Time To Choose (2015) Movie Script

We inherited an
astonishingly beautiful home
and with it, we've accomplished
extraordinary things.
But we are changing
the Earth's climate
by releasing carbon dioxide
and other greenhouse gases
into the atmosphere.
Over the last several decades,
we have raised the Earth's
average temperature
by .7 degrees Celsius.
This seemingly small
change is already causing
heat waves, droughts, wildfires,
and storms that have killed
tens of thousands of people
and caused hundreds of
billions of dollars in damage.
- We see things that
the climate scientists
of 20 years ago were not
predicting would occur so soon.
We're not looking at
one or two bad events
or one or two bad years,
we're now looking at
three and four decades.
Very small changes
make huge differences
in what it's like to live
in places on the Earth.
Over a billion people in China,
India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh
depend on the Himalayan
glaciers for water,
but global warming
is endangering them
and all the Earth's
freshwater supplies.
Coral reefs support the
richest concentration
of life on Earth,
but greenhouse gases make our
oceans warmer and more acidic.
If this continues,
the coral and much of the
ocean's life will vanish.
We also face rising sea levels
caused by the melting of
Greenland's ice sheet.
- If we look at the last
period that was warmer
than the present one,
about 130,00 years ago,
sea level then was at least six
meters higher than it is now
and that was only about
one degree Celsius warmer
than it is today.
Global sea
levels have already risen
by eight inches
and if Greenland's ice
sheet melts completely,
sea levels will rise 23 feet.
- I don't think most
citizen's in the world
have really grasped
what is happening
and what these risks are.
Many of our major cities
will be submerged.
- Over 600 million people's
homes will be destroyed
if the world's
coastlines are flooded
and if we continue
with business as usual,
warming the planet further,
by the middle of this century,
we could trigger
runaway climate change,
a process beyond human control.
- What do you do if you
have that information?
What do you do?
- Over the next
six to ten years,
we have an urgent responsibility
to decide how this world is
going to be in the future.
But the climate crisis
is also a huge opportunity.
We already possess technologies
that can stop climate change
and adopting them will greatly
improve our environment,
our economies, our
health, and our security.
- The future has turned
into the present.
We can create a society that
is powered by clean energy.
The benefits will be enormous.
Once we get off fossil
fuels, we're not going back.
But we are
in a race against time,
and some of the
world's wealthiest and
most powerful people
are opposing the progress.
- There are a lot
of adversaries.
There are people who say
there's no such thing
as climate change,
there are producers
of carbon who say
this is where the world is.
- The fear factor that
people wanna throw out there
and just say, "We just
have to stop this,"
I do not accept.
- If you fast-forward
50 years from now,
our kids are looking at the
problem that we leave them,
they're gonna go, "Okay, so
let me get this straight.
"You had the technology
to solve the problem
"and you decided
it's too big a task.
"How dumb could you be?"
- It's too late to
be a pessimist, not
as simple as that.
This is a moment that
we don't want to fail,
we don't want to fail humanity.
- It's the battle
for defend nature,
for defend the defenseless
and the voiceless.
It is a battle to prevent
powerful people from
despoiling the environment.
- A old saying goes necessity
is the mother of invention,
we got the mother of all
necessities before us.
This is
a gigantic, scientific,
and moral challenge.
There's a great struggle
for the future of the world.
- Boone County, in its day
and when I was younger,
it was just breathtaking.
As a kid growing up here,
you roam these mountains,
that's what you do.
All my life it's been
such a beautiful,
wonderful, peaceful place.
So, when the mountain
started exploding,
of course I was outraged.
- I heard blasting
and it was off in the distance.
And I came upon it
and I was stunned.
I had heard of
mountaintop removal,
but had no clue what it was.
I went up the mountain
and saw what was
happening above my home.
And I took a flyover
on a small plane
and it changed my life.
They take a mountaintop,
deforest the top of the
mountain, clearcut it.
- They remove all
of the vegetation,
they bring in ammonium
nitrate and diesel fuel
and then they detonate that
and boom, there
goes the mountain.
- Material that's being spewed
into the air from blasting,
it's rock not dirt,
and so that's something
that contains arsenic
or other different metals
and stuff that you
don't want to breathe.
And you also get coal
that's pulverized in
fine particulates,
and that is raw coal which
is containing arsenic
and lead and mercury, and a
whole variety of elements.
- The dust is horrible.
I had two children
that had asthma
and I started complaining
because we needed to breathe.
- When you compare before
mountaintop removal mining
to after mountaintop
removal mining,
there is a very
substantial increase
in lung and bronchus cancer.
- They'll send in heavy
machinery clear away that coal
and then everything that's
left, all the coal mining waste,
gets swept off the
top of the mountain
into the neighboring valley,
so where there was once
a mountain and valley,
you just have flat
lunar landscape.
In the state
of West Virginia alone,
there's nearly a million acres
of mountaintop
removal coal mining,
more that five hundred
mountains in Appalachia
that's been leveled.
They're taking rocks
that should be inside a mountain
with very heavy metals,
things like arsenic,
and putting that into the valley
which is the source
of the watershed.
Communities that are
living downstream
have heavy toxins going
into their water supplies.
It has huge human health
impacts and consequences.
- The Clean Water Act, it
previously said you can't
dump waste in the waters of
the United States of America.
Department of
Interior edited it,
you can't dump waste, but
you can dump fill material.
And then they reclassified
mountaintop removal waste
as fill material.
The coal is shot down
a conveyor system
and go to a processing plant,
it gets crushed.
And it goes through
a diesel bath.
It goes through a
chemical cleaning process,
removing arsenic, mercury, lead.
- The cleaner the coal gets,
the more of the really nasty
stuff that gets left here.
Everything gets pumped back up
into coal slurry impoundments
is what they call 'em,
we call 'em sludge dams.
It's real thick
like mud.
Every one of them leaks.
- We would play in
the stream as kids,
we would gather water
from the stream.
This is now a
pollution spillway.
- Everyone thought
the water was safe,
you know, that's well water,
it'll have a little color,
a little odor, but you
know, will not harm you.
My brother, he was
probably 28 years
old at the time
and he had noticed a knot
starting to appear on his
forehead, it was on this side.
It was very
aggressive in growth.
October 6, 2006 was a
Friday, he worked all week,
the next day, mom woke up and
the alarm was still going off,
and he just never woke up.
And we go to the church
and we start talking,
and at that moment in time,
I realized there was
actually six neighbors,
who had brain tumors, that
live in about a 10 house span.
There was a little girl
that was one of my brother's
friend's daughters.
She was a toddler when they
had found her brain tumor.
And she passed away.
The same contaminants that
were in the sludge ponds
was what they
found in our water.
Barium, nickel, arsenic, lead.
I apologize, I can't
remember all the
That's all right.
- All of the chemicals.
- This is the
headwaters of the water
throughout the
eastern United States.
This is everybody's
drinking water,
this isn't just my surface
water and drinking water,
this is everybody's.
- They just really didn't
like what was coming out
of the work.
So, they directed
us to stop doing it.
We were told, "Well, you
can pick your battles
"and this is not a
battle you're gonna win."
The destruction
and pollution caused by coal
guarantee that no other industry
will locate in the region,
making the people here
a captive labor force.
As a result, the coal mining
counties of Appalachia
are the poorest areas
in the United States.
- Our first instinct is,
"We've gotta get the kids,
"we gotta get them outta here,"
but who's gonna buy a house
with contaminated water?
- Coal contributes to
four out of the five
leading causes of death
in the United States.
Just the soot,
that particulate matter
coming from coal plants,
kills more than 10,000
Americans every year.
At night, modern
Shanghai is spectacular,
but every morning
hundreds of barges
sail past the skyscrapers
carrying coal to power plants.
Coal supplies most
of China's energy
and China burns as much of it
as the rest of the world
combined, making China
the world's largest emitter
of greenhouse gases.
All over the world, including
in the United States,
coal mining is an
extremely hazardous job,
but no place compares to China.
Chinese coal mining employs
three million people,
it is politically powerful,
corrupt, and
horrifically dangerous.
Over the last 30 years,
at least 200,000
miners have been killed
and hundreds of thousands more
maimed and crippled
in mining accidents.
You are watching the
end of this man's life.
Minutes after this was filmed,
the mine collapsed, killing him.
Like most mining deaths,
this one was never
officially reported.
Black lung is a disease caused
by breathing coal dust.
None of these workers
have protective equipment
and as a result, many will
die from this disease.
An estimated one million Chinese
have already died of black lung
and up to 10 million
currently suffer from it.
This is not a beach,
it is an enormous
coal ash field.
Every year, Chinese coal
plants produce 500 million tons
of this hazardous waste.
It contains mercury,
arsenic, and over a
dozen heavy metals.
Because of its reliance on coal
and heavy industry,
over a third of China's lakes,
half of its rivers, and 80%
of its urban groundwater
are now polluted.
The smog from burning coal
covers many Chinese cities
and causes illnesses ranging
from asthma to cancer.
In northern China,
just breathing the air
reduces life expectancy
by five years.
India is now on the same path
with air pollution even
worse than China's.
- I see coal India production
doubling in the next five years.
It makes about 500 million
tons hopefully this year,
we do a billion tons
in 2019, as our effort,
and we are working
systematically to a plan.
Our dependence
on coal for electricity
is destroying millions of lives
and coal is the
number one contributor
to global climate change,
but we don't need to follow
this path any longer.
How many
people are killed every year
in your company in the process
of manufacturing
your wind turbines?
- Phenomenal things
are happening.
The cost of renewable
energy is plummeting.
Technology's developing
much faster than I thought
and price is coming down
much faster than I thought,
the price of solar,
the price of batteries,
smart technologies.
Ultimately, it will
be the low cost option
and it feels free.
- If you plot a graph of prices
of different ways of making
electricity non-renewably,
there's this curve that
comes down from heaven
and climbs on your head and
that's solar and wind power,
those costs are dropping rapidly
whereas the other costs
are tending to go up.
A new nuclear power plant
can produce electricity for 10
to 20 cents a kilowatt hour,
a new coal power plant
is in the six, eight,
possibly 10 cents a
kilowatt hour range,
depending on where you are,
a combined-cycle gas
plant is in the five, six,
seven cent a
kilowatt hour range,
for a new solar power plant,
the unsubsidized
cost in the world
are just over five
cents a kilowatt hour,
the average new
wind power contract
was four cents a kilowatt hour.
Wind energy contracts are
being signed in Oklahoma
for less than three
cents a kilowatt hour,
you cannot build and
generate electricity
from any other source in this
country cheaper than that,
nothing else can
touch that price.
- By about 2017 in
about 80% of the world,
renewables will be competitive
against grid power.
Anybody who doesn't
understand this
is not paying
attention to the data.
- We've doubled every year
for the last eight years.
We investing into a massive
scale grid integration
where every home
has a solar system.
We deploying solar
storage in California,
piloting the testing on
it to see how it goes,
and then Tesla is investing into
large scale storage
to reduce the cost.
At some point, solar
storage will be combined
with every single
system we deploy.
If you had the solution
that I'm describing,
you'll be able to produce
energy for your home,
store it in the battery in the
day and consume it at night.
The solar industry
creates local jobs.
You actually have to
go to somebody's house
and install the solar systems.
We take away all the complexity,
so the equipment's free,
installation's free,
we deal with the permits,
what you pay for is
essentially the electricity.
Average home will probably
save about, in California,
15 to 20 thousand dollars
over the 20 year period.
- Our company will be a
multi-billion dollar business
in just a few short years.
We're talking about
replacing or disrupting
the electricity sector
which is obviously
a multi-trillion dollar sector.
We've got a better machine,
it does the trick, it
produces electricity for less
and without any of
the social costs.
Some of the world's largest
and most profitable companies
from Apple to Facebook to Google
are converting their
operations to renewable energy.
- This is an
enormous opportunity.
By 2020, we would like
to produce as much energy
as the total group consumes
from sustainable sources.
It's in line with our vision
and what the customer
wants us to do,
but it's also, at the
end, a good investment.
- You think you
have a good handle
on how fast something can be
done and then you go to China,
"What the hell did they do?
"How did they do that?"
In the last few years,
China increased its
electric generation
more from renewables
than from all fossil and
nuclear plants put together.
- The more you build
renewables, the less they cost.
The less they cost,
the more you build,
the more you build,
the less they cost.
This is a
self-reinforcing process
just like with microchips
or consumer electronics.
In the case of wind power,
we've great improved the
aerodynamics of the blades.
We're using
better-power electronics
and we're designing new
kinds of wind machines
that work very well even
in lower wind speeds.
All these things work together,
so wind machines become
cheaper and they
become more productive.
You can start mass producing
what used to be a handicraft.
- The whole energy
is going to change
over the next 50 years.
Solar and wind,
that's gonna be our
primary source of energy.
In western Europe,
the transformation
has already begun.
- Spain was 45% renewable
electricity in 2013,
Scotland 46%,
Portugal 58%,
and these are all
growing rapidly.
Denmark is headed for 100%
renewable energy of all forms
and they have the most
reliable electricity in Europe.
But there
are over a billion people
in the world who have never
had electricity at all.
- Basic access to
electricity is critical
for children's education,
it's critical for
safe cooking of food.
It's central for
basic things in life.
The struggle to
end global poverty
and the struggle to avoid
catastrophic climate change
must be seen as two
sides of the same coin.
If we don't do one,
we won't address the
other and vice versa.
Most of
Kenya's 40 million people
don't have access to
conventional electricity.
For them, solar power
is revolutionary.
- People can jump over
the old infrastructure.
Power generation
is going mobile.
It's gonna be on every rooftop.
It's gonna be with
a solar home system.
People don't have to buy upfront
their own power generation,
they can pay for it every single
day in an affordable amount
which is less than
what they would spend
for the alternative
which is kerosene.
At the end of one year
that product becomes theirs
and they're getting
energy for free.
When I sat down
and start thinking
of how much I using in
a month for paraffin,
it's much better to get
this one, to get the solar,
than to buy the paraffin.
- We project over four years
that these low-income customers
will save over 750 US
dollars per household
and our ambition is to
get to a million homes
as fast as possible which we
think we'll be doing by 2017.
- 70% of the people
in Bangladesh
have no access to electricity.
So, we thought, "Now,
this is an opportunity,
"starting with clean energy,"
so we created a company
called Grameen Energy
to bring solar energy
in the villages.
So, in 10 years later, we
are the largest off grid
solar system in the whole world.
And we have reached already
one and a half million
households in Bangladesh.
So, you've already reached 10%
of the households in Bangladesh?
- Almost, yeah, exactly.
It took us 17 years to come
to one and a half million,
it will take less
than three years
to make the next one
and a half million.
Whether it's in India,
whether it's in Africa,
or whether it's
in Latin America,
this is available to anybody.
- If renewables are
cost-competitive already,
they're growing very rapidly,
then why do we have to worry
about the climate problem?
I don't think that Exxon
or Chevron or Peabody Coal
is going to say, "There's
a better technology,
"I guess we lost, you
get 'em solar industry,
"we had a good run."
If we wanna prevent
runaway climate change,
we can only burn about a third
out of the fossil fuel reserves
that we already know exists.
In 2013, the energy
industry invested
650 billion, billion with
a B, dollars in exploration
to identify new reserves.
- Now, I really believe that
the climate is
changing naturally
and that the
temperature for the last
eight or nine years
has been cooling,
and that the Arctic ice
has been increasing,
and that there's a great
deal of misunderstanding
out there about climate change.
- Most of the the coal industry
has acted very analogous
to the tobacco industry
when scientific evidence
was coming out that
cigarette smoking
is extremely hazardous
to your health.
- The assertion that
global warming is
occurring today
and it's occurring
because of the release
of CO2 and anthropogenic gases,
methane and such as that,
it's really a hoax.
I really believe it's
the greatest hoax ever
perpetrated on the
American people.
We have to take
on the richest companies,
the richest industries, and
the richest individuals,
in the history of the world.
- So, I'm not disputing that
increase in CO2 emissions
in the atmosphere
is going to have an impact,
it'll have a warming impact.
Now, I think there are much
more pressing priorities
that we as a human being race
and society need to deal with.
- What makes this more
criminal than anything else
is that we have viable
economic alternatives
that are available today.
- We are travelling in
the right direction,
the difficulty that we have is
we do have a clock
in front of us.
And do you
think that we'll do this
fast enough to deal with
the climate problem?
- We have no choice, yes.
Once we have clean electricity,
we can begin to
electrify many processes
from steel-making to heating
that now require fossil fuels.
And by electrifying
we can end our dependence on oil
which will solve many problems
in addition to climate change.
This is the floating
city of Makoko.
Over 100,000 people live
here without government,
sanitation, or electricity.
- You can look around the world
at countries with a heavy
reliance on natural resources
and you can see
lagging developing,
high levels of inequality,
authoritarian rule,
massive corruption
on a grand scale.
Nigeria became a
centralized petrol state,
a country in which more than
85% of government revenues
were dominated by crude oil.
Texaco, Chevron,
Royal Dutch Shell,
British Petroleum, and
other major companies,
all went into one area,
and that is known
as the Niger Delta.
What was the
nature of the relationship
between the oil companies
and the Nigerian government?
Nigeria's economy was marked
by grand corruption.
Huge sums of the oil revenues
that should've been
used for investment
in Nigeria and its people
have simply gone out the door
to line the pockets of
private individuals.
Nigeria's now the
largest economy in Africa
and yet most Nigerians
are living at or
below a $1.25 a day.
You have very low employment,
no more than 30,000
Nigerians are employed
in the oil and gas
sector even today.
So, it's a deeply
unequal society.
And consequently,
very unstable in terms of
social violence, insurgency,
and the environmental
devastation of the Niger Delta
is massive.
- Thousands of miles of
pipeline and oil infrastructure,
essentially the plumbing
of the oil industry.
Underwater, in the
swamps, up the creeks,
there are daily
spills, leakages,
which have fouled
creeks, rivers, and soil,
and Exxon Valdez, a year
in terms of oil spills.
For years and years,
every day, 24 hours of the day,
gas was being
flagged in Nigeria.
To this day, the sky is orange
at midnight from gas flames.
Around the
world, in Saudi Arabia,
Iran, Iraq, Russia, and Africa,
oil fosters corruption,
dictatorship, and war.
The world would be
a much better place
if we didn't need oil anymore.
And soon, we won't.
Hybrid vehicles, which have a
rapidly growing market share,
are the first step in
a profound revolution.
Electric vehicles don't pollute
or emit greenhouse gases.
They are silent,
easier to maintain,
and less expensive to drive.
Gasoline costs five times more
than the electricity required
to drive an electric
car the same distance.
Electric cars get cheaper
and better all the time, the
motors, the power electronics,
the computers that
control the thing,
and especially batteries
which were the expensive part.
The limiting
factor in making electric cars
as practical and affordable
as conventional cars
has been the batteries.
- The price of batters
over the last five years,
they drop in half.
They're expected to
drop in half again
in the same period of time
without any radical breakthrough
just a slow steady increment.
Now, if you drop to
one-third, one-quarter
of what it is today,
you can get a 300-250 mile
range car for $25,000,
competitive at the get-go,
much cheaper to operate,
fundamentally a
much better vehicle.
Between 2009 and
2015, sales of electric cars
around the world rose tenfold.
Electric cars will be
broadly competitive
with conventional cars by 2025
and they have another advantage.
- Should I put it in
Sport Insane Mode?
They're really cool.
But we have a long way to go.
Without stronger
government support,
it will take decades to phase
out gasoline-powered vehicles.
In the meantime,
there's another way to
reduce oil consumption.
Urban design can make
a huge difference
in how much driving we do
and how much energy we use.
- Right now, everybody's
thinking about climate change,
it's the big problem
that we have to solve
and we do, absolutely,
and it needs more attention
than it's getting,
but we also have to
see it in concert
with all the other
benefits that you get
when you address it.
The energy the planet needs
is defined by how we live.
It's not just about getting
a more energy-efficient car,
it's about using cars less.
We're gonna be building cities
for about two to three billion
people between now and 2050,
we better get it right.
Many of those
cities will be in China
whose urban design has followed
a pattern of
freeways and sprawl.
- In China, they're building
what I call high-density sprawl,
it's the same as
our American suburb,
but instead of two
stories, it's 10 stories.
A tower isolated from street
and street has been
completely given over to cars.
Way across town are
jobs in a factory
or in an office building,
and they have built a
physical environment
that needs the car.
Take Beijing, today.
You have a city with only 30%
of the population owning cars
in complete gridlock,
they can't move.
China is building cities
for 350 million people
over the next 20 years,
that's the same as building
the United States
all over again.
If they get that wrong,
we're all kind of doomed
to tell you the truth
because if those urban
forms cause pollution
and demand more and more energy,
I don't think that we're
gonna be able to solve
the carbon problem.
The good news is
they see the hole that they're
digging themselves into
and if they get it right,
then they can
become a role model
for the rest of the
developing world
and it's fairly easy
to get it right.
Jaime Lerner was one of the
greatest revolutionaries
in urban design 'cause
he was the first one to
begin to shape a
city around transit,
dedicating streets to city
life as oppose to cars.
Jaime Lerner's policies
controlled urban
sprawl, expanded parks,
and provided affordable and
convenient public transit.
- He invented the idea
of bus rapid transit,
treating a bus like
it was a train.
In central Amsterdam,
most trips are made on bicycles.
There are 18 million
bicycles in the Netherlands.
More bikes than people.
- I define a good
urban form very simply.
Number one, it's human scale.
The streets are narrow,
intersections are easy to cross,
cars are going slower,
so there's better space
for bikes and pedestrians,
and along the way, you have
all the social gathering places
that make a city
neighborhood exciting
and interesting to live in.
The best neighborhoods
mix age groups
and income groups
and activities.
The best neighborhoods
have shops and jobs
and park and school
and libraries
and has this all mixed together.
When you start talking about
the life that used to be
part of a healthy city,
everybody gets it and
they want it back.
Every crisis is an
opportunity not to be lost.
This is a crisis, but
it's a huge opportunity
'cause we can shift
the way we build cities
and we can shift the way we live
into a much more
positive outcome
not just for climate,
but for the planet,
the economy, our
social well-belng,
and our health, everything.
These are
northern muriqui monkeys.
They are unique among primates
because they live as equals
without dominance
or competition.
- The muriquis are a completely
different kind of primate
from any others that
we know anything about.
They're peaceful, they
associate with each other,
there's no aggression
the way you see
or pecking order the way you
see in most other animals.
They provide this
model of behavior
that we sort of aspire toward.
But these
animals now face extinction.
95% of their forest
has been cut down
and there are only
a thousand of them
left in the entire world.
These animals could disappear
in our lifetimes.
I just find that
The muriquis
are just one casualty
of a vast process that is
destroying whole ecosystems
and is a major contributor
to climate change.
- It's the destruction
of the forests
particularly the rainforests
and the boreal forests
around the world
that is responsible
for such huge emissions
of carbon dioxide
into the atmosphere particularly
when the forest are
clearcut and burned.
Most of
these emissions are caused
by the global
industrial food system
which originated in the United
States after World War II.
- Before World War II, most
farms were diversified.
On the same farm where you were
growing grain or vegetables,
you were also growing animals.
The animals provided fertility
in the form of their
waste to the plants
and the plants provided
food for the animals.
After World War II,
there was an effort to
convert some of the
powerful technologies
that had been developed
as part of the war
effort to peacetime uses.
Ammonium nitrate is the main
ingredient of munition bombs
and it also is the same
ingredient as fertilizer.
In 1947, the big munitions
plant at Muscle Shoals, Alabama
converted from making
bombs to making fertilizer.
Once you've got that
seemingly inexhaustible source
of nitrogen fertilizer,
you don't need
animals on your farm
and you can move toward
monoculture production
that is to say all
corn or all soybeans.
This kind of agriculture
is actively promoted
and it becomes more profitable
to feed animals on feed
lots rather than on farms.
The other important technology
that came out of the war
effort was pesticides.
Many of our pesticides began
their life as nerve gas
that would kill
people at a high dose
and at a lower dose, you
could kill insects with
which was a convenient
thing because
monocultures have
lots of pest problems,
so you need a lot of chemicals.
The secret ingredient
of this whole system
I've been describing
is fossil fuel.
Fossil fuel is what allows
you to make pesticides,
most of them are
petrochemical pesticides.
Fossil fuel is what allows
you to make fertilizer
which turns into nitrous oxide
when it's exposed to oxygen
which is a greenhouse gas 300
times more potent than carbon.
In the short term,
industrial food
is less expensive
because it's mass
produced and automated.
As a result, consumption
of meat and processed food
has increased dramatically.
- Since the
government encourages
the growing of things
like corn and soy,
they are, in effect, subsidizing
the building blocks
of fast food.
The corn becomes the cattle feed
and the high fructose
corn syrup and the sodas,
and the soy becomes the oil
in which most of the
fast food gets fried.
We are not supporting
people trying to grow
what are called specialty
crops i.e real food.
- In the United States,
less than 4% total of farm acres
are dedicated to either fruits
or vegetables or tree nuts,
it's a tiny proportion.
This system
has become unsustainable.
It takes up to 10
times more land
to feed ourselves
with meat as it does
to feed ourselves with plants.
As a result, 30% of the
Earth's land is now being used
for the production of livestock,
the giant lagoons that
store their waste,
and the vast areas needed
to grow their food.
- There are literally billions
of animals being
raised for food and
huge areas of
forest and woodland
are cut down to grow the
grain to feed the livestock.
In the Brazilian
state of Mato Grosso,
over 20,000 square miles
have been deforested
to grow soybeans
for animal feed.
- The most profitable
driver of deforestation
in Latin America is soybeans.
If I'm a farmer in Mato Grosso,
I can down forest and make
five to seven hundred dollars
every hectare every
year of profit.
Blairo Maggi and his brother
became billionaires this way.
They are now the two largest
soy producers in the world.
Most of their production is
exported to China to feed pigs.
- The Maggi family
faced little resistance
while destroying forests
because between 2003 and 2010,
the governor of Mato
Grosso was Blairo Maggi.
- He was the leader
of the governors
and he was kind of the
spokesperson for the group,
making the pressure
on the present,
very strong pressure
on the present.
While Maggi was governor,
Mato Grosso accounted for half
of all deforestation in Brazil.
deforestation has moved north
into the Amazon
which is endangering
the water supply
for tens of millions of people.
- A forest generates
its own rainfall.
You can cut down a forest
and what happens to the rainfall
in that particular region?
You cut down a
vast area of forest
and you're going to
have global impact.
Much of the
water supply in southern Brazil
depends on the
forest to the north.
As those forest disappear,
so does the water.
Since 2014, Brazil
has experienced
severe water shortages
for the first time
in its history.
For Sao Paulo, a
city of 20 million,
this has become a crisis.
- I would say that for
the last two months,
almost every day
after 10pm
and before 6am,
there's no water, it's
not raining on the top,
there are place that they don't
have water half of the week.
We're seeing tensions between
Sao Paulo and Rio De Janeiro
because Rio needs the water
to produce the energy,
but Sao Paulo needs the
water for the people,
and they're fighting
where to put the water
like how to use the water,
something that we couldn't
imagine 10 years ago.
In 2013,
deforestation came up 28%
above the previous year.
How come?
- Soy is starting
to run out of space.
- Not only are these carbon
dioxide emissions increasing
as we destroy and
burn the forest,
but there's less forest
left to absorb the CO2
that we've put
into the atmosphere
from burning our fossil
fuels and so forth.
It's pretty shocking
when you think of
the vast destruction
of the forest around the world.
Nowhere in the world
are the forest more valuable
to the Earth's climate
than in Indonesia.
These peatlands
store as much carbon
as all the world's
other forests combined.
The Indonesian government
owns these forest
and has promised
to protect them.
Which is exactly the problem.
- These deep peat layers,
10 meters deep or more,
they sequester 10 times more
carbon than Amazon forests
and yet these have been
drained and dried out
and burned at a
frightening pace.
- Everything you are
seeing was filmed
covertly and illegally in 2014.
In Indonesia, filming
without a journalist visa
is punishable by
five years in prison.
During Indonesia's
annual burning season,
thousands of illegal fires
destroy vast areas of forest
causing air pollution so severe
that airports close
for hundreds of miles.
This deforestation
makes Indonesia
one of the world's largest
emitters of greenhouse gases
along with China and
the United States.
Most of these forests are
destroyed to plant oil palms,
trees which make a
great deal of money
for a very small
number of people
because palm oil is
used in everything
from girl scout cookies
to cleaning products.
As a result, no other commodity
has such a massive
impact on our climate.
When they clear these lands,
they go down to bare soll,
so everything that walked,
grew, slid, or flew is
dead, is annihilated.
The island of Sumatra
once contained
100,000 orangutans,
less than 7,000 remain.
When land is deforested
for palm oil plantation,
orangutans lose their habitat.
When they attempt to return,
the adults are shot and killed.
But the babies clinging to
them are sometimes rescued.
The battle to save
the orangutans
is not just the battle
to save the orangutans,
it's a battle for
climate change,
it's a battle for everything,
and all the other species
that are in these forests,
it's a battle for the long
time economic development
of the indigenous community
versus the benefit for the bank
accounts of the super rich.
Local farmers are often evicted
from their traditional lands.
The river levels go down,
the fishery which is
the main protein supply
for local communities
is destroyed.
Palm oil production has boomed
over the last decade making
these men billionaires.
It is highly profitable
because illegal
deforestation is cheap.
And so is labor.
- So, this is the irony,
you cannot possibly argue that
that kind of behavior
is in the interest
of any kind of
economic development.
It's purely in the
interest of some guy
whose already got a billion
dollars in a Swiss bank account,
everybody else loses.
With regard to deforestation,
has corruption been
a major problem?
- When it comes to corruption,
it's something that we
are not proud at all.
Bribery, extortion money,
it's something
that can be easily
observed happening.
In 2002, public
outrage lead to the creation
of the Corruption
Eradication Commission or KPK
which rapidly became
the most trusted
institution in Indonesia
and one of the only
hopes for protecting
the forests that remain.
We're having this interview
in October of 2014
and just a few days ago,
your investigators arrested
the governor of Riau.
- Yeah.
For taking bribes
from a very important
palm oil industrialist.
- Yeah.
I see.
I have been told
the Indonesian parliament
is also quite corrupt.
- Yeah.
Do you think
that it will be necessary
to prosecute extremely
politically powerful people?
- Yes.
From very powerful families?
- Yes.
Shortly after this interview,
the president of Indonesia
nominated a corrupt general
to head the already highly
corrupt national police.
The KPK prostested,
forcing President Joko to
withdraw the nomination,
but the national
police retaliated
by arresting Bambang Widjojanto
and KPK chairman Abraham
Samad on fabricated charges.
As we finish this film,
their futures and that
of Indonesia's forests
remain in jeopardy.
How can the global community
rule out corruption,
arrest this deforestation?
It's proving enormously
difficult to do.
- We do what is
called a brand attack.
We go off to the consumers of
the products of the company,
"Do you know that when you buy
"this chocolate or
this soap or whatever,
"you are contributing
to the destruction
"of the Sumatran rainforest
"and are contributing
to climate change?"
- Companies realize that their
customers care about forests.
In addition
to the products we buy,
we can have an enormous
impact on deforestation
by changing our diet
which would also
benefit our health.
- When we talk about
feeding the world,
we have to ask, "Feeding
the world what?"
If the world wants to eat meat
the way we're eating meat now,
nine ounces per person per day,
we need 2.3 more worlds
just to grow all that grain.
China's undergoing a
dietary transition right now
as they move onto
the western diet
and start eating much more meat.
Type 2 diabetes used to be
called adult onset diabetes
and we had to change that name
when it started
showing up in children,
but in 1980, you could not find
a case of this
disease in children.
People who eat heavily
plant-based diets
have lower rates of obesity,
lower rates of type 2 diabetes,
lower rates of cancer.
In a five year
study of diet and health,
scientist found that
a mediterranean diet
that reduces consumption of
red meat and processed foods
reduced strokes, heart attacks,
and deaths from
heart disease by 30%.
How much
longer does someone live
if they had a plant
- They might get as much
as a decade of life.
However, it's not just how
many years you'll live,
it's the fact that
you're gonna live
in a more healthful way.
crops and industrial meat
also use vast
amounts of hormones,
pesticides, and antibiotics.
These chemicals cause disease
and antibiotic
resistance in humans.
- 80% of the antibiotics
that are produced in America
go not to human beings,
they're going to farms,
and it's destroying a
critical medical tool.
Reducing meat consumption
would also allow us to reforest
millions of acres
around the world
that are now being used
to raise and feed animals.
The good news is that
there's a way out of this.
We start sucking carbon
dioxide out of the atmosphere
as degraded lands return forest,
it's hard to hold these
forest back, it's huge.
- Food in our culture are
big part of the problem,
but have the potential to be
a big part of the solution.
Farmers all over the world
are developing healthier
ways of growing crops
that store carbon in the soil
and help reverse climate change.
- We try to design
the farm where
instead of making one
large field of one thing,
we've tried to make it kind
of an interesting ecology,
something that has
smaller fields, flowers.
We have a succession of
crops that are coming in.
They're picking squash
out here and cucumbers
and there's gonna be
pumpkins in the back there.
For our crew, about 50 of them
have full-time employment here.
We have to make a place where
they can have secure lives,
so the kids can go to school,
and they can think
about college,
they don't have to think
about moving some place
to get to the next job.
And they're growing old with us.
Crops will have insects
that can become a problem,
but there's a whole army
of beneficial insects,
natural enemies to those,
and suddenly you have insect
control right in your field.
They're doing work
that might otherwise be
something you pay attention
to with a pesticide.
In the end, we have plants that
are really vibrant, healthy,
and they resist diseases,
and the resist insect attacks
when they're healthy.
- We used to think it took eons
to build an inch or two inches
of topsoil, but in fact,
we have, I mean, I can
point you to farmers
who in their lifetime have
built several inches of topsoil
where it didn't exist before,
and that soil is,
of course, carbon,
carbon taken out of the air.
- So, we're building
carbon, we're building
organic matter in our ground,
and still we're growing
beautiful, economic crops.
This is really basic stuff,
but it is the piece
that will unlock
the ideas of how
agriculture does better
in terms of climate
change and soil life
and healthier plants and
healthier production.
It's time
to celebrate innovation
that is big scale
and could bubble up
into a global solution.
California is right at the helm.
- There's a sensitivity to
the natural environment.
It's in the air I breathe,
the people I meet.
In 2006, California enacted
comprehensive legislation
to address climate change.
- There was a
political coalition
between environmentalist who
cared about climate change,
people who were
concerned with health,
and fiscal conservatives who
were just looking for a way
to save money for the cities.
California requires that
electrical generation
be derived from
renewable sources
for one-third of the supply
and that's gonna be
achieved by 2020.
In 2014, California is
already better than 22%.
- 33% is already looking
like a floor not a ceiling.
We have not had any power
plants burning coal for years.
Carbon has a price.
Those who pollute
have to buy credits
and those credits
then generate funds
to invest in
sustainable practices.
By 2020, we need to have
a million solar rooftops
and we need to have a million
electric vehicles on the road.
We have the most intelligent
building standards that
make our buildings,
residential and
commercial, more efficient.
- The cleanest and
cheapest of all energy
is the energy that
you don't have to use.
Every office
building had low ceilings
and a lot of fluorescent
lights and black glass,
majority of the energy being
used in these buildings
was artificial light,
but it was daytime,
and all it took was
to make tall ceilings,
natural glass windows,
and you don't have to
use artificial light.
When we saw things that way,
we also made better
human environments.
- California had a requirement
that the auto companies
begin producing cars
that would reduce
greenhouse gas emissions
and after litigating
with the auto companies
and taking our case all the way
to the supreme court, we won.
As a result of this legislation,
there's a whole
series of changes
in the way cars are being built.
- What is required is
an integrated effort
in electricity generation,
transportation of
people and goods,
land use, the way food is grown,
the way forest are managed,
the whole way of life
has to be sensitive
to the requirements of nature.
- First, people deny that
they're part of the problem,
then they deny that
there's a solution,
then they tell you that
if there is a solution,
it's too expensive,
the growth in our economy,
we believe, is tied to
our ability to innovate, to
use energy more efficiently,
to create products
that other people
around the world are
gonna want to use.
- There's a lot California
can do and is doing,
but it has no impact
unless others join with us,
sooner rather than later.
This is a
unique human challenge.
It cannot be solved by
one country or one state.
Every day
we are making the world
more dangerous than
it was yesterday.
We have to reverse that system
to come to a place where
every day can be safer planet
than it was yesterday.
Life is about creativity.
What kind of planet
you want to create?
In the end, I
go back to this story where
there's an older person
who owns an estate.
And he says, "I want
to plant a tree."
And the gardener says, "Well.
"You don't understand it's
gonna take a generation
"for this tree to mature,
"you won't be here."
And he said,
"In that case, there's no
time to lose, is there?"
We can stop climate change.