“Embrace the best that already exists”Damon Gameau (2040)
The year is 2040. Is the world polluted, devoid of biodiversity, wrought by natural disasters and inundated by sea water? Or is it a world where clean energy and transport resources are shared, giant seaweed farms absorb carbon dioxide and farming practices regenerate the soil? Will we be able to adapt our current way of life to confront the major environmental and social challenges of today’s world, or not? Damon Gameau (of That Sugar Film fame) believes we will. Through investigating existing technologies and solutions, in his latest documentary, Gameau explores what the year 2040 could be like if some of these solutions were employed on a large scale.
Against the backdrop of his four year old daughter and what the world will be like for her in the future, Gameau delves into the minds of children around the world and their ideas of the future. Their future is one where we respect the earth, look after homeless people, halt deforestation and move around by ingenious means. Without being too unrealistic about the adoption of solutions which haven’t yet been dreamed up, the film optimistically explores ways we could address climate change and other associated issues. Featuring climate solutions from Project Drawdown, one of the best ways to address climate change may not even be on your radar (hint: it’s not related to cars, meat, industry or airplanes – check out CNN’s quiz to test yourself).
Aware of the business, government and individual challenges at evoking widespread change, I found the film to be a little simplistic at times. I was constantly thinking – “great idea, but how do we get there?” I was relieved at the mention of behaviour change and the recognition of changes required of both individuals and communities to realise the film’s vision. However, this film’s focus is not on ‘how’ (leave that to the policy makers, politicians, educators and business leaders), but rather it is about creating an inspirational vision of the future. A vision that contrasts the despairing rhetoric of the mainstream media; a vision where we have evolved to live more sustainable, healthy, community oriented lives, integrated more intimately with nature.
Infused with interviews of key leaders sitting on top of wind turbines or travelling round a monopoly board and snippets of children’s futuristic ideals (“I just want the future to be good“), Gameau’s creative flair reminds us that creativity and innovation are essential to solving some of the sustainability challenges we face today.
This film offers hope and is fueled by the positivity, originality and limitless wisdom of young people. In a world that is currently ravaged by bush fires, drought, terrorism, political protests and unprecedented numbers of refugees, 2040 is the injection of positivity that we need to spark action towards a more sustainable world. What’s your 2040?