Well, 1984 came and went with very little of those dire dystopian predictions coming true. The same could be said for those of the Y2K bug which never eventuated. Here's hoping the film 2040 is accurate in its inspirational predictions.
How refreshing to see a film that was so upbeat about future possibilities for the planet that I came away determined to banish thoughts of a dysptopian future. My job is to spread the good news while doing my best to encourage the Gen Ys, the Gen Xers and the "Re Generation" of my grandchildren's era to embrace the technological opportunities which already exist to make the world a better place by 2040.
Damon Gameau made the film with his 4-year-old daughter, Velvet, in mind. This is the world he wants for her in 2040. Throughout the film, comparisons are made between the technology that is already available in 2019, and how it can be built on over the next twenty-one years. But it is time for action NOW!
The joy of the backyard harvest
Damon's first positive story is set in one of the world's poorest underprivileged countries, Bangladesh. Through a network of small solar panels, houses and then villages are accessing electricity for the first time. Gone are the illnesses associated with kerosene lights and cookers. Through a mutually satisfactory system of donating or selling power excess, financial gains are kept in the community, rather than being sent off to large multinational companies, a prime example of a circular economy.
An idea for Australia to follow? Sorry. Totally illegal in this country, but we already have the technology for renewable energy generation and it is already in use worldwide. It will take some big picture leaders to build on this to ensure our children's future.
Learning from Grandad
Damon gave those with doubts about the safety of self-drive electric cars some reassurance by taking us as passengers in one of these vehicles. He outlined the possibilities when self-driven pods will collect you from home and take you and fellow passengers travelling on the same route to your destinations. This is the theory my husband has been hammering me with for years in relation to his fear of eventual gridlock. No need to worry about congestion or if you will be able to get a park or how much your next car service will cost. You don't need a car. Blessed relief.
What to do with those highways, flyovers, multi-level car parks? Put them under community gardens or high rise accommodation surrounded by parkland and crowned with rooftop and window box gardens. Sounding like Utopia? You bet, and I'm loving it.
How is a burgeoning population going to be fed in 2040? Current agricultural practices which degrade the soil aren't going to cut it. Not only are regenerative practices which are already in use in Australia explained, but also marine regeneration of our oceans. The latter will provide nutritious seaweed meals and encourage sea life. Marine regeneration is also already in operation around the world. The latter has great potential for the Indian sub-continent and Africa, both of which have large populations.
Whatever happened to the idea of Zero Population Growth which was touted as a future saviour many moons ago? Damon touches on women and education and never the twain shall meet in many of the poorer nations. Unfortunately, this lack of education goes hand in hand with large families, putting a stress on a country's food and water supplies. Educated women are more likely to achieve leadership roles, and you know what they say about women as world leaders and their unlikeliness to go to war.
The special effects used in the film are seamlessly integrated to the point one wonders what is real in a scene and what is not. There is no lack of humour, which had the audience chuckling, particularly at the 2040 Velvet's reaction to her parents' shenanigans.
I must admit I am a mad keen Facebooker. I try to put up posts which are interesting, humorous, and not too controversial. Hence I have been shying away from religion and politics in the main. But I have had to review this policy in view of the fact that I have grandchildren who are going to inherit a most unsavoury world unless our leaders start showing some true leadership in regards to global warming and diminishing biodiversity.
The neighbours pitch in with some creek regeneration
Recently I began a post with a statement akin to a public confession at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Up until the past few days, I have not posted anything expressing an anti-Adani sentiment. With good reason. My son is a coal miner. Author Richard Flanagan forced it out of me when he said in Canberra recently: "The coal mining communities of Australia deserve better. They deserve the truth. They need a responsible transition plan, not lies and deceit."
Postscript: Britain announces that its electric grid has gone coal free for a week. It is predicted that electricity prices will drop as a result. Google Wikipedia 2040 for the disturbing news that global energy consumption in that year will have increased by 56% from 2010. Fortunately, the good news is that Amsterdam intends to be fossil fuel free by that year, Japan will not be using nuclear power, and the UK and France will not be selling new diesel or petrol cars. But asthmatics beware - the pollen count will have doubled since 2010 due to climate change.