Global Extraction Film Festival 9-12 September 2021

Global Extraction Film Festival 9-12 September 2021

Global Extraction Film Festival
9-12 September 2021

The Global Extraction Film Festival (GEFF), launched last year by Esther Figueroa (Vagabond Media) and Emiel Martens (Caribbean Creativity), has announced the selection of over 150 films for GEFF2021. The festival, which will be available online for free from September 9-12, aims to bring attention to the destructive impacts of extractive industries and to highlight communities across the world who are bravely defending against annihilation while creating livable futures.

GEFF2021 will feature 4 programs with over 150 documentaries and urgent shorts from over 40 countries, with a wide range of compelling topics that everyone needs to think about. Where, how and by whom is the food we eat, water we drink, clothes we wear, materials in our technology, the energy that powers our lives produced and transported? What are we to do with the billions of tons of waste we create daily? What is our relationship to other species and all life on the planet? Extraction has caused the anthropocene; the climate crisis is real and cannot be wished away or solved by magical technologies based on extraction.

PROGRAM ONE: GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES
Our General Selection film program, Global Perspectives, offers 26 feature documentaries and urgent shorts that focus on interrelated issues affecting the world, such as the climate <crisis, water, food, energy, mining, overtourism, colonial legacies. Selected films include Bright Green Lies, which exposes the extraction dependent and ecologically destructive reality of “green” technological solutions; Grit, which tells the story of Dian, who at 6 years old, along with 60,000 displaced people, suffered from an industrial accident in Indonesia, and later becomes a political activist fighting for justice; Gather and Final Straw, Food, Earth, Happiness, which present ancient alternatives to industrial agriculture; Sustenance and The Superfood Chain,which explore the food we eat, where it comes from and the consequences of global food chains; and Eating up Easter and Crowded Out: The Story of Overtourism, which demonstrate that tourism is a highly extractive industry.

PROGRAM TWO: FOCUS ON THE AMERICAS
This special Focus on the Americas is our most extensive and prominent GEFF2021 film program offering over 100 feature documentaries and urgent shorts from 30 countries in the Americas, from Argentina in the South to Canada in the North and across the Caribbean islands. The Americas are central to the creation of the modern world. This is because the ecocidal and genocidal pillaging and settlement of the Americas by European Imperial powers led to the wealth of Europe (and later North America), and to the extraction intensive industrial revolution that accelerated the anthropocene and caused the climate emergency in which we are now living. Understanding extraction in the Americas is requisite for understanding the global political economy. Understanding the Americas is also essential to realizing there are Indigenous alternatives to planetary destruction, that communities throughout the Americas have been resisting erasure for centuries, and continue to protect and defend that which is necessary to all life.

PROGRAM THREE: HUMAN-ANIMAL STUDIES
over 10 feature documentaries and urgent shorts about the relationship between humans and animals, and the impact of the extractive industries on animals. Humans are animals who dominate the planet and decide which other animals have value, are our food, our friends, our enemies, are pests, can be sacrificed, made extinct. For example, selected feature Artifishal – The Fight to Save Wild Salmon, shows the devastating impact of dams and farmed salmon on wild salmon populations., while The Last Male on Earth tells a tale of extinction.

PROGRAM FOUR: PRESENTED BY PATAGONIA
This special selection offers 8 feature documentaries and urgent shorts produced by Patagonia Films about people fighting for environmental and food justice, to protect last wild places and species, to find community based solutions. For example, DamNation – The Problem with Hydropower chronicles the United States of America’s nationally promoted narrative of man’s domination of nature, then decades later, the realization that humans are completely dependent on nature, that large-scale dams are one of our very worst inventions and should be removed. Two other selected Patagonia films, Public Trust – The Fight for America’s Public Lands and Lawqa – Que el Parque Vuelva a Ser Parque show how public lands and national parks in the USA and Chile have been handed over to extractive industries, removing the people, plants and animals who used to be there, and polluting and degrading the environment.

GEFF2021 EVENTS
Along with these four Film Programs, there will be panel discussions about extractive industries and their impacts on specific places and peoples, as well as Q&A with filmmakers. These events are hosted by GEFF’s partners including Deep Green Resistance, London Mining Network, Asia-Pacific Ecological Network, Red Thread, Freedom Imaginaries.

Contact:

Emiel Martens: emiel@caribbeancreativity.nl

Esther Figueroa: vagabondmedia1@mac.com

PRESS KIT: https://bit.ly/GEFF2021-Google-Drive


Note: DGR is organizing two events for GEFF2021.  The first is a discussion on Bright Green Lies with Director Julia Barnes at 4 PM (Pacific Time) September 11. You can find the Facebook page here. The second is a discussion with director on how films can be used for resistance at 5 AM (Pacific Time) September 11. You can contact DGR Asia Pacific to join the event.

Planet of the Humans & Bright Green Lies

Planet of the Humans & Bright Green Lies

Planet of the Humans, an outstanding documentary by Jeff Gibbs and Michael Moore, drew a lot of attention when it was originally published on YouTube for free. But a coordinated censorship campaign lead to it being taken down from YouTube where it had been viewed 8.3 million times.

As Michael Moore wrote on his Facebook page:

“Day 4: Still banned. Our YouTube channel still black. In the United States of America. The public now PROHIBITED from watching our film “Planet of the Humans” because it calls out the eco-industrial complex for collaborating with Wall Street and contributing to us losing the battle against the climate catastrophe. As the film points out, with sadness, some of our environmental leaders and groups have hopped into bed with Bloomberg, GoldmanSachs, numerous hedge funds, even the Koch Bros have found a way to game the system— and they don’t want you to know that. They and the people they fund are behind this censorship. We showed their failure and collusion, they didn’t like us for doing that, so instead of having the debate with us out in the open, they chose the route of slandering the film — and now their attempt at the suppression of our free speech. “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” Fascism is given life when “liberals” employ authoritarian tactics. Or sit back and say nothing. Who will speak up against blocking the public from seeing a movie that a group of “green capitalists” don’t want you to see? Where is the Academy? Where is the International Documentary Association? If you leave us standing alone, your film may be next. What is pictured above could be the darkened screen of your next movie. Do we not all know the time we are living in? All this energy spent trying to save our film when we should be saving the planet — but the green capitalists have once again provided a distraction so that no one will see what they’re really up to, so that no one will call them out for thinking we’re going to end the climate crisis by embracing or negotiating with capitalism. We call BS to that — and that is why our film has vanished. But not for long. We will not be silenced. We, and hundreds of millions of others, are the true environmental movement — because we know the billionaires are not our friends.”

Now the movie is up on YouTube again

Michael Moore presents Planet of the Humans, a documentary that dares to say what no one else will — that we are losing the battle to stop climate change on planet earth because we are following leaders who have taken us down the wrong road — selling out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America. This film is the wake-up call to the reality we are afraid to face: that in the midst of a human-caused extinction event, the environmental movement’s answer is to push for techno-fixes and band-aids. It’s too little, too late.

Removed from the debate is the only thing that MIGHT save us: getting a grip on our out-of-control human presence and consumption. Why is this not THE issue? Because that would be bad for profits, bad for business. Have we environmentalists fallen for illusions, “green” illusions, that are anything but green, because we’re scared that this is the end—and we’ve pinned all our hopes on biomass, wind turbines, and electric cars? No amount of batteries are going to save us, warns director Jeff Gibbs (lifelong environmentalist and co-producer of “Fahrenheit 9/11” and “Bowling for Columbine“). This urgent, must-see movie, a full-frontal assault on our sacred cows, is guaranteed to generate anger, debate, and, hopefully, a willingness to see our survival in a new way—before it’s too late.
https://planetofthehumans.com/


Bright Green Lies

From Julia Barnes, the award-winning director of Sea of Life, Bright Green Lies investigates the change in focus of the mainstream environmental movement, from its original concern with protecting nature, to its current obsession with powering an unsustainable way of life. The film exposes the lies and fantastical thinking behind the notion that solar, wind, hydro, biomass, or green consumerism will save the planet. Tackling the most pressing issues of our time will require us to look beyond the mainstream technological solutions and ask deeper questions about what needs to change.

The movie is available on Vimeo:

https://vimeo.com/ondemand/brightgreenlies

The Environmental Impacts of “Green” Technology

The Environmental Impacts of “Green” Technology

Happening today:
Bright Green Lies the documentary premieres Earth Day – April 22nd — as a live-streaming event and Q&A with director Julia Barnes, and authors Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith, and Max Wilbert. Tickets are available at https://www.brightgreenlies.com/


This article originally appeared on Counterpunch.

By Julia Barnes

Solar panels, wind turbines, and electric cars have long been touted as solutions to the climate crisis.

The “green” image attached to these technologies masks a dark reality; they are adding to the problem of environmental destruction, failing to reduce CO2 emissions, and accelerating the mass extinction of life on the planet.

In my upcoming film Bright Green Lies, based on the book by the same name, I take a critical look at the industries that claim to be about saving the planet.

60% of the European Union’s “renewable” energy comes from biomass. Forests across North America are being clear cut and shipped across the Atlantic to be burned for electricity. Biomass is inaccurately counted as carbon neutral, when in reality emissions from biomass plants can exceed that of coal fired power plants. The burning of wood in Europe is subsidized to the tune of nearly 7 billion euros per year.

Dams have been called “methane bombs” because they produce large amounts of methane. They also harm rivers by increasing the water temperature and blocking the passage of fish who swim upriver to spawn.

So-called “renewables” like solar panels and wind turbines are made of finite materials that require mining. The materials that go into creating “green” tech range from copper and steel to concrete, sand, and rare earths. In Baotou, China, a dystopian lake is filled with toxic waste from rare earths mining. Fossil fuels are burned throughout the production process.

Wind turbines in the US kill over 1 million birds per year. Bats who fly near the turbines can die of barotrauma – their lungs exploding from the pressure differential caused by the blades.

A proposed lithium mine in northern Nevada currently threatens 5000 acres of old growth sagebrush habitat. The industry calls this a “green” mine because the lithium will be used in electric car batteries. I doubt the golden eagles, sage grouse, pronghorn antelope, rabbitbrush, or Crosby’s buckwheat who call the area home would agree. The mine would burn around 11,300 gallons of diesel fuel and produce thousands of tons of sulfuric acid per day.

There are plans to mine the deep sea to extract the materials for electric car batteries and “renewable” energy storage. It is predicted that each mining vessel would process 2-6 million cubic feet of sediment per day. The remaining slurry would be dumped back into the ocean where it would smother and burry organisms, toxify the food web, and potentially disrupt the plankton who produce two thirds of earth’s oxygen.

These are just a few examples of the environmental harms associated with “green” technology. To scale up the production of these technologies would require increased mining, habitat destruction, global shipping, industrial manufacturing, and the production of more toxic waste. “Renewables” are predicted to be the number one cause of habitat destruction by mid-century.

So-called green technologies both emerge from and support the industrial system that is destroying life on the planet.

We have been told a story that there is a baseline demand for energy, and that if this demand could be met with so-called renewables, fossil fuel use would diminish. This story runs contrary to the entire history of energy usage. Historically, as new sources of energy have been added to the grid, old sources have remained constant or grown. Instead of displacing each other, each additional source stacks on top of the rest, and industrial civilization becomes more energy intensive.

We see the same pattern today, in the real world, with the addition of so-called renewables. On a global scale, “green” technologies do not even deliver on their most basic promise of reducing fossil fuel consumption.

All the mining, pollution and habitat destruction simply adds to the harm being done to the planet. Nothing about the production of “green” energy helps the natural world.

The push for “green” energy solves for the wrong variable. It takes a high-energy, high-consumption industrial civilization as a given, when this is precisely what needs to change if we are to live sustainably on this planet.

The real solutions are obvious; stop the industries that are causing the harm and allow life to come back. Fossil fuels need our opposition. So do lithium mines, rare earths mines, copper mines, iron mines, and industrial wind and solar facilities. Fracking should not be tolerated. Neither should biomass plants or hydroelectric dams.

Forests, prairies, mangroves, seagrasses, and fish have all been decimated. They could all sequester large amounts of carbon if we allowed them to recover.

While making my first documentary, Sea of Life, I visited the village of Cabo Pulmo. The ocean there had once been heavily overfished, but within ten years of creating a marine protected area, the biomass – the mass of life in the ocean – increased by over 450%. When I arrived, 20 years after the marine reserve was created, I found an ocean that was teeming with fish.

Life wants to live. If we can stop the harm, nature will do the repair work that’s necessary. But there are limits to how far things can be pushed, and we are running out of time. Up to 200 species are going extinct every day. The destruction of the world is accelerating, thanks in part, to the very industries being touted as “green”. With life on the planet at stake, we cannot afford to waste time on false solutions.

Bright Green Lies the book is available now.

Julia Barnes is the director of the award-winning documentary Sea of Life.

They Want To Mine The Deep Sea

They Want To Mine The Deep Sea

In this article Julia Barnes describes the process of seabed mining and calls for organized resistance to this new ecocidal extraction industry. This article was originally published in Counterpunch


They want to mine the deep sea.

We shouldn’t be surprised. This culture has stolen 90% of the large fish, created 450 de-oxygenated areas, and murdered 50% of the coral reefs. It has wiped out 40% of the plankton. It has warmed and acidified the water to a level not seen since the Permian mass extinction. And indeed, there is another mass extinction underway. Given the ongoing assault on the ocean by this culture, there is serious question as to whether the upper ocean will be inhabitable by the end of this century.

For some people, a best-case scenario for the future is that some bacteria will survive around volcanic vents at the bottom of the ocean.

Deep sea mining is about to make that an unlikely possibility. It’s being touted as history’s largest mining operation. They have plans to extract metals from deposits concentrated around hydrothermal vents and nodules – potato sized rocks – which are scattered across the sea floor. Sediment will be vacuumed up from the deep sea, processed onboard mining vessels, then the remaining slurry will be dumped back into the ocean. Estimates of the amount of slurry that will be processed by a single mining vessel range from 2 to 6 million cubic feet per day.  I’ve seen water go from clear to opaque when an inexperienced diver gives a few kicks to the sea floor.

Now imagine 6 million cubic feet of sediment being dumped into the ocean. To put that in perspective, that’s about 22,000 dump trucks full of sediment – and that’s just one mining vessel operating for one day. Imagine what happens when there are hundreds of them. Thousands of them.

Plumes at the mining site are expected to smother and bury organisms on the sea floor. Light pollution from the mining equipment would disrupt species that depend on bio-luminescence. Sediment plumes released at the surface or in the water column would increase turbidity and reduce light, disrupting the photosynthesis of plankton.

A few environmental groups are calling for a moratorium on deep sea mining.

Meanwhile, exploratory mining is already underway. An obscure organization known as the International Seabed Authority has been given the responsibility of drafting an underwater mining code, selecting locations for extraction, and issuing licenses to mining companies. Some companies claim that the damage from deep sea mining could be mitigated with proper regulations. For example, instead of dumping slurry at the surface, they would pump it back down and release it somewhere deeper.

Obviously, regulations will not stop the direct harm to the area being mined. But even if the most stringent regulations were put in place, there still exists the near-certainty of human error, pipe breakage, sediment spills, and outright disregard for the rules.

As we’ve seen with fisheries, regulations are essentially meaningless when there is no enforcement. 40% of the total catch comes from illegal fishing. Quotas are routinely ignored and vastly exceeded. On land, we know that corporations will gladly pay a fine when it is cheaper to do so than it is to follow the rules. But all this misses the point which is that some activities are so immoral, they should not be permitted under any circumstances.

Permits and regulations only serve to legalize and legitimize the act of deep sea mining, when a moratorium is the only acceptable response.

Canadian legislation effectively prohibits deep sea mining in Canada’s territorial waters. Ironically, Canadian corporations are leading the effort to mine the oceans elsewhere. A spokesperson from the Vancouver-based company Deep Green Metals attempted to defend deep sea mining from an environmental perspective,

Mining on land now takes place in some of the most biodiverse places on the planet. The ocean floor, on the other hand, is a food-poor environment with no plant life and an order of magnitude less biomass living in a larger area. We can’t avoid disturbing wildlife, to be clear, but we will be putting fewer organisms at risk than land-based operations mining the same metals.” (as cited in Mining Watch).

This argument centers on a false choice.

It presumes that mining must occur, which is absurd. Then, it paints a picture that the only area affected will be the area that is mined. In reality, the toxic slurry from deep sea mining will poison the surrounding ocean for hundreds of miles, with heavy metals like mercury and lead expected to bio-accumulate in everyone from plankton, to tuna, to sharks, to cetaceans.

A study from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences stated that “A very large area will be blanketed by sediment to such an extent that many animals will not be able to cope with the impact and whole communities will be severely affected by the loss of individuals and species.”

The idea that fewer organisms are at risk from deep sea mining is an egregious lie.

Scientists have known since 1977 that photosynthesis is not the basis of every natural community. There are entire food webs that begin with organic chemicals floating from hydrothermal vents. These communities include giant clams, octopuses, crabs, and 10-foot tube worms, to name a few. Conducting mining in these habitats is bad enough, but the effects go far beyond the mined area.

Deep sea mining literally threatens every level of the ocean from surface to seabed. In doing so, it puts all life on the planet at risk. From smothering the deep sea, to toxifying the food web, to disrupting plankton, the tiny organisms who produce two thirds of the earth’s oxygen, it’s just one environmental disaster after another.

The most common justification for deep sea mining is that it will be necessary to create a bright green future.

A report by the World Bank found that production of minerals such as graphite, lithium, and cobalt would need to increase by nearly 500% by 2050 to meet the growing demand for so-called renewable energy. There is an article from the BBC titled “Electric Car future May Depend on Deep Sea Mining”. What if we switched the variables, and instead said “the future of the ocean depends on stopping car culture” or “the future of the ocean depends on opposing so-called renewable energy”. If we take into account all of the industries that are eviscerating the ocean, it must also be said that “the future of the ocean depends on stopping industrial civilization”.

Evidently this culture does not care whether the ocean has a future. It’s more interested in justifying continued exploitation under the banner of green consumerism.  I do not detail the horrors of deep sea mining to make a moral appeal to those who are destroying the ocean. They will not stop voluntarily. Instead, I am appealing to you, the reader, to do whatever is necessary to make it so this industry cannot destroy the ocean.


Julia Barnes is a filmmaker, director of Sea of Life and of the forthcoming film Bright Green Lies.

Featured image: deep-sea coral, Paragorgiaarborea, on the edge of Hendrickson Canyon roughly 1,775 meters or nearly 6000 feet underwater in the Toms Canyon complex in the western Atlantic. NOAA photo.