The Redford Center, a California-based non-profit co-founded in 2005 by Robert Redford and his son, James, announced that every morning, from April 15-22, 2019, the organization will post an episode a day of “Renewable Therapy for Climate Anxiety,” a conversational mini-series featuring Filmmaker, James Redford, and Matthew Nordan, clean energy investor and managing partner at MNL Partners. In each two-minute installment, the pair explores questions that nag environmentalists when it comes to renewable energy. Watch the first episode below.
The video series will roll out during Solar Education Week, a campaign taking place the week leading up to Earth Day aimed to spark a national conversation about solar energy as a key solution to climate change. Throughout the week, participating organizations will coordinate events to build public support for clean energy initiatives at the state and local levels.
Check this website for events happening in your area during Solar Education Week.
The idea for the series came to Redford while he was directing Happening, a filmmaking journey that took him into the shadows of both an emerging energy sector and his own consciousness. “The media bombards us with evidence of a changing climate, but we don’t hear much about what we can do about it,” said Redford. “Unfortunately, many of us don’t realize that clean energy now has the capacity to deter the worst of climate change. That seemed like a story worth telling.”
As for Nordan, he accepted the role as Redford’s energy “therapist” because, as an investor, in addition to the potential that renewable energy has for easing our collective climate anxiety, he also views those technologies as a salve for a massive, but dangerously outmoded, energy industry. “Can you think of an industry that’s as huge and as invisible as energy? Most of us don’t think about what turns the lights on or makes the car go,” said Nordan. “Yet we’re talking about a trillion-dollar chunk of the economy that’s being disrupted, right now.”
Redford thinks The Green New Deal offers a roadmap for federal action on climate change, but he believes there are other avenues to make an impact in the near term. “We’re seeing governors, state legislatures, municipal leaders, and even business leaders take the initiative to advance clean energy in their regions,” he said, pointing to the diverse cast of advocates he met while filming Happening, including Matthew Nordan.
Nordan warns that a continued stalemate in Congress could one day place the U.S. in a very difficult position. “Energy seems like it should be the last thing in the world that causes anyone stress, however we could be fighting a Russo-American war for the Arctic soon, all while millions of climate refugees head north of the equator,” explains Nordan. Nevertheless, he sees signs of hope from his perch as a climate-conscious capitalist. “Fortunately, there’s a new tribe of innovators and financiers fighting for a different future.”
Another place to get solar education is at POWERGEN International in New Orleans, November 19-21. Learn about the event here.
Watch the first episode of renewable therapy below.