2040 (2019) Movie Script

My name is Damon.
And this is my daughter, velvet.
Are you trying to plant dad?
She's just turned four.
Her days are spent
in a happy bubble,
created by my excellent wife,
She's lucky enough that
her major concerns right now
are numbers... Daddy.
Mummy. Velly.
So how many pieces is that?
How to tell
a knock knock joke...
- Knock, knock.
- Who's there?
- Unicorn.
- Unicorn who?
Unicorn jump over the rainbow.
Oh, that's who it is!
And the elusive art of
sleep direction.
But soon she'll have to
leave that happy bubble
and face a rapidly
deteriorating environment.
faster than
the scientists predicted.
We're seeing large waterfalls
pouring off the side of the ice.
It's an alarming acceleration.
The need to address this
is so urgent...
That it often overwhelms me.
The simplest way I can explain
our current predicament
is to briefly channel
my year nine science teacher
and pretend our house
is the planet.
Carbon is a miraculous
building block
and for millions of years,
our planet has been part of
a natural carbon cycle.
Some gets released,
some gets stored,
and if these things
are balanced,
then equilibrium is maintained.
But since the
industrial revolution,
we've broken the balance
and have been
dramatically increasing
the release of
the earth's stored carbon
into our atmosphere.
For hundreds of thousands of
we've hovered between about
180 and 280 parts per million
of carbon dioxide
in the atmosphere.
But since the
industrial revolution,
that number has shot up over 40%
to more than
400 parts per million,
trapping heat in our atmosphere.
More than 90% of
the excess heat being trapped
is absorbed by our oceans.
The oceans also absorb much
of the extra carbon dioxide,
and so are now 30% more acidic
than they were 150 years ago.
And this is impacting
on biodiversity,
as many sea creatures,
such as oysters or clams,
are struggling to make
their shells.
But the increased heat and
overall energy in the system
also leads to more intense
weather events.
Hotter air can hold
more moisture,
so rainfalls, storms,
hurricanes, floods,
even snowfalls
can become heavier.
It is true that the climate
has always been changing.
It just hasn't changed
this rapidly
in at least 50 million years.
the increase in heat
also means that our polar caps
and glaciers
are rapidly melting,
which causes sea level rise
that threatens
hundreds of millions of people
The earth
is our collective home,
but we're actually renting it
from future generations.
So we need to not only rapidly
reduce our emissions...
Oi! Righto!
But also find ways to sequester
or draw down
the excess carbon dioxide
that has already been
put into the system.
Many scientists believe that
getting down to 350 ppm
would be a terrific goal.
So I think we're all
pretty aware
that when it comes to
predictions of the future,
they're almost entirely
negative at the moment.
Any time you open your newsfeed
or social media,
there's some kind of
doom and gloom story
about the future of
our environment.
And as a father, I...
I think there's room
for a different story.
A story that focuses
on the solutions
to some of these problems.
So my plan is to go out and
find some of these solutions
and then create a vision
of a different future
for our daughter.
What about...
I want to show her
what the world would look like
if the solutions I find
were implemented today.
So, what would the world
look like in 2040
if we just embraced
the best that already exists?
And that's my only rule.
Everything I show her in
this 2040,
has to exist today,
in some form.
I can't make it up.
- See you, dadda.
- See you, darling.
Have fun.
I'm calling it
an exercise in
fact-based dreaming.
The first step in this exercise
was to consult the generation
who'll be sharing the future
with our daughter.
- Hi, everybody.
- Morning.
Morning. My name is Damon.
Now, do you guys know where
we've come from today?
Do you know what country
that I'm from?
We have animals called platypus.
- Kangaroo.
- Australia!
Australia? Yeah, yeah, yeah.
We've been going
all around the world
and talking to lots of
different children your age,
and so we're going to
ask you what kind of things
you want to see in the future.
Well, what would make me
happy in the world is...
I think we should get
this invention
which sucks up
all of the rubbish in the world
and puts it in a intergalactic
which is a rubbish dimension.
I'd like to see deforestation
being stopped
because it's ruining the planet.
Animals are losing their homes.
Cleaner water. That would
really make me happy.
Well, I would like for
the government
to have done something on
global warming and pollution,
as now, I think they're not
really doing anything about it.
You know,
just be respectful to earth.
It was sobering to learn
how preoccupied the kids are
with the state of the planet,
and what a big job
I had ahead of me.
So I began my search
for solutions with energy.
I found myself in Bangladesh,
where the roads are chaotic...
And people are openly
peddling ice on the streets.
Currently, Bangladesh
has one of the largest
solar home system
markets in the world.
Over 5 million
solar home systems.
So most households in every
rural area in Bangladesh
actually has
a solar home system,
and that's their primary
source of energy.
This charming 23-year-old
is neel tamhane,
who has studied alternative
energy technologies
and come home to help
power his country.
Turns out I wasn't the only one
who wanted to hear him talk.
So what we do is we
interconnect solar home systems
and we enable energy
sharing between them,
which is basically trading,
and the customer chooses
when they want to trade
and when they don't.
Instead of building large grids,
we're proposing
a decentralised structure
where we start building grids
bottom up.
The setup
is quite simple.
Any home that has solar panels
and a battery...
Can buy this special box...
Which connects them
to another house
with the same setup.
The box allows the buying
or selling of energy
between the homes.
But it gets better.
There is still a segment
of the population
that still can't afford to
buy a solar home system.
So, instead of doing that,
if they can just buy
a small solbox,
they can just buy energy
when they need it.
You fill up your solbox
with money.
As you keep using energy,
it deducts money.
What this means
is that all the boxes
can connect to each other
to form a microgrid.
It's like a water tank
of community energy
that people can give to
or take from.
The beauty is that
this microgrid
can then connect to the
adjacent village's microgrid
and the network becomes
stronger and stronger.
There's a mimicking of nature
here, isn't there?
Like, in the way that
cells multiply
and form something
and strengthen it.
Yeah, that's a great analogy.
You have one solar home system,
you interconnect with your
neighbours, you make it 50.
you interconnect villages.
Once you have collected
you can hook it up to the grid,
you can sell to the grid.
Forget buying from it -
you become the primary
energy generation source
for the country.
So the idea is
we are like a swarm of bees
or a swarm of fish
that move together,
pool in all our energies
together to run bigger loads.
This technology
could revolutionise
the way we distribute energy
From little things,
big things grow.
When we have a
decentralised mode of energy,
the same thing that happened
with the web,
happens with information
where basically,
it's Democratic.
Energy becomes Democratic.
But also it becomes
very efficient.
It's far more efficient
because you produce it at
the point where you consume it.
Having efficient
local energy
also provides greater resilience
in an increasingly
hostile climate.
And when we talk about
climate change, it's floods,
it's natural disasters
that happen very often here.
In the last 1.5 years, we have
seen about 5, 6 disasters.
When you have a centralised
grid, everything breaks down
and then it takes a long time
to build it back up.
If we have decentralised
generation sources,
every household has their own
generation source.
They're independent
and they have their power
in their own hands,
instead of depending
on the government
to provide it to them.
The impact of the
locally-generated electricity
is best seen at night.
The influx of cash has made the
village bazaar the place to be.
You guys have just skipped
the landline telephone.
You've gone straight to
the mobile.
Exactly. And it's throughout.
It's not even about energy.
We skipped the grid
and we build our own.
There are developing
countries like India,
Bangladesh, a lot
of countries in east Africa
that are trying to do
a top-down electrification.
They are spending
billions of dollars here.
But instead of doing that,
if they can actually help
subsidise these systems
and let people
own their own system,
they would be so proud
by owning these.
So when I'm trading energy
with you, suppose,
you're actually paying me for
it, and I'm getting the money,
so the money also stays
within the economy.
This is bringing back people
As I left the village,
I had a renewed sense of hope.
Particularly when neel told me
this technology is springing up
in other countries.
This solution is
great for our environment,
with so many cascading benefits
for any community
that chooses to adopt it.
So, sticking to my rule of only
showing what exists today,
here's what the future
of energy could look like
for my daughter.
This, velvet, could be you.
Or this.
Or even this.
We love you.
And this could be where
you live.
Or here.
Or even here.
But probably not here.
Darling! It's seven o'clock!
It's time for family yoga!
Crystal, bring up energy.
What would you like me to do?
Imagine if your house
in 2040
is part of a microgrid
that helps power the economy
throughout your city.
Imagine if your windows
are solar glass
and come standard in new homes.
And your solar battery
is cheap and recyclable.
This could allow you to
donate your excess energy.
I'm going away for four days.
Would you like to
share or sell?
Share. Hurricane relief.
Done. You're a legend.
- Humans are awesome.
- Ok.
That choice
was good for your soul.
Every home
is going to have a battery
that's going to store
as much electricity
as it possibly can store.
And all the governments
in the world
cannot push back against that
because folks are going to go
buy it at the store,
at Ikea, at Walmart,
at the supermarket.
And it's going to be very cheap.
So cheap that you're not even
going to notice.
If cheaper
home energy systems
are combined with more people
demanding clean energy
from their politicians,
Then there's a chance
many countries
could be close to
100% renewable by 2040.
What I can guarantee
is that not only will I be
an embarrassing dad...
Find news.
But that natural disasters
will increase their intensity
over the next two decades.
Absolute chaos.
Run, run! Get out!
Run, run!
God. Oh, my god!
But what I now know
is that we actually have
everything we need
on both a large and small-scale
to power us through
these disasters.
And by building new grids,
loads of people
will get loads of jobs.
- Oh, that's good.
- Mmm.
But what would be really great
during this transition, velvet,
is if the people who work
in the fossil fuel industry
are given support and funding
for retraining in new careers.
Paid for by redirecting some of
the $10 million a minute
governments currently spend
subsidising fossil fuels.
What struck me
about the microgrids
is that the profits from
the shared energy
stay within the community
and empower individuals,
rather than going to a big
energy company elsewhere.
But it turns out microgrids
are currently illegal
in some countries.
If we recognised
that our well-being
fundamentally depends
upon the stability
and the thriving of this planet,
we would put that at the heart
of the economic system
we create.
I met with
the economist Kate raworth
in an appropriate location.
Kate is proposing
a new economic framework
designed for our current
Today's economy,
the returns of production
are accruing to a 1%,
which leaves us with
these extraordinary levels
of inequality.
So we need to create an economy
in which value created
is shared far more equitably
with all those
who help create it.
And daft though it sounds, I
think it looks like a doughnut.
The kind with the hole
in the middle.
So, in the hole in the middle
of that doughnut
on life's essentials
- be it food,
housing, education,
water, energy,
and so we want to get everybody
in the world out of that hole.
But we also can't go beyond
the doughnut's outer crust,
because there we start to put
so much pressure
on this extraordinary planet,
causing climate breakdown...
Biodiversity loss...
Too much land conversion.
We kick out of kilter this
extraordinary living planet
on which all of our well-being
Last century's economists
didn't see this.
No phase of humanity
has encountered this before.
It's our generational challenge.
We need new ideas to do this.
The wonderful thing about
the microgrids
is that they fit beautifully
within the doughnut framework.
The solar energy helps restore
the outer boundaries
like climate change...
And air-pollution...
But on the inner boundaries,
more people are pulled
into the doughnut
by improving health,
with less kerosene use...
Education, by providing light
to study...
Income equality,
by keeping profits within
the local economy...
And networks,
because the microgrid now
interconnects households.
I am going to invent a plane
You type in the coordinates
What you want it... where you
want it to go and...
In a split second, you're there.
I think electric cars
would help the environment
because that causes
less pollution.
And maybe, um, get electric
cars if they can, um,
'cause that reduces,
like, fossil fuels
and then that also stops
global warming.
And instead of using cars,
I would like to use
rocket boots to go around
and they would be
powered by plants.
Oh, that would be so cool.
That would be awesome.
And rocket boots, I think,
would really cool to see people
flying around the city in.
And also I want it to go
and I want to try
and invent them.
So, it's interesting
being in some of these
big American cities,
the traffic is just diabolical.
And I can see that it...
You know, I consider myself
quite a happy person, you know.
I've got not a lot to
complain about.
But I'm really...
Feeling a bit antsy
in this traffic and, um...
It kind of does that to you.
And I think probably
a lot of people
might not put that as a factor
because they've got other
things going on in their life,
but if you do have things
in your life
that are bothering you,
then you throw yourself
into this environment...
Things can get a little tense.
And I've been tempted to
jump on the horn
and abuse couple of people.
In the us right now,
road vehicles contribute
to 20% of emissions.
But our environment and sanity
will be severely tested
with predictions of an extra
one billion cars worldwide
by 2040.
j I can lock all my doors... j&
a possible solution could be
replacing car ownership
with on-demand
driverless vehicles.
The same way that we
went from owning DVDs or cds
or records or whatever,
to having all of those
on demand -
essentially Netflix and so on -
the same thing is going to
happen with transportation.
I wasn't sure I'd trust
a driverless car
with my daughter,
so I subjected this prototype
to the surprise pedestrian test.
Ah! Yes!
Robots - 1, human - 0.
The next test was
a little more challenging.
When I push this button,
this car will be driving itself.
And, um, wish me luck.
So, this is my first experience
in a driverless vehicle,
and, uh...
I'm a little bit nervous
because that wheel
is turning by itself.
Siri, please look after me.
So, yeah, you can see
that's our car tracking there,
and the little lidar,
the radar on top
is reading out
all the information
I think, about 50m ahead of us
and scanning the area and
determining what's around us,
what other obstacles,
what it should look out for -
pedestrians, bike riders,
other cars.
So it's constantly
ahead of us, predicting.
Two things
are going to happen.
We're all going to have
a massive fleet of cars
that are going to pick you
up at home, take you to work,
take you to the supermarket
and so on,
and the other one -
even if you already own a car
that you already paid off,
it's going to be four times
more expensive
just to own that car
than it is to access
transportation as a service,
so, autonomous
electric vehicles.
I do like the freedom
of my own car,
so the big question is
are enough of us
willing to give that up
and embrace shared
One of the interesting
about a future of vehicles
that involves ridesharing,
is that we have all these ideas
tied up with owning vehicles
that have very little to do with
getting us from
point a to point b,
and all to do with what those
things said about us.
So, you know, they became
symbols of independence
and freedom.
They became symbols of class
and wealth and capital.
Now, the reality is, of course,
we haven't had cars forever.
And the notion of cars
as status symbols
and signals of independence -
that's 60, 70 years old,
at most,
and less than that
in most places.
And so the idea that we
can uncouple those things
isn't impossible.
And frankly, they only ever got
coupled in the first place
because of advertising.
If we did embrace
on-demand transport,
much like we now require
fewer cds or DVDs...
We'd also require
fewer vehicles...
And almost no parking space.
Two thirds of la
is parking and roads.
You could fit three cities
the size of San Francisco
in the empty parking space
left by the autonomous vehicle
And so, as a society,
we need to make decisions.
What do we do
with all that parking space
that's going to be vacant?
So, here's what 2040 could
look like for my daughter
without an extra billion cars.
As you head off to your first
school dance, velvet...
Family hug. Family hug.
It will be nice
not having to worry
about your date's
driving skills.
Look, dad! A ghost must be
driving! Spooky!
I imagine your date
to be very kind.
And very impotent.
All the cars that
your mum and I ever owned
were stranded assets,
meaning that 96% of the time
they were parked or unused.
But now, in 2040,
with driver costs gone
and the rideshare explosion,
fewer people actually own cars.
They get around in
luxurious pods like this
for next to nothing.
It's just inner cities that are
likely to be driverless only.
And we could really
fatten the doughnut
if vehicles were
But I secretly hope, darling,
that rocket boots girl
has achieved her ambition
of worldwide domination.
So, this is
a huge disruption
of a massive part of
the labour force.
Inevitably, there'll be
debates around this technology.
But if enough of us
embrace ridesharing,
we could reclaim our cities
for humans instead of vehicles,
and generate
millions of new jobs.
This is big vision.
We just need to have
that vision now.
A lot of people want to be
working on something
that they can see is actually
helping to regenerate
and innovatively
recreate the world.
The extra space in our
cities could allow the building
of more low-cost
sustainable homes.
And we could see the growth
of remanufacturing industries,
which might convert
existing vehicles to electric.
But most exciting could be
the urban food farms
that spring up
in empty parking lots.
Or inside disused car parks.
And imagine having fresh local
food growing on our rooftops.
This would also contribute to
a much healthier environment.
It's unbeatable to grow
food in your own backyard.
It's unbeatable to grow food
all through and around
your city.
It's unbeatable to grow
food on your roof.
Those are the absolute
gold standard of emissions.
One day you will be
amazed by the distances
some of our food travelled.
Bring up data for 2016.
In 2016, the us was importing
the same amount of beef
as it was exporting.
Fish caught in Norway was flown
to China for filleting.
Then flown back to Norway
to be sold.
What were you guys thinking?
Well, sometimes we weren't.
But how's this?
If we electrify
our transport systems
and frankly, make them
far more attractive...
A lot more fossil fuels
will stay in the ground.
If nobody's going to buy
internal combustion engine
petrol cars,
nobody's going to buy oil.
What we see is that oil demand
is going to peak
and it's going to
go down dramatically.
And it's never coming back.
This means areas like
the tar sands oil fields
could be magnificently
If you do choose to
live in a city, velvet,
I hope it's a bit like this.
A city where
so many of the public parks,
urban food projects
and cleaner transport networks,
all contribute to
a healthier environment,
while fostering a greater sense
of community..
And a hell of a lot less
road rage.
But the bonus
is that you can now actually
hear birds singing
in the middle of the city.
As wonderful as
this future could be,
I was pretty gobsmacked
to learn that vested interests
now spend almost
$1 billion a year
preventing us from actually
lowering our emissions.
So, the fossil fuel industry
have being doing
a magnificent job
at copying the tobacco playbook
in creating doubt and confusion
amongst the public.
And I've been following
some of their key players,
their sneaky players, online,
just to try and learn
and understand
some of the tactics.
So, one of the things they do
is that they create websites
that sound and look
very Sincere,
but are full of misinformation.
You see here the innocent
hummingbird, the leaf.
They'll also fund think tanks
that come up with really clever
cultural memes
and these are things like,
you know,
"climate science isn't settled",
which is ripped
straight from tobacco.
Or "climate change
is a religion".
That's another one.
It's very evocative.
They'll also used fake bots
or algorithms
that appear to be humans
on social media,
and what this does
is creates a sense
that they have more support
than they actually do.
And this one's pretty key
because companies like exxon
will often fund lots of
different organisations
to make it look like
there's this wide consensus
of climate denial,
whereas in actual fact,
all those different
were funded by the same source.
These tactics have focused
the conversation
primarily on our emissions,
while obscuring a crucial
component of our dilemma.
If we ceased
all emissions today,
if we cut emissions to zero,
human emissions to zero,
we would still be toast.
We're still already over
a tipping point
and on our way
to a point of no return.
So we have to reduce
the emissions
that we're producing today,
and we also have to
sequester carbon
and we have to remove excess
carbon from the atmosphere
and store it.
With an increased sense
of urgency,
I met with Paul hawken,
who thankfully
isn't afraid of heights.
He's the founder of
project drawdown -
the first comprehensive plan
to reverse global warming.
If you look at the solutions
that we model in drawdown,
they're virtually all
regenerative development.
That is to say
the earth is better off,
the people are better off,
the communities are better off,
the creatures are better off,
the birds are better off.
No matter what it is,
they're better off for it
than had we not done it.
Paul suggested I first explore
food and agriculture
for drawdown opportunities.
When you change agriculture
practices related to food,
you can do two things.
One is you stop emitting
carbon, co2,
but you're also
sequestering carbon.
So it's one of those sectors...
That actually does both -
it's a twofer.
Which is... not only does it
stop putting it up,
but it actually brings it down.
So you're flipping
a whole sector.
Yeah, I think that people
should be eating
more fruit and vegetable
and less sweet stuff
and so that the sweet
stuff should be, um...
Like, you should be rationed
on sweet stuff.
When I grow up,
I want it to be national
hot dog day every day.
I want to see more trees
and also want to see chocolate
raining from the clouds.
Be more healthy.
That's all I really have to
say about the food.
Like, I wanted not so much
people eating meat
because that's animals.
But I do like bacon.
Bacon's nice.
It still, like, pigs
and I have a pig toy.
And when I eat bacon,
I feel kind of sad.
Soil's almost
an unknown universe
in that there's
over 6 billion microorganisms
of huge diversity
in a small spoonful of soil,
of healthy soil.
Which is really quite amazing.
Don't know who counted them,
but someone did.
It's a tough job. Yeah.
I was in regional Victoria
in Australia to meet col seis,
a champion of
regenerative agriculture.
In 1979, we had a major
bushfire at home.
Like... a wildfire.
And lost virtually
all of our sheep,
which were 3,000 merino sheep.
I went from going ok
to being broke overnight.
So I had to work out
a way of doing it
without spending any money.
And I developed
a different way of farming,
totally different,
through 1980s and 1990s,
which turned out to
regenerate the land.
Using a lot less
chemicals and inputs
than is traditionally used.
That's right.
And since I changed -
I actually did the figures
on it -
I've saved over $2 million,
since I changed.
I don't go where
the $2 million went.
Col helps farmers around
the world use plants
to pull carbon from
the atmosphere
and put it into their soil...
Because our constant
ploughing of the soil
has released billions of
tonnes of the stuff.
Over the last
10,000 years of agriculture,
the degradation of soils
has been one of the leading
causes of climate change.
It's actually, as of right now,
a larger cause of climate change
than burning fossil fuels.
I asked col to strike
a farming calendar pose
to explain how he brings
the carbon back home.
Plants use carbon dioxide
and energy from the sun
to create simple sugars.
The plant uses
some of these sugars to grow.
The rest is pumped into
the soil, through the roots.
These sugars feed soil microbes,
which interact with the plant
and the carbon dioxide
taken from the atmosphere
is sequestered into the soil
as carbon.
- G'day!
- Fraser.
- Hey, Damon.
- Nice to meet you, mate.
- You too.
- How you going?
- Very well. G'day. Col.
- G'day.
We went to
take the kids fishing
and we had to go and find worms
on the farm
and Fraser was just going from
paddock to paddock
trying to find worms.
- There wasn't any.
- There was none.
And it ended up...
This fun experience
ended up being not so fun
because there was
so much frustration
about how come there weren't
any worms and...
'Cause healthy soil has worms.
We had everything
going for our farm
and I didn't feel that
it was getting the yields
and getting the results that,
you know,
I thought were going
to be there.
And I tried just throwing
more fertiliser at it
and that didn't seem to work.
And so I just had
all these questions
around what we were doing
and why we were doing it.
So, what's going on here,
So, this is what we call
a chemical summer fallow.
Where we control
the weeds
with a chemical over summer.
So, how does that
affect the soil,
like, in terms of the...
This form of agriculture
really kills
the whole soil ecosystem.
So, what are we
looking at there, col?
That hard compaction,
poor-structured soil
is really not good
in agriculture.
Like, if you think about a plant
trying to get through that,
it's almost impossible. Um...
The other thing too,
water can't get in there.
To counteract
these problems,
col's simple advice to Fraser
was to start planting.
Ok, so what we've done here
is planted a mix of
different species.
About 80 in total.
They all play a role
in the soil health,
with their different roots
and their different
root exudates.
So we've got the sunflower here
and the sorghum.
- Um, millet.
- Yeah, right.
Down here.
And all these together
means with that variety,
it's making the soil...
It's pulling the carbon
into the soil
and making it healthier.
That's right. Yeah. Exactly.
- Go, nature!
- Yeah.
If we go back even
a few thousand years,
all of the grasslands
in the world
were dominated by large mobs of
grazing animals.
And also, they were kept moving
all the time by predators.
So the animals -
in this case, cattle -
are never kept on
the same area at one time.
By letting the cattle
run amok in the crops,
good things happen.
They flatten the field,
they create a utopia
for the local insects
which becomes
a natural fertiliser,
and crucially, they are fed
as nature intended.
Over the last
50 or 60 years,
we've removed animals
like cattle and sheep
from eating their natural food
and put them in feedlots,
eating grain.
And we should
never have done that
because they have never
evolved to eat grain.
So what happens is that
the cattle are basically sick.
And we are finding out now
that the meat from feedlots
is not healthy for us.
It's certainly not healthy
for the animals.
And it's something that
we should never have done.
Any discussion
around livestock
has to include methane,
which is another damaging
greenhouse gas,
quite rudely burped out
by the cows.
While some livestock practices
offset that damage,
the bad news for the hot dog kid
is that we need to embrace
a more plant-rich diet.
And the meat we do eat
should ideally come from
regenerative practices
like Fraser's.
Plant-rich diet means that
we actually reduce
the amount of protein that
we eat in wealthier nations,
because it's too high.
It's 100-110g per day.
What we model is
decreasing that to 50-60 g.
The fact is, some people
want to eat meat.
What meat they eat
is critically important.
How it's produced,
how it relates to the land
are very, very important.
But as our climate becomes
increasingly volatile,
this type of farming has
one more crucial advantage.
For every 1% increase in carbon
to 30cm,
we increase the water holding
capacity of soil
by 166,000 litres per hectare.
On every rainfall event.
When it rains,
the soil on the left,
with more carbon
and organic matter,
absorbs the water
and less runs off the top.
Whereas the chemical-ridden
soil on the right
absorbs almost no water,
and allows it to run off,
taking the chemicals with it
into nearby rivers
and waterways.
That's the way we can
buffer against droughts
and dry seasons.
all around the world,
they virtually had a built-in
irrigation system.
Really can see
the aggregation that's going on
from all these roots
of all the different plants
we've been growing in here.
So what we've got going here
with this clod
is basically a dry paddock
with, um, not much growing
in it, apart from a few weeds.
And here, three months ago,
we planted the multi-species
grazing crop, yeah.
So that's in three
months that's happened?
That's in three-months.
It's incredible, isn't it?
That kind of represents big ag,
and this represents
mother nature.
And it's pretty obvious
who I'd rather
get my source of vegetables
Well, when we talk
about trying to work out
some of the global problems
and trying to do it quickly,
well, you can really see the
speed that it can happen here.
I mean, look at all these roots.
Like, that's all carbon pumped,
isn't it?
It is. It really shows that
plants, plants and more plants.
In other words,
plant diversity, um,
plus grazing animals
will create that
and fix our problems.
People ask me, "well,
what can we say to farmers?"
And the answer is,
"we can't do without you."
We can't mitigate climate
change without agriculture,
so we have to find ways,
instead of part of the problem.
Fraser will now
let his multi-species crop
break down.
He can then plant
his commercial crops here
without having to break
the soil and release carbon.
But perhaps most importantly,
he can now
take the kids fishing.
So, I just bake it for
20 to 30 minutes?
Yes, that's it. You've got it.
And then, once it's done,
you just sprinkle the Greens
on the top and that's it.
- Thanks, nan. Love you.
- Ok. Bye, darl.
By 2040, my hope, velvet,
is that more people
will have an understanding
of how the foods they eat
impact our environment.
If this transpires,
your generation are likely
to eat a lot less meat
than mine did.
There's no doubt
we'll continue our obsession
with fad diets.
We find it's the flavour-free
diet that's the way to go
because let's face it -
it's the flavour
that gets us into trouble.
Isn't that right?
I'll just love
tending our garden.
From an app.
And your mum and I will
completely understand
when you start avoiding
dinner at our house.
With less global
consumption of meat,
aided by some pretty convincing
We could see many feedlots
close down.
And animals returned to the land
for use in regenerative farming.
But just imagine
what we could do
that is currently being used
to grow food for animals.
This land could transition
to a range of
regenerative practices
that drawdown vast amounts
of carbon into the soil,
while retaining precious water
and producing
nutrient-dense food.
Instead of soy or grains, we
could feed the animals grass,
crop residue, or food waste.
This would improve
the health of the animals,
the people who choose to
eat them
and our environment.
The steep croplands
around the world, darling,
could be used to grow foods
that also draw down huge
amounts of carbon.
A practice called agroforestry
does this
by simultaneously growing foods
like pawpaw,
bananas, coffee, avocados
or vegetables,
but crucially,
on small parcels of land.
With highly diversified
local food systems,
you have a way of really
dramatically decreasing
the scale of land, water,
energy needed,
and massively increasing
how much you can get
from that land.
Industrial ag says,
"without us, you're not...
"You're going to starve.
You're not going to eat.
Well, actually between 70% and
80% of the food in the world
is created by small holders.
Industrial ag provides
20% of the food in the world.
Most of that is corn
and soy fed to animals.
A lot of that is sugar,
which we don't need.
So the idea that big ag
is going to save us,
or without which we cannot exist
is absolutely upside down
and backwards,
because they produce sickness,
they produce obesity,
they produce diabetes.
That's what big ag is producing.
I hope one day, velvet,
you get to read the story of
how we reached this future.
It's about how those
who polluted our air
with excess carbon
had to pay a penalty.
And the money raised
paid farmers to clean our air
by putting it back
into the soil.
This helped restore
the climate...
Biodiversity loss...
And land conversion...
While pulling more people
into the doughnut
by saving precious water,
improving the quality
of our food,
and in turn
improving our health.
It's interesting,
making this film,
the more that
I'm learning about...
You realise how hard it is
to actually do the right thing.
And in a sense, it's tempting
to kind of just shut down
and switch off
because, I mean, here I am
sitting on an aeroplane
that is spewing out
half a tonne of carbon,
making this film,
or getting water in this cup
that's probably going to go
straight into the ocean
and hurt a baby turtle,
and I don't want to know that.
And most people don't want to
know about that,
so they switch off.
And you can't help but be
a hypocrite at the moment
because our entire system is
built on and by fossil fuels.
Fossil fuels have done us
really well
to get to this point.
There's some great
things in the world.
But we can't keep doing
what we're doing.
It's actually impossible
to maintain the resources
we're using.
So we're going to
have to transition,
and it's going to be
a little bit awkward,
if we're going to give
our kids a better future.
j to the place on the map
j from which no-one
has ever returned... j
While storing carbon
in our soil
will go a long way
to solving our problem,
there is a limit to how much
carbon soil can hold.
So we're going to need another
leg-up from mother nature.
Make sure coral looks ok
'cause it normally looks like
a rainbow in the sea
with all the fishes,
but sometimes if you litter,
it looks a bit not good.
It looks like... a big, big
At the beach,
it would just not be the same
if you can't swim in the water.
And also all the really amazing
marine animals
like vaquita, whales, sea fish -
if they were all gone, then
it just wouldn't be the same,
the world.
I want the oceans to be cleaner.
One of the coming
that I think is gonna to have
the biggest impact
is what is called
marine permaculture.
It's just another way of
farming in the ocean,
but this is a more wild farming
because it actually
sets up the context
for the oceans to
regenerate themselves.
Dr Brian Von herzen,
a physicist,
used to fly to Europe every year
and he saw how quickly the
Greenland ice sheet was melting
and decided to change
his whole life in 2006
to restoring living systems,
and focused on the ocean.
Brian told me
to pack a lunch...
And a sick bag,
as we were spending the day
out at sea.
With 93% of global warming
going into the ocean today
each year,
the problem is that
the waters are getting too warm
and without enough
overturning circulation,
and there aren't enough
and the result is
we lose the life in the ocean.
there has been reluctance
to meddle with our oceans.
But the fact that they
are getting warmer,
becoming acidic,
and many fish species are now
in danger of collapse...
Means that they
actually need our help.
Brian's solution is seaweed.
So what we do
with marine permaculture
is we restore
overturning circulation.
It's as if your leg was asleep
and you lost circulation.
We have to do that
with the ocean.
We've gotta get that
overturning circulation
going again
to bring the cool waters up
with the higher nutrient levels
that can actually restore
conditions for the seaweeds.
Between Australia
and the United States,
there's 100,000,000 km?
Of ocean desert
that is amenable to
marine permaculture.
We can actually restore life
in subtropical oceans,
restore the fish habitat that's
needed to restore fisheries.
Marine permaculture
is a regenerative technology
that works like this.
A frame made of
recycled material
becomes a platform for
the seaweed to grow on.
It sits just below the surface
and sinks lower as the
seaweed grows and gets heavier.
A pump powered simply by
the rise and fall of the ocean,
brings the cold, nutrient-laden
waters from below
and disperses them
over the seaweed
in the upper warmer layer.
The seaweed can be
regularly harvested
and used for a range
of purposes.
Seaweed is good for food,
animal feed, fertiliser,
fibre and biofuel.
There's so much we can do
with seaweeds.
So, we're cruising along in
this very low-carbon vessel,
following Brian,
who's swum down
to get the seaweed
in one of his testing sites
Except he's gone,
and he's been underwater for
about two minutes and, um...
- I found it.
- You found it.
- Yeah.
- Alright, we'll come to you.
The permaculture tests
that Brian and his team have
conducted in the south pacific
have seen marine life return,
and the seaweed transform the
quality of the water itself.
Seaweeds actually
draw down
carbon dioxide
from the ocean waters.
And they restore the alkalinity
of the ocean.
That enables shellfish
and other creatures to thrive.
Damon, I thought we'd try
some seaweed salad today.
Well, the little bursts of gas
are good.
Yeah. Like little poppers.
Ok. That's actually pretty good.
Seaweed salad.
So, what kind of... we're
getting omega 3s in here.
- What kind of...
- Oh, yeah.
What's our source?
Epa, dha, antioxidants,
omega nutrients.
But this humble weed has
one more heroic trait to offer.
It could play a profound role
in drawing down carbon.
Well, this is an example
of brown seaweed.
The fastest brown seaweeds
will grow half a metre per day.
Hang on. Half a metre a day?
Half a metre a day.
And they'll grow over 50m long.
Is that one of the fastest
growing plants in the world?
It is the fastest-growing
tree on the planet.
Wow. Ok. So that's why
the understanding of...
That it's going to be pulling
carbon out of the atmosphere
very quickly,
because it grows so fast.
Thousands of tonnes of carbon
per square kilometre per year.
Wow. Ok.
Win! It's not a weed at all.
It's food,
it's habitat for fish,
it gives back to
the fish ecosystems,
and we balance carbon.
We measure the carbon export.
The testing of large-scale
marine permaculture
is yet to be done.
But the stakes
couldn't be any higher
for getting them underway.
This is all about restoring the
foundation of our civilisation,
because with climate disruption,
we'll deplete the soils,
we'll deplete the oceans.
There will be
no civilisation left
because any time
you lose that foundation
of food and the soils
and the seas,
you lose civilisation as well.
So, velvet, because
the warming will increase
over the next two decades,
and sea levels
will continue to rise...
Some countries will need to
adapt in new and creative ways.
But if predictions of severe
droughts are realised
that see shortages of food,
the potential for unprecedented
numbers of refugees
and civil unrest
around the world...
Is enormous.
Just imagine large-scale
marine permaculture,
helping to mitigate
the severity of such a crisis.
It could provide
an alternative food source
to the damaged land crops...
That is rich in protein
and other nutrients.
Instead of having
that are reacting to disaster,
we need governments
and communities
and businesses that proactively
set a new vision
that prevents these disasters,
that actually takes us
off in a different direction.
Investment in marine
permaculture around the world
could generate countless jobs
and help us reduce
our meat consumption,
while sequestering staggering
amounts of carbon.
Imagine decommissioned oil rigs
converted to house the workers
and becoming exciting
tourist destinations
for those keen
to explore marine life.
The seaweed could be
particularly valuable
in climate vulnerable areas
like the bay of bengal,
where it could provide food,
fertiliser and biofuel.
Along the coast of Africa, it
could provide similar benefits,
contributing to a thriving
local economy.
With mechanisms,
simple ones,
you are in fact
regenerating the oceans.
You could feed 10 billion people
with the protein from
marine permaculture alone.
At this point of the trip,
I felt for the first time
like we genuinely have a chance
at a better future...
If we choose to take it.
But before heading home, there
was another subject to address.
Well, I wish they'd stop
killing off animals
and, well, forests and whatnot.
That'd be cool.
Probably for people to
acknowledge that, like,
the factories we build
and, like, they hurt nature
Like, the things
that we produce,
it can, like, hurt the wildlife
and it's not good.
But people just ignore it
right now.
I would like to see everyone
using the three rs -
reduce, reuse and recycle.
Many people know about it,
but don't practice it today.
Today's economy, right?
It gets bigger
faster and faster.
So the economy is doubling
in size nearly every 20 years.
We take earth's materials,
turn them into stuff we want,
we use it for a while
and then throw it away.
And that take, make, use, lose -
it cuts against the
living cycles of the planet,
causing climate change,
causing pollution.
So we're kicking ourselves
out of planetary balance.
It is difficult to see
the impacts
of our individual resource use
on the broader environment.
But our survival could depend
on us making that connection.
For greater than
99.9% of our evolution,
human beings lived in this
very intimate association
with the natural world.
The decisions we made
on a daily basis as individuals
within the context of
they were informed by
this immediate feedback
we got from the world around us.
From the sun, from the water
that was falling on us.
And you fast forward
to this little blip of time
that we're in right now,
and, you know,
we're completely and totally
alienated from nature.
We've lost that connection.
I've come to the town of
oberlin in Ohio,
have come up with
a quite brilliant way
to raise awareness of
their community's resource use.
The environmental dashboard
was really kind of built around
the science
and putting people and humans
in connection with
how they're using
their natural resources.
And so what this does
is it gives a visual
representation of the usage.
And they put it into the schools
and so it's really gotten
a lot more into the community.
And the teachers are
utilising it in their lessons.
I want you to pay
close attention
to the squirrel on
the right side.
And watch what happens.
As it goes down, he gets sadder
and sadder and starts to cry.
Why do you think the
squirrel got happier or sadder?
I noticed that too.
Well, probably
because we're using
a lot of electricity
at that point.
More than we regularly used.
We did a controlled study
where we have
another school system
very similar to oberlin's
school systems
in a different area of Ohio.
They've got
the same curriculum as we do,
but they don't have dashboard.
We found as a result of
if you ask them about
electricity use,
they start talking about
And when you compare
students in our school
with this other school,
they also have more of
a community response
when they talk about what needs
to be done about energy use.
They use the word 'we'.
And in the other school system,
they use the word 't'.
So we've seen real change
as a result of this technology
in the school.
What is most exciting
about this idea
is that the dashboards
could reconnect us
to a range of resources...
And influence our behaviour.
It's a way to really
engage the community
in this discussion,
regardless of what race,
what education, economic level,
in this discussion
on sustainability
and the environment.
But awareness of
our resource use
is just one piece of
a complicated puzzle.
Another solution
that could have a huge impact
on our dilemma
caught me completely off-guard.
Probably our biggest
surprise was educating girls
and family planning.
You combine these two together,
the number one solution
to reversing global warming
is the empowerment
of girls and women.
So, our daughter
starts school next year
and as an Australian,
I completely take for granted
that she will get to complete
her education.
And what I'm just learning here
is that there are 65 million
girls around the world
that don't get that opportunity.
And there's a host of reasons
for that.
Some are put to work to
support families
or they're married off.
But on average,
those girls will have
five or more children.
So we found
that across the board,
and this isn't just countries
where there might be
high rates of poverty.
Even wealthier countries,
we know that when girls
stay in school for longer
and they have access to good
reproductive health services,
as well as decent
work opportunities,
that women will tend to delay
having children
until they're ready,
and then they choose to have
fewer children from then on.
So, what this does
as a collective,
is it slows down
the population growth rate,
which means that
there's less pressure
and competition for access to
a whole range of resources,
whether it's food or water
or land.
Their children tend to
stay in school longer as well
and, over time, they break
that cycle of poverty.
So it's a form of
family planning,
but it's not coercive.
It's not control.
It's just empowering girls
to be who they want to be
and you have
these incredible benefits.
One child, one teacher,
one book and one pen
can change the world.
So this could be
a pleasant afternoon
in a standard city of 2040.
Freed-up space has encouraged
a range of new
outdoor activities.
Imagine, velvet, you and
your cool group of friends
have met for a picnic.
Although it is unlikely
that Princess Elsa will still
be part of your crew.
My hope is that we are all
using resources more wisely
and some of the clever
innovations that exist today...
except for this drone phone
that I did make up
- to obliterate selfie sticks...
- Home!
Have been widely adopted.
Some materials are grown
or made from organic matter.
While other materials have been
recycled or break down rapidly.
And wouldn't it be terrific
if we have not only implemented
the smart ways
to deal with the billions of
coffee cups
we send to landfill each year...
But each city of the world
has followed the lead of
who collect their residents'
food waste...
Extract the methane to
power their local vehicles...
And give the leftovers
to farmers
to use as a natural
fertiliser for their soils.
Well played, Sweden.
Well played.
These behaviour changes
in our resource use
could be reflected on dashboards
throughout our cities,
where there used to be ads.
Even encouraging some
healthy competition.
But in this 2040,
my greatest hope
is that girls across the globe
now have access to the same
educational opportunities
as you and your friends.
The cascading benefits of this
could be greater than anything
else I have discovered.
So, velvet, this was my story
of a future I hope
you get to experience.
Your story and
the one that transpires
may be completely different.
But what I now understand
is that not only are there
so many people
who want to take part
in telling a new story...
But we have everything
we need right now
to make it happen.
When you go beyond
the dominant media discourse
and get closer to the ground,
you will see,
everywhere you look,
incredible reasons for hope.
Over the next few years,
you may notice less
red meat for dinner...
More trips to the compost bin...
Better search engines...
And potentially a new
dashboard in your classroom.
If enough of us make
these sorts of small changes,
when combined,
they will make a difference.
Big banks continue to take a hit
as the public shifts its money
away from organisations
that support fossil fuels.
But of equal importance
is strong leadership.
Wouldn't it be terrific
if new leaders emerge
who can navigate us
to a better 20407?
And just imagine if they used
the doughnut framework
to create the new story...
Coupled with more
and more people
finding a defining role
within it.
What we can do
is see where you get lit up
and maybe it's
girls' education -
"wow. I had no idea!"
Or it can be food or it can be
farming or it could be energy,
it could be housing, transport.
I mean, there's so many areas
where you actually probably
do have influence
where you are working,
where you can affect change
in a way that actually
is demonstrable
and meaningful
to you and others.
And it just unleashes
the power of innovation
and imagination and creativity
that's within all people.
My hope for you, darling,
is that sometime in
2040 there's a day
when the greenhouse gases
in our atmosphere
stop increasing and
begin to come down.
And the solutions
that achieve this
benefit a wide range of people.
To celebrate, there are parties
across the globe
for you and your generation.
The regeneration.
When I grow up, I want homeless
people to have their own homes
with their own money
to buy their own food
and have their own jobs.
Well, I'd like it
to be human instinct
to just look after the world
and to care for the world.
I would like to see everybody
have equal rights
and the same living
I just want the future
to be good.
What's your 20407?
I want to see clean
air for more people to breathe
and clean air, so that the trees
don't have to take the smoke
into their leaves and die.
I also hope that we'll
be able to solve world hunger,
'cause a lot of people
are going hungry.
At the moment,
the ice caps are melting
because of all
the greenhouse gases.
[I the earth speaks
loud and clear
j the time to act is here
I have want to make sure
there's no pollution
in the ocean.
& tomorrow's become today
j it's too late to turn away
I want to see fresh air,
fresh water, no pollution.
Because that will kill animals
and I want no animals to die.
I'd like it
to be human instinct
to just look after the world
and to care for the world.
I would like
to see a world
where people live in peace,
Harmony and happiness
and not a world
where people live in fear.
I don't think
we should use guns
and force each other around.
j the creatures we have lost
j so please don't turn away
In the future, I'd like
to see more beautiful things
like flowers, more trees.
Cleaner water.
Be respectful to earth.
Less global warming.
We could stop littering
and make sure coral looks ok
'cause it normally looks
like a rainbow in the sea.
j so please don't turn away
And also,
I'd like my kids
to be able to swim
in fresh water.
j so please don't turn away
A lot more inventions.
Electric cars.
Take transportation.
j so please don't turn away
If people keep doing
what they're doing now,
the world won't be
a very good place.
j so please don't
turn away j the future
I would also like
if money was
more evenly distributed.
I would like to see
everybody have equal rights
and the same living
For the government
to have done something
on global warming and pollution.
I want people to treat
each other better.