This film by Plus M Productions and Protect Our Winters was created with the sole purpose of activating communities to rethink fossil fuels and their negative impact on the climate and the environment.
The Pacific Northwest is a land of extremes. Every year storms water the coastline with record rainfall and bury the only active volcanoes in the continuous United States with more snow than anywhere else in the world. After the ice thaws in the spring, a labyrinth of rivers delivers the water back into the ocean and they nourish lush farmlands along the way.
Thousands of years ago it was a land of abundance of food and fertile land. This led to one of the largest and most advanced Native American communities. When the Europeans settlers started transforming the landscape in the 18th Century, they were warned that in order to protect the land and the future of civilization they needed to think seven generations ahead.
If that philosophy were to be used as the current prism for decision-making everything would be different because even though there might be enough fuel today for life to continue as we are accustomed, the situation begs the question ‘what’s it going to be like 200 years down the line?’
Coal accounts for less than 30% of the world’s energy supply but more than 40% of the world’s energy emissions. As coal fired power plants in the United States transition to natural gas, many more are being built in Asia. Coal mining plants in Montana and Wyoming have even increased exports to developing countries instead of slowing production. What they seem to be doing is simply shipping the carbon problem overseas. Before it gets there, coal trains travel through the Pacific Northwest endangering the communities and wilderness in their path.
Because of global awareness regarding what needs to be done to protect the environment, the coal mine companies have been losing profit because it’s a dying business. That’s the reason why they are in search for new markets and those seem to be found mostly in Asia.
Humans have burnt coal for thousands of years but it wasn’t until a few hundred years ago that large scale commercial use began. Its abundance made it the fuel of choice throughout the industrial revolution. However, coal also emits more carbon dioxide into the air than does any other fossil fuel and its continued use is accelerating climate change to dangerous levels.
Something needs to be done soon.