Community gathers in stormy weather to watch climate change documentary

Council of Canadians South Niagara and Unitarian Congregation of Niagara held a movie night The Unitarian Church downtown St. Catharine’s March 1st to collectively watch the film “This Changes Everything.” The documentary was inspired by Naomi Klein’s book “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate.” The event began at 6:30 p.m. as people funneled in despite the impending ice-storm.

The film features Naomi Klein’s book as a narrative stream, explaining her transition from denial to truth of climate change in her local Canadian atmosphere. The main argument of Klein is that the injustice in the economy breeds a chosen denial of climate change on behalf of citizens. Klein also pushes the audience to think about the climate change as “peril”, the same way people do stock market crashes and economic debt.

Klein also focuses on how “generic” climate movies about polar bears searching for ice don’t cut it anymore. Her movie is an attempt to break that stereotype, and introduce a bodily proposal to fill the gaps money and humanity has created with the environment.

The film featured Crystal Lameman of Beaver Lake Cree Nation, who talked about inherent Indigenous rights to the ancestral land. Lameman also touches upon the fact that, in her opinion, land must be separated from capitalism.

Photo courtesy of APTN. Crystal Lameman at COP21 climate meetings in Paris.

Photo courtesy of APTN. Crystal Lameman at COP21 climate meetings in Paris.

“In this treaty, there is no talk about ownership,” explained Lameman, despite her people’s clear, constitutional right to the land.

Lameman also goes on to the discussion of Western oil spills. In that, boil-maker Lliam Hildebrand even admits the truth about oil spills, climate change, and his feelings of guilt.

“Environmental impacts of the development in the oil sands is absolutely barbaric,” he said, “Put two and two together and you feel directly responsible for effecting someone’s health downstream.”

Rather than the full abolition of the oil industry,  Lameman believes in a “transition to renewable energy source.”

Naomi Klein, narrating the film, encourages the upmost forms of activism towards climate change and alternatives to contemporary capitalist societies. The film accents “we.”

“I think climate change can be the catalyst we need: our collective lens,” Klein said.

In order to do this, as Klein suggests, the population must become “climate warriors” and begin “fighting inequality and building a just economy.” With that, climate change will begin to be unpacked.

Klein’s views are both hopeful and allow for not only change, but radical revolutions towards the environment. It proved to inspire not only the single room of viewers within the church, but a wider general audience of dreamers. As the weather flipped from sunny with 14 degrees to hail and ice covering vehicles outside, climate change suddenly appeared very real. The film adaptation of “This Changes Everything” follows suit to a specific quote in her text —

“We are left with a stark choice: allow climate disruption to change everything about our world, or change pretty much everything about our economy to avoid that fate. But we need to be very clear: because of our decades of collective denial, no gradual, incremental options are now available to us.”

Jamie Lupia

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One thought on “Community gathers in stormy weather to watch climate change documentary

  1. Desmond Sequeira March 4, 2016 at 10:38 am - Reply

    Thank you for a superb review.

    The documentary was definitely a WOW! But, on the night, the bigger WOW for me was the fact that over fifty persons, many travelling considerable distances, braved the dreadful storm to come out to be together to watch this Everything Changing documentary. It means that the message of the Climate crisis, in its scary as well as in its hopeful aspects, is registering and that we will get more and more “Climate Warriors” into a huge army -shortly, we hope.

    Desmond Sequeira
    Coordinator, Social Action Team
    Unitarian Congregation of Niagara

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