Many environmentalists rejoiced when Stephen Harper’s government was thrown out of office in Canada. But Justin Trudeau is no savior…
But that does not mean that the world is without visionary climate leadership—on the contrary. In the five years it took to make our documentary, This Changes Everything, we met with and learned from scores of climate leaders, people willing to say “no” to dirty infrastructure no matter what economic enticements were on offer, while actively building the post-carbon future, right now. We found these figures not in houses of government, but embedded in communities that are on the frontlines of both fossil fuel extraction and climate impacts. And what they showed us has filled us with hope.
People power can stop big dirty projects and start small clean ones. But for a true transition—on the scale and with the urgency that climate science demands—we need policies. Big, bold, ambitious policies that can transform our economies on a deadline. And we need them at every level of government, from municipal to national to international.
To get there, throwing out fossil fuel-addicted governments won’t be enough. Even electing progressive leaders won’t be enough. It will take a combination of electoral change and pressure (as well as vision) from below to disperse the smog of Big Carbon’s influence that shrouds our political systems.