kinds of choices, the change will lead to sustainable power forever.