Running On Climate - a documentary

Running On Climate is a feature documentary, being made by Robert Alstead and Jo Clarke of icycle.ca productions ltd.

The documentary will look at the challenge of climate change against the backdrop of the British Columbia provincial election that took place on 14th May 2013. This was seen as a crucial election in terms of climate policy not just for the province, but for Canada.

British Columbia's choices have implications for generations to come: does it try to expand as a heavily resource-dependent economy, with the ecological, health, and financial risks that come with that? Or can it nurture and strengthen the foundations of its low-carbon economy, developing its wealth of renewable energy and "green" jobs?

The documentary focuses in particular on the riding of Oak Bay-Gordon Head, in the provincial capital of Victoria, where world-renowned climatologist Andrew Weaver ran and won the seat for the B.C. Green Party. It was the first time the Greens, often dismissed as a "fringe" party, had won a provincial seat in Canada in its 30-year history.

While a professor at the University of Victoria, Weaver was among the scientific advisers who helped develop a package of climate change policy initiatives in BC, including the introduction of North America's first carbon tax in 2008 and a provincially legislated carbon emissions target for 2020. The BC carbon tax is often held up as a model for pricing carbon.

The election of a lead author on the United Nation's International Panel on Climate Change to political office was particularly significant at a time where Canada's federal government has been widely condemned for muzzling of its scientists and a lack of action on global warming.

As Running On Climate follows Weaver setting out on his new career path, it will consider how the West Coast province, which describes itself as "The Best Place on Earth", can maintain its leadership on climate change when it is viewed by many in Canada as the "carbon corridor" for the export of raw natural resources - natural gas, bitumen from the Alberta tarsands, and U.S. thermal coal.

With commentary from scientists, politicians, and ordinary citizens, Running On Climate will look beyond the election rhetoric to ask what is our responsibility to future generations who have the most to lose from global warming. What is sustainable? And what can an individual feasibly do, here and now, to prevent the planet careening toward catastrophic climate change?

Robert Alstead, who previously directed You Never Bike Alone, began following Weaver before his nomination as the Oak Bay Gordon Head candidate for the BC Greens (see Andrew Weaver wins. My risk pays off.").

Follow Running on Climate as it develops on our blog, Facebook, Twitter (@climatedoc) and YouTube.

Contact us here.

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