Short Film Review: Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot on Climate Action.
Today’s climate protests call for action. In this short film, Thunberg and Monbiot explain where to start.
In 150 countries around the world, students and activists will be striking to demand action on climate change. While the clarion call for halting carbon emissions and mitigating the man-made rise in global temperature has been gaining attention, some may feel helpless in the face of such large stakes. The antidote to despair is information, and the cure for inaction is a plan. In this four minute short, activist Greta Thunberg and journalist George Monbiot provide both.
Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot on Climate Action (The Guardian).
The brevity of the piece makes it essential to get the broad strokes out quickly. The film briefly covers the problem, but this isn’t An Inconvenient Truth. Three minutes of the 3:41 run-time is devoted to expounding a three-pronged strategy to begin addressing the problem. I liked that the steps were concrete, measurable, and actionable. So much of the recent debate has fallen to hand-wringing about how intractable the situation is. While this isn’t a silver bullet, or even a comprehensive plan, it is action. There are many documentaries out there that dive into the problem at depth. Some of those have action plans, though they often lack the “do these three things now” specificity. Honestly, if people want to understand the situation, there’s no poverty of material out there. What this is is a shot in the ass to get the patient moving, not a complete treatment regimen.
I liked that the short touts using recycled nature documentary footage. It feels a bit cheeky to see that this is “made from recycled footage” but the reminder about the need to be carbon neutral everywhere is refreshing. While it’s nice to get a gorgeous 4k documentary about the ice caps (and the visuals in this short are beautiful and effective) but if you’re jetting around the globe to make it, you’re standing on the windpipe of the patient you’re trying to resuscitate.
Strike While the (Planet) is Hot.
I’m glad Greta and the Guardian got this short out in advance of the major protests. Every hand needs to be on the oars, including mass media. The Guardian has been doing excellent work in their journalism on the issue, and of course Greta Thunberg has been the tip of the spear on galvanizing activism. Short and succinct, this film does enough to draw in attention and give people something concrete to grasp on to. There’s more to be said and done. There always is. Support the movement today if you can, and get in the fight. We don’t love the Mad Max movies enough to want to live in one.