Can a Climate Change Film Be As Memorable As TERMINATOR?

by Alex Duff, Corporate Affairs Manager, Kingfisher – Net Positive

Can you tell a story about climate change that’s as memorable as Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, True Lies, Titanic or Avatar?  James Cameron, the acclaimed director of all of those blockbusters, clearly thinks it’s worth a shot given his involvement in a nine part docu-series that had its premier screening in London this week.  He’s not alone – a long list of movie stars, movie makers and many others have joined him in creating "Years of Living Dangerously" which has already been launched to critical acclaim in the USA.

Hollywood glamour

Whilst we weren’t at the Leicester Square Odeon, there was no red carpet and not a Hollywood movie star in sight, for those of us in sustainability more familiar with finding our stories knee-deep in a peat bog or skip-diving, the London premier held at the Soho Hotel certainly provided more than a glimpse of Hollywood glamour.  Perhaps more importantly though, it served as a powerful reminder of how clever interventions and effective storytelling can reach an audience beyond (excuse the pun) "The Usual Suspects."

Happy endings

"Years of Living Dangerously" is a beautifully shot series told from those already coping with the destruction of climate change yet it’s a far cry from the doomsday endings of the likes of "The Day After Tomorrow."  Indeed, one of the series’ most refreshing aspects is that it offers hope and shows how working solutions are being put into place – we just need to do more of it and faster.

Humanising climate issues

None of us know how our climate change narrative will unfold or who it will touch as it does but what ‘Years of Living Dangerously’ does is humanise climate issues, make them accessible through film and help galvanize people on the need for climate action now.  I left the theatre feeling optimistic, having been shown not only what’s at stake but what we can do to help ourselves.  You don’t have to take my word for it though – you can check out the first episode for yourself and, if you enjoy it, please spread the word: www.yearsoflivingdangerously.com

Premier screening

Kingfisher sponsored the London premier screening of "Years of Living Dangerously," which was kindly hosted by Rt Hon Greg Barker MP, former Minister of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change and supported by Tom Murray from Environmental Defense Fund – an organisation working to accelerate environmental innovation in business products, services and operations.

Blockbusting carbon and cash savings

The episode screened at the London premier showed how in the last six years, 600 MBA students have been placed by Environmental Defense Fund into major U.S. corporations where they analyse the energy waste of that business and then propose efficiency solutions to save them carbon and cash.   Those placements have saved each organisation on average $1 million and avoided the equivalent yearly carbon emissions from 260,000 cars.  Environmental Defense Fund opens a London office this autumn.  With its track record in helping corporates save significant sums of carbon and cash, I’d imagine that, just like a blockbuster movie, people will be queuing up to see them.