By Jourdann Fraser '20
In late October, I attended the United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF), which featured films on topics such as our justice system, racial tensions on college campuses, and environmental issues. How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can't Change was a documentary that tried to explain what climate change is and why it’s an important issue that we should all be tackling. From this film, I’ve learned that climate change will cause major disruptions for ecosystems, weather patterns, and people. But I’ve also realized that if we work together, we can stop the worst of climate change.
Before watching this film, I had only learned about climate change from town hall presentations and videos in high school. They did nothing to explain the immediate action that needs to take place in order to avoid the worst impacts. The first few minutes of this film covered the story of New York activists who stopped pipelines from tearing through a forest. But then there came a parasite called the pine bark beetle that was eating away at the trees. The pine bark beetle was surviving because of increased temperatures due to climate change. The sliver of hope I had gained from the victory of stopping the pipeline was ripped away in this moment, and this loss of hope was the main theme throughout the first half of the documentary. We, the audience, were inundated by facts and numbers telling us that the world is ending in the next few years and there is nothing we can do about it.
At this point in the movie, I felt depressed and scared for the future. But then we got a break as Josh, the documentarian, visited the Amazon River, Ecuador, China, and several Pacific Islands. People in all of these places are affected by climate change in different ways. For example, in Beijing, the smog from coal plants is so thick that people are forced to wear masks that filter the air they breathe. In the Pacific Islands, people are at risk of drowning from tidal waves because of the sea level rising. And even though these places are suffering, people still thrive for change. There is no hope in these places, and yet these people still strive to make a difference and change their environment through protest, communication to others about the threat of climate change, and innovation in renewable energy.
I think that the whole point of this movie is to make you do exactly what the title says. Climate change will cause a lot of damage to our earth, but we must move forward and strive to stop the worst from happening. Climate change can’t change the way we care for each other and seek out the positive things. As long as we accept that we need to do better to care for all of humanity, then we can survive the drastic change that is about to come. It’s important that we continue to fight to keep our existing environmental policies and continue reform in policies dangerous for the environment, especially now when some of our political leaders seek to block climate action. We must strive for unity, work together to make climate change known to all people, and fight for environmental changes in all parts of the world.
Learn more about the movie here: http://howtoletgomovie.com/
Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjfZFAAv19Q
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