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‘2040’

Filed under: — rasmus @ 3 June 2020

After an absurd period with a real-life gloomy corona pandemic, lock-down and unrest, it was quite refreshing to see visions for a sustainable future in a new documentary ‘2040 (link to trailer). Its message, through the voice of Damon Gameau, is about hope and is based on rational thinking.


The video takes us to twenty years fast-forward to an imagined future. It makes good use of effects that communicate. For instance, Damon Gameau speaks with children about green and sustainable solutions and then makes the time travel to show what such a future may look like when climate change has stopped.


The documentary also makes use of some cool effects to demonstrate how things work. But it is mostly about a positive message on solutions rather than emphasising climate science and harmful consequences of climate change.


There is an interesting timing with the release of ‘2040’, and hopefully it will contribute to discussions about new solutions and how we can make use of both technology and new behaviour to improve our lives and the health of the planet. This is something that is already being discussed in Europe.


I thought the documentary made some interesting points about energy production, how to make agriculture more sustainable through mixed crops and good soil health, and how to use ocean resources. Another important point is the importance of empowering girls and women. However, I’m not in the position to say how successful the suggested solutions would be. I guess we may know answers in 2040.

26 Responses to “‘2040’”

  1. 1

    There is nothing wrong with describing a hopefulfuture. But to do so without articulating the obstacles to achieving it is meaningless and makes the film just distracting propaganda. The public is entitled to know what stands in the way and also to get guidance on how to overcome the obstacles.For example, the underpricing of energy and the failure to include negative externalities in the price of energy and goods are major barriers to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Continuing subsidies and tax breaks and other incentives for Business as Usual are also ill advised and should be ended. Without a serious
    comprehensive view of how to save the planet the film is just another feelgood attempt that might just as well be used by corporations who want to distract the public from their destructive anti environmental policies and their refusal to assume responsibility for curbing climate change.

  2. 2
    Robert Bradley says:

    I cannot envision a prosperous world not powered primarily with mineral energies. Renewables had a 100% market share for 99.99 percent of human history; dense, storable, portable energies are still quite young. Surface land quality issues will bring about ‘peak green’ by 2040, I predict.

  3. 3
    Paul Donahue says:

    So, would it be your opinion that this film is a good rebuttal to the Michael Moore produced, misinformation-laden, and rather gloomy “Planet of the Humans” which is currently available for viewing for free on YouTube?

  4. 4

    Thanks, very much interested to check it out!

  5. 5
    Killian says:

    What an utterly ridiculous way to release a supposedly important film. Unfortunately, Hawken gets soooo much wrong about what regenerative and sustainable are. He gets the overall solution set completely wrong.

    Raworth gets closer than most to what a regenerative economy would be, but still falls far short. She does not grasp that an economy is a human creation and as such is a flawed idea that is at odds with the functioning of Nature. Because she does not begin with nature and adhere strinctly to the principles and functions found therein, Doughnut Economics ends up being non-regenerative.

    Given the absurd approach to releasing the movie, the fact it turns out to be an exercise in cheerleading for Drawdown and includes not one person in it that understands and *does* regenerative systems, it’s ultimately going to mislead a lot of people.

    Rasmus, I’ve been discussing regenerative systems and how to create one for over ten years on this site. You may want to pay attention to what’s in front of you.

  6. 6
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Robert Bradley: “I cannot envision a prosperous world not powered primarily with mineral energies. Renewables had a 100% market share for 99.99 percent of human history; dense, storable, portable energies are still quite young. Surface land quality issues will bring about ‘peak green’ by 2040, I predict.”

    Oh, well, Robert Bradley cannot envision it. Therefore it must be impossible. I mean there can’t be any other explanation for why Robert can’t envision it, can there? I mean it couldn’t be possible that Robert is a blinkered fool, could it?

  7. 7

    RB 2: I cannot envision a prosperous world not powered primarily with mineral energies.

    BPL: This is called an “argument from incredulity,” and is a logical fallacy.

  8. 8
    Mark Schaffer says:

    Who are you Killian and why should anyone listen to you? What is your actual expertise and educational background?
    Why do you hide your identity when it harms your integrity and credibility?

  9. 9
    Jim Eager says:

    Robert Bradley @2 “I cannot envision…

    There’s your problem right there.

    Time to get out of the road if you can’t lend a hand.

  10. 10
    CCHolley says:

    RE. Robert Bradley

    For those unaware–Robert Bradley honed his ethics and morals at Enron. He spent 16 years as their corporate director of public policy analysis and as a speech writer for Kenneth Lay. Now he is just a free enterprise/fossil fuel shill.

    https://www.desmogblog.com/robert-l-bradley-jr

  11. 11
    nigelj says:

    Robert Bradley @2 says “Surface land quality issues will bring about ‘peak green’ by 2040, I predict.” Oh well, more wind farms will have to be built offshore. Oh hang on, they already are….Robert you need to get out more.

  12. 12
    Bob Loblaw says:

    CCHolley @ 10:

    Good catch. I guess Robert Bradley’s comment @2 can be paraphrased as “I cannot envision a prosperous career disagreeing with my source of income”.

  13. 13
    Killian says:

    Mark Schaffer says:

    Who are you Killian and why should anyone listen to you? What is your actual expertise and educational background?
    Why do you hide your identity when it harms your integrity and credibility?

    You’re an idiot. Hidden? That’s my name, you blubbering fool. Now, go pull your head out of your rear rather than engage in the stupidity of Ad Hom attacks.

    We have another nigel.

  14. 14
    Keith Woollard says:

    “The video takes us to twenty years fast-forward to an imagined future”

    So the video is the figment of someone’s imagination, but when Robert says he can’t envision that result, he is blasted by no less than 4 of the faithful (so far).
    Surely Dr Bradley’s opinion is at least as valid as a NIDA graduate’s, even though he was in one of the best Australian movies ever (The Tracker)

  15. 15
    Piotr says:

    Robert Bradley (2): “Renewables had a 100% market share for 99.99 percent of human history; dense, storable, portable energies are still quite young”

    Yes, another very stable genius – this one – extending the “human history” in the context of ability to affect environment to … 2.7 mln years. For a comparison, standard thinking puts ca. 200,000yrs for the human species, much shorter for having enough knowhow and numbers to be able to affect environment at global scale, or even continental scale. I feel a Nobel ….

    Since you decided to write on a science site, Mr. Bradley, may I let you in on a secret? In science-based discussions, NUMBERS, particularly those with many significant digits (“99.99%”), have precise, quantifiable meanings – they are not some rhetorical forms we make up when we want to impress the audience. That said, if you are _that_ Robert Bradley – famous for being a speechwriter for Kenneth Lay – then your confusion is understandable – Mr. Lay and Enron had a very … special relationship with numbers…

    And to make things worse, you blew your scientific credibility for nothing – because the discussion IS NOT whether the use of fossil fuels is old or young, but whether is sustainable or not. For that, your “99.99%” proves nothing – taking hard drugs “only recently” may kill you even though for 99.99% of your adult life you were drug-free. If anything – your made-up number may have proven that drug-free lifestyle is sustainable, while your recent habit – may not.

  16. 16

    Congratulations to CCH for doing the research. Thanks.

  17. 17
    jb says:

    Re: Wool*ard at 14:

    So, when someone gets a “Ph.D (with distinction)” from an unaccredited college which no longer exists, should we be calling him “Doctor?”

    Alternatively, does an argument from authority succeed when the basis of the claimed authority is a “Ph.D (with distinction)” from an unaccredited college which no longer exists?

    Finally, if a person gets a “Ph.D (with distinction)” from an unaccredited college which no longer exists, who is that person distinguished from?

    Don’t know the answers, just asking.

  18. 18
    Bob Loblaw says:

    Keith Woollards’ “4 of the faithful” comment @14 makes it pretty clear that he tends to think in a faith-based world, not an evidence-based one.

  19. 19
    Piotr says:

    Keith Woollard: “Surely Dr Bradley’s opinion is at least as valid as…”

    Having a “Dr.” before your name doesn’t make your opinions “valid”, the quality of your arguments does. On the other hand: inventing numbers (“99.99%”) for rhetorical effect and obvious logical fallacies (see my post 15) do tell us something about the value of that doctoral degree and the institution^* that issued it.

    ^* “a small, private, non-traditional and unaccredited college, […] which attempts to attain accreditation never came to fruition” [wikipedia]”.

  20. 20
    zebra says:

    #8 Mark Schaffer,

    Mark, I have long been an advocate for the anonymity offered by internet commenting.

    I would argue that it allows those who might be constrained by employment or other circumstance to have a voice, and, more important, it offers the readers the opportunity to “think for themselves”, rather than be swayed by appeal to authority. There are many primary sources available to check things out and reach your own conclusion about the validity of the comment.

    So, I have to ask:

    What possible credential could Killian present that would change your opinion of his comments!?

    Are you really incapable of forming an opinion from the endless verbiage, consuming endless bandwidth and column inches, that has been spewed out over time?

    Talk about overdetermined…

  21. 21
    Mal Adapted says:

    Keith Woollard:

    Surely Dr Bradley’s opinion is at least as valid as a NIDA graduate’s.

    Shirley you can’t be serious. As already pointed out, Bradley’s brief comment starts with an argument from personal incredulity. His next sentence, implying that RE was made obsolete by “dense, storable, portable” fossil fuels, is purely rhetorical, and nearly self-contradictory: mostly obviously, he fails to acknowledge that global warming has now made fossil fuels obsolete. Regarding his specific claim:

    Surface land quality issues will bring about ‘peak green’ by 2040, I predict.

    Bradley’s notion of ‘peak green’ is unsupported on its face. To begin with, it overlooks such industry trends as floating wind turbines. Nor does he mention carbon pricing. And so forth.

    You, OTOH, seem unaware of the importance of scientific meta-literacy when evaluating “expert” opinions. Genuine experts are recognized by their expert peers. But you don’t have to be a expert to apply two basic rules for detecting BS: consider the source, and follow the money. A couple of even more terse comments have appeared on RC recently, under the “Robert Bradley” name. If their author is the professional greenie-basher of that name, his ulterior motives are transparent. That makes him, and therefore you, “fair game” on this blog 8^D!

    I wonder if our “Robert Bradley” knows where he’s commenting, or is just reacting to a search-bot alert. You, however, with your history here, ought to know better. Keith, science is first and foremost a way of trying not to fool yourself. Sorry, but IMMO you’re not trying hard enough.

  22. 22
    Keith Woollard says:

    There is a reason Bradley has resorted to an “argument from personal incredulity”, as do I. I am incredulous that this film has been promoted on a “scientific”. Take a look at the last half dozen posts on this website and surely you will have to admit that it has given up any pretense at being a science blog.

    The film is written, directed and starred by an actor, perhaps you would like to check on IMDB the scientific panel employed to make sure it is all correct, or even just a consultant. And to save you the trouble, there is none.

    By Rasmus’ own admission, it is a work of imagination. Trying to defend it scientifically is beyond a joke

  23. 23
    Piotr says:

    Keith Woolward (22): “There is a reason Bradley has resorted to an “argument from personal incredulity”, as do I”

    lack of falsifiable arguments? Your only falsifiable argument against the movie
    so far was the ..lack do scientific credentials of its authors. Your “Dr Bradley” did not provide even that – his are opinions he held … long before watching the film: “I cannot envision a prosperous world not powered primarily with mineral energies.”

    And to find out how much his Dr. title is worth it was enough to read his NEXT sentence: ” Renewables had a 100% market share for 99.99 percent of human history; dense, storable, portable energies are still quite young”

    In which your “Dr Bradley”:
    a) MAKES UP a number for rhetorical purposes (his “99.99%” would require humans to have significant impact on the environment for the last … 2.7 mln years)

    b) and even with the so fabricated number he accomplishes … nothing, because
    of an elementary logical fallacy (that we have been doing something for only 250+ years – doesn’t prove that the practice is benign or can rapidly turn into benign
    in the near future)

    Pontificating on the an imaginary straw in the eyes of your four RC opponents, and haven’t noticed a Dr Bradley in your own?
    ===
    Piotr

  24. 24
    nigelj says:

    Keith Woolard @22

    “There is a reason Bradley has resorted to an “argument from personal incredulity”, as do I. I am incredulous that this film has been promoted on a “scientific.” (I assume you mean website)

    The article is mostly about climate mitigation, and this website does discuss mitigation from time to time, eg we have the Forced Responses thread. I don’t see that a popular science website like this targeting the general public has to stick religiously to the hard sciences. Surely its ok to talk about related issues? Most popular science magazines mention other matters intersecting with the science from time to time.

    “The film is written, directed and starred by an actor”

    You are engaging in an ad hominem. You haven’t demnonstrated that any of the content is wrong.

    “perhaps you would like to check on IMDB the scientific panel employed to make sure it is all correct, or even just a consultant. And to save you the trouble, there is none.”

    Apparently the content on the climate science is just the IPCC position so you dont need a panel to check that.

    “By Rasmus’ own admission, it is a work of imagination. Trying to defend it scientifically is beyond a joke”

    Strawman.

  25. 25

    #22, KW–

    The film is written, directed and starred by an actor…

    Nobody talks about this, but do you realize that all but a tiny fraction of movies ALSO have actors in one or more of these CRUCIAL film-making roles?!

    I think this should be looked into!! What gives such a tiny, unrepresentative occupation the right to speak to and for everybody else??!!

    (OK, I might be kidding–just a little.)

  26. 26
    nigelj says:

    I think accurate climate scare stories are needed, but you also need a big emphasis on the positives of climate mitigation. This is because basic psychology tells us that humans are hardwired to respond to immediate threats like covid 19 better than more distant threats like climate change:

    https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190304-human-evolution-means-we-can-tackle-climate-change

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