Running On Climate is an 83-minute documentary produced and directed by Robert Alstead and Joanna Clarke.
After decades of watching their increasingly dire warnings about climate change go unheeded, scientists have become the new political “radicals”. Septuagenarian, former NASA climate scientist James Hansen was arrested outside the White House in 2011, a lead that IPCC environmental economist Mark Jaccard and micro-biologist Lynne Quarmby followed.
Dr Andrew Weaver, a renowned, IPCC climate scientist teaching at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, decided he would try and change things from the inside. In 2012, he announced he was going to run for election to the provincial legislature.
It’s unusual for a scientist to run for political office. Even more unusual is that Weaver chose to run for a party that had never won a seat in its 30 year history, the BC Green Party.
Weaver was among the scientific advisers who helped develop a package of climate change policies in BC under previous Premier Gordon Campbell, including the introduction of North America’s first carbon tax in 2008 and provincially legislated carbon emissions targets. The BC carbon tax is often held up as a model for pricing carbon. Now those climate policies that Weaver holds dearly are threatened by the new Premier Christy Clark’s plan to develop a massive liquid natural gas (LNG) industry in the province. Worse, Clark’s promises of a billion dollar bonanza that will make the province “debt free” are, says Weaver, a “pipe dream”.
Running On Climate follows the indefatigable former rugby player and his dedicated team of grassroots campaigners as they set out to defy the naysayers and take the Oak Bay-Gordon Head seat from sitting cabinet minister Ida Chong, street by street.
As the Greens try to butt their way into the two-party system, Running On Climate asks how the west coast province can maintain its leadership on climate change when it is viewed by many in Canada as the “carbon corridor” for the export of fossil fuels to Asia: bitumen from the Alberta oilsands, US thermal coal, and natural gas.
Running On Climate was funded by Alstead Media, previously called icycle.ca productions, and raised $10,000 completion funding through Kickstarter.
The documentary premiered at DOXA Documentary Film Festival in 2015.
“an exhilarating portrait of a grassroots political campaign from the moment of its origin” – Georgia Straight
“At the core of this film is hope and determination.” – The Peak
“Running on Climate ties environmental and climate change issues with politics in a way that could not be more complementary to the present day political Canadian landscape” – Planet Experts
“4 out of 5” – Vancouver Observer
Running On Climate has also featured in news items on a variety of outlets from The National on CBC to Yahoo!, from Co-op Radio to CKNW.
Screening copy, images and media pack are available on request