Films

A Farm for the Future

I thought I was getting better, but alas I was fooled. I’m still down with this illness, which seems to have progressed to a rotten headache and deep lethargy. I can’t find the energy to write any posts so instead, here is a video I found today at the Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

A Farm for the Future

This BBC show features Rebecca Hosking returning to her family farm in Devon. After the petrol price shocks of 2008, she confronts the challenge of reducing the farm’s dependence on oil in order to keep it running and viable in a future of increasingly scarce energy. She explores the history of British agriculture and considers what other British farms have done to wean themselves off fossil fuels.

Finding Freedom in Simple Living

I came across this interesting Peak Moment interview with an early 30-something couple. I found their story to be really interesting because their lives parallel ours in many ways. While the host of this show gets on my nerves somewhat this video is worth watching for some inspiration on how others are choosing to find their freedom in living simply.

A Young Couple Find Freedom in Simple Living

Rather than follow the customary American dream, Tammy and Logan sold their home and car, and moved to a bikeable/walkable neighborhood in Sacramento, California. After reading Derrick Jensen’s writings, this couple used Your Money or Your Life as a means to get out of debt and, they feel, regain their lives and their future. While they recount the psychological challenges of facing a future of declining resources, the catalyst that continues to move them forward is a dream of living in an affordable tiny house within a supportive community.

Home

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Brendan and I watch a lot of documentaries, but last night we watched what I consider to be the best documentary I’ve ever seen. Home takes viewers on a ride around an Earth put in dire peril by its most adaptable life form, humanity.

The shot-from-above cinematography is simply stunning. French photographer Yann Arthus-Betrand has managed to turn the most dismally wasted landscapes into abstractions of color and form. One of the disturbing discoveries of “Home” is that there is beauty to be found even in environmental devastation, if you film it from far enough away. As a photographer I found the entire movie one of the most visually beautiful productions I’ve ever seen. The cinematography is second to none.

Anyone who appreciates beautiful and stirring music will also love the soundtrack. It’s extremely emotive. The script is exceptionally well written and powerful. It is narrated by Glenn Close.

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A review from Change.org

Hopping quickly over the first four billion of the Earth’s Arcadian human-free early years, we arrive at the latter 200,000. Humans hunt and gather, discover agriculture, build cities, burn fossil fuels for energy, fill dismally dusty feedlots with corn-fattened beef cattle, over-consume resources, shatter the food chain with pesticides. They waste their minds on television, isolate themselves in suburbia, create sterile monuments to modernity, overfish the oceans, desertify the plains, deplete fresh water supplies, promote a wrongheaded “western model of development,” use up most of the oil, and refuse to own up to any of it.

And that’s just the first hour.

By the time we arrive at film’s end, where the narration exhorts us that “it’s too late to be a pessimist,” we’ve also depleted the soil, chopped down tropical forests for palm oil plantations, triggered the Sixth Great Extinction of animals and plants in the Earth’s history, hoarded wealth, built crowded megacities, left most of the swelling human population of six billion plus in poverty and environmental injustice, and tipped the climate’s delicate balance toward runaway global warming.

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Throughout the movie I had goosebumps and by the end I had tears in my eyes. Not just from the message but from the beautiful way it is portrayed. This movie is simply a masterpiece. Please set aside a quiet hour or two to watch it. You will not regret it.

The Story of Stuff

I’ve watched a lot of videos in the last 18 months, but one of the first films which really helped my see how many of our problems are intertwined was The Story of Stuff.

The Story of Stuff is a 20 minute, fast paced, fact filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. This short film exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at the stuff in your life forever.

I consider this a must watch.

Chris Martenson rocks!

A couple of weekends ago, Brendan and I attended a seminar in Denver, Colorado which was held by Chris Martenson and his wife Becca. I’ve been devouring everything I can from Chris’ website since I first discovered it in February 09. I think his Crash Course is essential viewing and I encourage everyone to watch it and learn about some of the biggest challenges facing us in the coming decades:

  • Economic woes
  • Energy crises
  • Environmental devastation

These (the three E’s) are really important topics and until I saw the Crash Course for the first time, I had no idea how different the next 20 years will be from the last 20 years.

Chris_Headshot_72dpiChris is a former Vice President of an international Fortune 300 company and used to be living in a large waterfront house until he came to the same realisation that I have recently, that something isn’t quite right with society. About 5 years ago, Chris terminated his former high-paying, high-status position. His children are now homeschooled, and the big house was sold in July of 2003 in preference for a small rental in rural western Massachusetts. The family grows a garden every year; preserve food, know how to brew beer & wine, and raise chickens. Chris and Becca are making sure their family and community are becoming more self-sufficient and are sharing much of their wisdom with the online community on his website.

I am so thankful that I discovered Chris. He has changed the way I see things and I feel so much better educated about what our future might look like.