NZ climate politics film now on YouTube

I’m forwarding from this NZ Herald link… not directly related to biochar (sorry – showing my colours)

Hot Air – climate change politics in New Zealand is an award-winning feature length documentary which argues that corporate interests have prevented successive governments from acting on climate change.

The film’s Wellington premiere at the International Film Festival last year was a sell-out. It was also nominated as a finalist in the New Zealand Film Awards for Best Documentary and Best Editing, and won the 2013 Bruce Jesson Senior Journalist Award.

However, co-director and producer Alister Barry is disappointed that Hot Air has not created more public engagement with climate change issues. The film has just been released on YouTube for free viewing, making it accessible to a wider audience.

“What I tried to set out in the film was the political journey that we’ve been on,” says Mr Barry. “It’s all very well to understand the science of the issue and the economics of the issue, but if we’re going to get action it has to be, in the end, political action at a national level by our own government, representing our interests.”

Barry comments that by taking a look at the political happenings of the past 20 years, during which time climate change became an issue of public concern, he was hoping to help people have more of an understanding of how our democratic institutions have approached the issue over the years, and ultimately to make them feel more empowered to use their energy as citizens to achieve positive change.

He emphasises that the narrative of Hot Air is about politics.

“It starts out with saying at the beginning of the film, it’s 1988 and suddenly climate change managed to get on to the political agenda for the world, really. Obviously scientists had been aware of the growing problem up to that point, but in 1988 the American president and government sat up and took notice, and the rest of the world followed on quickly after that.”

Barry says Hot Air starts quite hopefully. “In the late 1980s and early 1990s we could address the problem. But as time went on by, those who didn’t want to see any action on climate change – because it was going to effect their profits, essentially – began to get themselves politically organised.”

New Zealand’s current Climate Change Issues Minister Tim Groser has recently implored the public for input into climate change policy after the year 2020. Barry believes the Minister may genuinely be concerned about climate change, but that he is an example of corporate interests preventing any real action.

“I think that Tim Groser probably is concerned about climate change,” he says. “He’s certainly well informed about the subject, but he is in a political situation where he has to, if you like, literally pay tribute to the large corporations that sustain the National government in power, that will jump down very heavily on it if he takes what corporations would call a radical view of the issue.”


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