2040 is a brilliantly conceived, very powerful, inspiring, thought-provoking documentary presented by award-winning Australian director and filmmaker Damon Gameau, as an empowering journey of hope, one that completely captivates. It doesn’t miss a beat and I was completely engrossed, as he brilliantly captured my attention.
His noble quest is all about ‘fact based dreaming’. His inspiring vision is to create a positive approach to what could be, by seeking to restore the broken balance between humans and nature by 2040.
Quite simply he wants his daughter ‘Velvet’ to have a future. Have to say first and foremost, by the end I was convinced about a plan for re-generation of both the land and sea as presented. His approach is is all about changing ‘attitudes’ and breaking with traditions by regenerating the natural connection between humanity and the land where they were born.
Now all we have to do is compel politicians, parents and primary and high school teachers around the world to not only watch 2040 but also ensure the children we are in charge of educating, are emboldened to watch it too. It is an important first step to know and understand how the solutions to do that are available to us all now.
There are many outcomes we can individually and collectively assist to happen, such as a rooftop sky farm already happening in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
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Damon Gameau begins by showing us through the various rooms in his own home, using what is to hand on a daily basis to provide a very creative, clear and simple explanation about what is happening with climate change. Informative and simply presented, but never patronizing he is with the aid of technology, able to enhance his argument through visuals, helping us all to understand more easily the complexities surrounding the arguments.
He examines the established facts currently available, which would assist us individually, or as communities, nations and countries, to not only have the hootzpa necessary to reverse global warming, but also to improve the lives of every living being on the planet in the process.
Leaving Sydney and his family behind determined to ‘consult 100 children first about what they would like to see in the world by 2040, Damon Gameau did just that, arriving in Bangladesh to begin his journey to inform his audience based on only what we know right now.
Bangladesh today is a melting pot of cultures, ‘a unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional republic divided into eight administrative divisions and sixty-four districts and one of the emerging and growth-leading economies of the world’*
In Bangladesh they have learned from national disasters, how nature’s actions can often have cascading benefits if people simply help each other not just in times of disaster and crisis, but all the time.
He talked to school children who not only engage our attention, but also dazzle us with their ability to clearly articulate what it is they want to say to adults in charge of the planet. It’s both humbling and motivating as they deliver their thoughts about the future.
In the field of human development, Bangladesh has progressed ahead in life expectancy, maternal and child health, and gender equality… these are all facts now… but inspired by ‘fact based dreaming’ they are also leading the world by being ‘respectful to earth’.
They want clean energy and water for survival. They have actively taken on the challenge to obtain ‘clean energy’ by co-operating and collaborating at an individual grass roots level first across both cultures and religions, and then as part of a community based focus next.
Up until now Bangladeshians haven’t had dreaded ‘coal fired or any other sort of fuel operated systems for energy. So, now they install a single or two solar panels on the roof of their huts if they can afford it (most can except for the very poor) and then join up via a wire to their neighbour next door.
On and on the chain grows until it forms a grid, much like honey bees do… showcasing how by observing nature, we can imagine solutions.
Each member of the grid has a battery powered box and the objective is to share power across their own grid only when they need to use it.
They can buy and sell the excess produced among themselves at an affordable rate, empowering the people who, as they benefit, look after the poor, sharing their fortune with an aim of giving others a helping hand up too.
This is all happening now. Studies are already showing, how their economy is growing at a huge rate. Markets can now be held at night powered by the energy of the sun, where those who work their fields by day, can sell their produce to the people wanting to consume it.
Environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, and author Paul Hawken, Project Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, consults with Damon Gameau throughout this journey, as we also listen to those with considerable expertise in their fields.
English born Kate Raworth, renowned for her work on ‘doughnut economics’, which she understands as an economic model, which balances essential human needs and planetary boundaries. She wants to see urban food farms in car parks across cities, made redundant by on-demand transport, helping to do away with millions of cars.
She believes a ‘sustainable, universally beneficial economy would involve moving ‘… countries out of the hole – where people are falling short on life’s essentials – and create regenerative, distributive economies that work within the planet’s ecological limits’.
Eric Toensmeier award-winning author of Paradise Lot, Perennial Vegetables, The Carbon Farming Solution: A Global Toolkit of Perennial Crops and Regenerative Agricultural Practices for Climate Change Mitigation and Food Security and co-author of Edible Forest Gardens.
Appointed lecturer at Yale University, Toensmeier is a Senior Bio-sequestration Fellow with Project Drawdown and he has studied useful perennial plants and their roles in agro-forestry systems for over two decades.
Then there is the man who was once a systems engineering consultant, Brian Von Herzen who is devoting his life to reversing global warming by restoring the primary production of oceans, using kelp and other seaweeds. Oceans face a dire situation.
‘They absorb half of the carbon dioxide recaptured from the atmosphere, which causes acidification, and over 90 percent of the heat from global warming. Ocean deserts are expanding and Von Herzen wants to restore marine life in subtropical waters with thousands of new kelp forests, in a process he calls marine permaculture’.
He shows us how seaweed can restore both the oceans and the land by drawing carbon down from the atmosphere around the earth.
Gameau when he returns home from his world trip, then seeks to engage with those farmers working in changing the way cattle is fed, how nature can help with land regeneration and more.
Just loved watching how by planting grain food source plants for cattle together on one property in Australia, they were not only able to change the way cattle are fed back to how they survived in nature before human intervention, but also regenerate the drought stricken land in the process.
This simple but cost effective should be the way of farming and raising cattle into the future.
Gameau admits he wants his daughter Velvet to hear birds singing in Australian cities in the future, so we look at that aspect of regenerating our urban areas too.
We discover how it is impossible to maintain our resources unless as citizens, we become involved. We need both action and a proactive attitude for there is no doubt we humans have lost our connection to nature. We need solutions based on how ‘WE’ can succeed, but only if we act together. For when you lose good resources, you lose civilisation too and chaos reigns.
You could have ‘bowled me over with a feather’ when towards the end of the 2040, Paul Hawken commented both clearly and succinctly to Damon Gameau
“…the evidence is clear… empowering women and girls with education, access to reproductive health services and work opportunities. This will not only give them a better quality of life but also empower them to have an enormous impact on the planet” Hawken said.
There are some 65-million females on planet earth, still currently kept at home by men, producing more and more babies and in charge of households. He believes they hold the ‘key’ to a better future if they can be empowered through education they will become facilitators, giving the whole world a chance to be regenerated.
2040 is amazing
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2019