Time to Choose: Climate Change Documentary Emphasizes Hope


Conversations surrounding climate change all too often revolve solely around its devastating environmental impacts. Documentary filmmaker Charles Ferguson is trying to change that conversation into one that acknowledges the challenges without overlooking the solutions that are already available to us. His new film, Time to Choose, aims to educate audiences on the problems and solutions surrounding climate change, and to inspire them to choose a more sustainable future.

Executive Producers of the film, Tom Dinwoodie and Jeff Horowitz, shared this hopeful outlook and said that hope is what differentiates Time to Choose from other films about climate change.

“Time to Choose is the only film of its kind that carefully and thoughtfully breaks down the major elements of climate change in a way that is engaging and informative,” Horowitz said. “Better yet, it addresses global warming as a problem that has practical and cost-effective solutions – some of which are already in place. People need to know that climate change is not all about doom and gloom … it is ok to feel optimistic that our future can be better than the past!”

Dinwoodie said that he hopes the film will succeed in pushing discussions concerning climate change in a more positive direction, “to a more constructive and energized focus on the solutions at hand, and the myriad reasons for moving toward them quickly.”

According to Dinwoodie, those myriad reasons extend beyond simply halting runaway climate change.

“One of the key insights [of Time to Choose]is that regardless of Climate Change, there is ample reason to let go the 20th Century paradigm of how we get our energy and our food,” Dinwoodie said. “These include energy security, lower cost energy, breathable air, drinkable water, energy access, income equality, protection of other species, avoidance of resource wars, energy access, educational opportunities in rural Africa, and many other reasons.”
Wind Farm in the NetherlandsDr. Jane Goodall often often remarks how each and every one of us makes an impact every day, and we have to choose what kind of impact we want to make. According to Horowitz, Time to Choose echoes this sentiment.

“It is our hope that people who watch Time to Choose will be inspired to take action! People can make small changes in personal life choices, helping to support a noble cause like Roots & Shoots, or to put pressure on politicians to support a clean climate agenda… As Jane would say, all of us really can make a difference! This movie was made to galvanize change! It is really important that we listen, learn and act,” Horowitz said.

According to Dinwoodie, accomplishing climate goals will require as many people as possible to get motivated and take action.

“The solution to climate will be a ground-game that involves everyone,” Dinwoodie said. “It will require the head of every household and every business to change the way in which they choose to get their energy (electricity, heat and mobility) and their food, including stopping combustion within their homes and avoiding products that use palm oil.”

Horowitz said that there are many actions that individuals can take that can make a difference in the fight against climate change.

“I really think it’s important that people understand that small actions do add up. But the one that is my favorite is to plant a tree,” Horowitz said. “This is a small action that could have enormous positive consequences. If every person on the planet were to plant and nurture just one tree, we would have 7 billion new trees! Imagine what that would do to help clean our air of carbon pollution! While I know everyone does not have a backyard, there are still so many opportunities for even urban dwellers to find a way to plant a tree. And there is nothing more satisfying than to watch it grow!”

Time to Choose began screening in theaters across the country beginning June 3, 2016. Dr. Goodall herself makes an appearance in the film as a featured guest, alongside other scientists and innovators advocating for positive action on climate change.

About Author

Sarah Ruiz is a communications intern at the Jane Goodall Institute. She is currently studying science communication at the College of William and Mary and hopes to pursue a career as a journalist. She is interested in all branches of science, with a specific focus on issues of conservation and ecology.