Originally published on The ECOreport.
In 2012 French journalist Cyril Dion read a study [1. Anthony D. Barnosky et al, “Approaching a state shift in Earth’s biosphere”, NATURE, Nature 486, 52–58 (07 June 2012)] stating that unless we take action now, humankind could disappear between 2040 and 2100. He shared his concerns with a friend, actress/filmaker Melanie Lauren. This ultimately led to their global trek, filming the route towards Tomorrow.
Filming The Route to A New Tomorrow
The result is the César Award [2. “Tomorrow” won the “Best Documentary Feature” César Award, France’s equivalent of the Academy Award.] winning documentary “Tomorrow,” whose American showing kicks off in San Francisco’s Vogue Theatre on April 14.
Laurent and Dion visited 10 countries, seeking out people “making a difference in the fields of food, energy, finance, democracy and education.” They visited permaculture farms, urban agriculture projects and community-owned renewable initiatives from the US to the UK and through Finland and India.
The thread that hangs the episodes together is a conversation, in which Dion and Laurent discuss issues like democracy, education, the new economy, and producing food in ways that work with nature rather than against it.
Dion emailed the ECOreport that renewables can only supply enough power for our needs …
“ …. if we reduce our consumption. Some research show that we waste approximately 50% of our energy production. If we stop wasting, we could certainly produce enough renewable energy to power our society. It would require to use multiple sources, depending on the places: some places are perfect for solar energy, some others for wind turbines, geothermal energy, biomass, etc. But we also have to make great progresses in the technology of renewable energy, to make every solar panel, every wind turbine completely recyclable in order to reduce the natural resources we need to extract to build them. Otherwise, only a part of humanity will have access to these technologies.”
Overshooting Our Resources
Our techno-industrial society has overshot the planet’s resources.
“Actually, a lot a scientists are already pointing it out. Every year in August we overshot the resources of the planet. Therefore we live four and a half month on credit. We cannot keep on doing that for long. All the experts we met during our trip in ten countries, now think that we have something like twenty years to reverse the suicidal process we are engaged in,” he wrote.
“From what I know, part of humanity could disappear but the end of the century. A few years ago a study conducted by on of the NASA’s lab showed that civilisations usually collapse when two factors combine: when we destroy natural ressources faster than they can restore themselves and when social inequality become unbearable.”
“We experience both of these problems. That’s the very bad news. The other bad news is that we usually wait for the catastrophe to come before we react.”
The Good News
Yet Dion has hope for the future.
“The good news is that we already know many solutions to our problems.”
“So if things turn badly, I do hope that people will get together and do what needs to be done to help our species to survive. But we could start now! That is why our work is so important. We need to show new path to stimulate creativity and empower all the people who already see what is happening and want to change the world.”
“Human population has tripled in the last 70 years. It never happened before. We are too many, using too much resources too fast. Nature cannot restore its resources that fast.
“So we need to think on two aspects: slow population growth and reduce the ecological footprint of each new person on the planet. Currently an American is consuming as much resources as seven Bangladeshi.”
US Showings Of Tomorrow
Since its original release in France, during 2015, “Tomorrow” has been shown in more than 20 countries.
TOMORROW opens in San Francisco (Vogue Theatre) on April 14th; New York (Village East) and Los Angeles (Laemmle Music Hall) on April 21st, followed by select cities across the US to coincide with Earth Day.
The film is being released by distributor Under the Milky Way.
Illustration Credit: All images & videos are taken from the documentary Tomorrow.