Running On Climate - a documentary

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

Feature documentary Running On Climate looks at the lengths scientists will go to highlight the dangers of runaway climate change and the actions individuals can take to avert catastrophe.

After decades of watching their increasingly dire warnings about climate change go unheeded, scientists have become the new political “radicals”. Septuagenarian former NASA climate scientist James Hansen was arrested outside the White House in 2011.

Dr Andrew Weaver, a climate scientist at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, decided he would try and change things from the inside. In 2012, he announced he was going to run for election to the provincial legislature.

It’s unusual for a scientist to run for political office. Even more unusual is that Weaver chose to run for a party that had never won a seat in its 30 year history, the BC Green Party.

Weaver was among the scientific advisers who helped develop a package of climate change policies in BC under previous Premier Gordon Campbell, including the introduction of North America's first carbon tax in 2008 and provincially legislated carbon emissions targets. The BC carbon tax is often held up as a model for pricing carbon.

Now those climate policies that Weaver holds dearly are threatened by the new Premier Christy Clark’s plan to develop a massive, energy-intensive liquified natural gas (LNG) industry in the province. Worse, Clark’s promises of a billion dollar bonanza that will make the province “debt free” are, says Weaver, a “pipe dream”.

Running On Climate follows the indefatigable former rugby player and his dedicated team of grassroots campaigners as they set out to defy the naysayers and take the Oak Bay-Gordon Head seat from sitting cabinet minister Ida Chong, street by street.

As the Greens try to butt their way into the two-party system, Running On Climate asks how the west coast province can maintain its leadership on climate change when it is viewed by many in Canada as the "carbon corridor" for the export of fossil fuels to Asia: bitumen from the Alberta oilsands, US thermal coal, and LNG.

With commentary from scientists, politicians, and ordinary citizens engaged in the climate justice movement, Running On Climate looks beyond the election rhetoric and photo ops and asks 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.").

Running On Climate had its World Premiere at DOXA Documentary Festival on Saturday 2nd May, 5.45pm.

Follow Running on Climate us on blog, Facebook, Twitter (@climatedoc) and YouTube.

Contact us here.

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