Earth Keepers

Most people aren’t like Mikael Rioux, the founder of Échofête, Quebec’s first envirofestival. He is the young Quebecois environmental activist who leads us on a voyage around the world in Sylvie Van Brabant’s film Earth Keepers in search of practical ways to deal with our looming and scary environmental future. Most people are ‘sleepwalking into the future’. They’re either in denial and trying to attain what parents and grandparents enjoyed or they are wholly ignorant. There also are the dangerous ones who try to suppress the environmental crises for their own gain. Mikael introduces the audience to his mentor Christian de Laet who, in turn, gives him the name of other environmental visionaries who are making a difference in the world. Here is the list:

  1. Christian de Laet one of Quebec’s important environmental pioneers
  2. John and Nancy Jack Todd and their “New Alchemy” movement
  3. Karl-Henrich Robèrt with his Natural Step program to attain a desired and sustainable future
  4. Ashok Khosla head of Development Alternatives
  5. Wangari Maathai founder of the Green Belt Movement
  6. Marilyn Melhmann with the Global Action Plan
  7. Peter Koenig a humanist economist

Some of the insights from the film I found most interesting were these:

  • those who are used to living with nothing will do better when we hit the wall
  • solutions can be extremely simple, like an additional pump at a gas station to fill up your windshield fluid instead of a plastic bottle
  • you can wait for CNN to report that global warming is here but it doesn’t work that way: that’s a gradual environmental disaster

This is an environmental film with isn’t a downer. It is full of hope and intriguing solutions and would be useful and entertaining for anyone interested in the environment.


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