What better way to start 2016 than by watching HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD (2015),a documentary about a group of people who wanted to make a difference? They set about changing the world step by step.
It’s an astonishing film on the founding of Greenpeace—what it tried to do, where it succeeded, and where it failed. It’s a lesson in hope, commitment, and perseverance.
I found the film inspiring, as our world, though a beautiful one, is in a bit of a mess right now. Too many wars based on too much discrimination and old grudges.
But it’s not only battling one another that’s a problem. We have to stop battling nature, which is what Greenpeace hoped to teach the world and continues to hope, despite the fact that we are continuing to destroy our beautiful planet. With that destruction, we endanger our own lives and the lives of future generations.
HOPE SEEDED IN PARIS
But there is hope of changing the world step by step. More of the global population is getting the message that we have to do something before it’s too late. It’s getting it because we’ve discovered that if you mess with nature, nature will mess with you: floods, hurricanes, tornados, drought, earthquakes.
At the Paris Summit on Climate Change, over 200 world leaders agreed to work together to keep the earth’s temperature from rising 2 degrees. Can it be done? Of course. As my mother always said, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” But it will take all of us, and not just our governments to make a difference.
We can do this if we stop squandering our natural resources, polluting our atmosphere and disrespecting non-human life in catastrophic ways.
CHANGING THE WORLD STEP BY STEP
In the documentary, HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD, I was surprised to discover that Greenpeace’s main founder was Bob Hunter, a hippy journalist in Vancouver.
Bob had a vision of a better world and he gave that vision his all when he rallied his supporters to a cause he thought was worth fighting for: changing the world step by step.
Bob Hunter was quite a guy. I had read his newspaper columns, the ones in which he railed against the practice of electr0-convulsive therapy. I had clipped many of his passionate arguments as they neatly dovetailed mine. The pros and cons of ECT found their way into my second novel, THE RUBBER FENCE (to be published on March 3, 2016), a story in which psychiatrists are not always on the same page when it comes to treatment.
The fabulous documentary, HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD, follows him and other members of Greenpeace (including Paul Watson), as they tackle one environmental issue after another, from nuclear testing to the slaughtering of whales and seals. The film is wonderfully shot and edited. It lags somewhat in the middle but not for long. When I got to the end (no spoilers here), I cried. A quote from Bob Hunter said it all. You’ll have to watch the film or fast forward to the end to hear what he had to say.
Either way, the doc. showed that it is possible to change minds and unsavoury practices that affect our environment. It is possible to change the way we look at our natural world, and by doing so, have the will to do something that will stop the damage to nature. And by doing so, we can change the world. Greenpeace showed us how. It’s up to us to carry the torch or at least support those who are willing to do it on our behalf.
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