Climate Change and Intergenerational Evil

This video was created to be the single best quickie overview of the problem (and solutions) to climate change / global-warming. In 2012 the speed and magnitude of human-caused climate disturbance became undeniable, making this the fundamental moral issue of our time. This 49-minute program includes video excerpts from talks by the world’s most respected climate scientist, NASA’s Dr. James Hansen, and by two powerful advocates for systemic change: Bill McKibben and David Roberts.

The video excerpts teach the basic science and explain key climate dynamics of lag time and tipping points in ways that all age groups can grasp. Richly illustrated with images of this year’s unprecedented retreat of Arctic sea ice and the near-total surface layer melt of the Greenland ice cap, this video also includes footage of the Colorado Springs wildfire, the midwestern drought, the mile-high Arizona dust-storm, Hurricane Sandy, and other climate turning points that became frighteningly evident in 2012.

The call-to-action excerpts by Hansen and McKibben are overlaid with compelling images of civil resistance (including Hansen’s three arrests) and enthusiastic public participation in events: worldwide rallies to voice support for reducing CO2 in the atmosphere back down to 350 ppm and McKibben’s autumn 2012 “Do the Math Tour” (which spread the news that there is 5 times more carbon in fossil fuel reserves already discovered than could be burned without exceeding the 2 degree C threshold of additional warming that is widely regarded as the maximum “safe” limit).

Connie Barlow and Michael Dowd introduce each of the clips and share their experience of “waking up” (Dowd refers to it as his “climate change come to Jesus moment”) in December 2012 to the terrifying prospect of climate catastrophe, which is happening faster than scientists had projected only a few years ago. Their fresh and extemporaneous storytelling of which aspects of the 2012 climate-change news and statistics rocked them out of complacency is an invitation for viewers to likewise make a shift in outlook and priorities.

Among the most emotionally moving footage is the the portion of James Hansen’s 2012 TED Talk, “Why I Must Speak Out about Climate Change,” where he explains that his love for his grandchildren, coupled with his formidable knowledge of the science, compelled him to speak out against, what he perceives as, “intergenerational injustice.”

Dowd and Barlow produced this video mix for precisely the same reason. As members of the generational cohort now in power, they exhort fellow “boomers” to awaken to the “generational evil” that will become our sad legacy if we continue with business as usual, focusing irresponsibly on our own comfort and security while expecting future generations to deal with the horrendous conditions that our own complacency will produce.


EDUCATORS: You may wish to use this video in the classroom. For 55-minute classes, we suggest it be used over the course of 3 days, with each of the three sections followed by substantial time for small group discussion. Here are the three sections:

1. INTRODUCTION + DAVID ROBERTS: “Climate Change Is Simple” 00:01 – 20:18

2. JAMES HANSEN: “Why I Must Speak Out About Climate Change” 20:19 – 39:24

3. BILL MCKIBBEN: “Activism: + divestment of fossil fuel stocks” 39:25 – 49:10



• “Five Charts About Climate Change . . .” (Atlantic Magazine) 04:02

• David Roberts’ TEDx Talk (remixed by Ryan Cooper): 10:20

• James Hansen’s TED Talk: 22:56

• James Hansen interviewed by Amy Goodman: 33:38

• James Hansen: at Keystone Pipeline protest: 35:35

• Bill McKibben: “Connecting the Dots on Climate Change” 40:20

• 350 rally and “Do the Math Tour” photos from

• Joni Mitchell Sings ‘Woodstock” 47:44



Connie Barlow –
Michael Dowd –



(Visited 29 times, 1 visits today)

You might be interested in