Josh Fox Film and Discussion

By Zach Ralph

Josh Fox brings us another documentary, this time about climate change.

Josh Fox brings us another documentary, this time about climate change.

How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things that Climate Can’t Change is a new film by academy award nominee Josh Fox for his role as director of the film Gasland. As a grassroots organizer in upstate NY, fighting against slick water high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing, Gasland I and Gasland II became standards for environmental activists. It was a movie which was powerful enough to be the one thing that even the least informed individual could refer to. People would often say in response to my pitch at their door, “Hydro fracking? Isn’t it that thing that makes it so people light their water on fire?” It was also such a powerful film that the Fracking industry came out with their own rebuttal to. They called it Truthland.”

Gasland made hydro-fracking mainstream by putting it into terms that people could understand, by making it personal to homeowners and families, and by presenting it in a stimulating but educational way. Not long after the release of this film, New York State banned hydro-fracking all together and even Pennsylvania, which had long been touted as a shining example of the success of hydro-fracking, put a moratorium or temporary ban on hydro fracking. This new film is no different in its ability to take the very complex idea and threat of climate change and turn it into something that everyone can understand and relate to.

This film is not like most documentaries. It is as much a narrative about climate change as it is about the director’s own personal journey in discovering the truth for himself. This very personalized story and style may seem strange when discussing a subject as broad as climate change, but you learn as the movie progresses that this was intentionally done to highlight who the main character is in climate change, humans, and the individual. The film sets out to answer the question in the title of the movie; How to Let Go of the World and Love all the Things that Climate Can’t Change? How do we cope with climate change? What are the things that climate change can’t change?

This is not an overly cheery movie. It’s a very realistic documentary that does not try to sugar coat our future with climate change, but works to put everything out on the table so that we can start to have an honest discussion about what we CAN do. The first half of the film breaks down climate change. It lays out all of the factors that have led to our current state; fossil fuel consumption, a demand for meat, how we consume energy, deforestation, a consumer culture etc. and ultimately how these things have led to a global catastrophe, and along with it come the four horsemen of the apocalypse, war, famine, disease, and death! The science is clear, we have put enough carbon in the atmosphere to drive global temperatures above the 2° by 2036, we may only have 2-3 years to do anything about this with an international government not willing to take adequate steps in addressing these serious problems. What do we do, What CAN we do to escape this surreal nightmare?

While the film is not cheery it is also not meant to lead everyone that watches it into despair. Remember Josh Fox did this film shortly after beating one of the most powerful industries in the world, the oil and gas industry. Instead Josh Fox wants the despair of climate change to hold us down like an anchor in turbulent times. The whole second half of the documentary isn’t about a simple solution, but a solution none the less that focuses on the creatives fights like the “moral imagination.” The solutions that Josh Fox presents in this fascinating film are innovative, and unique. After seeing the documentary and reflecting on its core values I felt stronger, and more focused. I felt energized by the creative message, and for the first time in a while I felt faith in my fellow man as we are both the solution in addition to the problem.

Don’t take my word for it, come see the film! Sustainable Woodstock will be hosting a screening and discussion of How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things that Climate Can’t Change on Sunday Nov. 20th at Billings Farm & Museum starting at 4:00PM. Light dinner will be provided after the film as well as a discussion. Additional co-sponsors for the event are the Vermont Natural Resource Council, The Upper Valley Young Liberals, The Sierra Club, and Billings Farm & Museum. Admission is FREE. Please RSVP with zach@sustainablewoodstock.org, 802-457-2911. More information and a trailer can be seen on this website: howtoletgomovie.com.

Do One Thing: Join the screening and discussion on Sun. Nov. 20th!

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