Fossil Free

Fossil Free

2015, Environment  -   17 Comments
Ratings: 7.64/10 from 75 users.

Impassioned climate change activists all over the world may have a new and entirely unexpected ally in their cause: the financial sector. On the heels of the recent climate change talks in Paris, groups of concerned citizens have gathered their resources to place pressure on wealthy institutions who invest in the fossil fuel industry. The new documentary Fossil Free chronicles their mission.

From The Netherlands to New York, their movement is beginning to gain momentum. Their collective efforts are aimed at various organizations across the globe who invest in gas, coal and oil companies, including universities, banks, governments and large-scale investment firms. Their argument? The money you invest serves as a reflection of your personal values. Calling upon their view of fossil fuel industries as the major contributors to an unsustainable environment, these activists implore divestment as a means of restoring faith and reputation with the public.

The film contains portraits of those who are working diligently to propel this grassroots movement. Many of them are young, and they view themselves as the last generation who can truly make a difference in curbing the climate change epidemic. They're determined to pick up the slack from an older generation who remains apathetic to these pressing issues.

In Berlin, a young woman works to secure time with a top-ranking government official to discuss the city's continued investment in fossil fuels. In New York, an innovative online platform called works to mobilize and concentrate the movement's efforts on the global stage. In Amsterdam, activists work to convince one of the most significant investment firms in the region to remove these companies from their portfolios.

Surprisingly, several investment firms have proven receptive to the persuasions of the movement, though their reasoning often falls on financial risk rather than the ethical considerations. From their perspective, the fossil fuel industries are overpriced assets, and increasingly precarious propositions for the potential investor.

The climate change movement is multi-faceted, and victories can be won on many sides if we remain fully engaged in the issue. Fossil Free is a valuable examination of one such effort to contain this growing crisis.

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John Stoeffler
5 years ago

And what form of energy are they suggesting we use? No talk of that. Face the facts there is NO OTHER source to use, or what is it???

6 years ago

As I watched the video it just proved how much we rely on fossil fuel. How is everything manufactured if we don't use this energy? The video was full of plastics, the vast array of computer screens, the microphones, even the takeaway cup with plastic cover and straw. How do you build a wind turbine without using products of the oil industry? If we stop investing in fossil fuel, what will replace it? It's not just running the sustainable transport, it's the actual building of the trains, cars and lorries. Without investment, the factories will go out of business and no cars will be built to use the solar energy.

I am very interested in the concept of the world becoming fossil free, but I would also like to listen to a two-sided dialogue, to hear the pros and cons, and to understand what is a viable alternative.

Olov Källgarn
7 years ago

Those commenting that people can not use fossil fuel based transport but still protest our use of fossil fuels have not committed themselves to many seconds of thought. You can live in a system that you don't agree with. The movement is saying, we must keep apx 80 percent of fossil fuels in the ground, and let's make sure that happens. The system needs to change to sustainable transport etc. In the meantime, many of the activists keep their flights down and use trains as far as possible which in some countries is fossil fuel free. But any individual is part of a system that we can just silently agree with, or try and change for the better.

7 years ago

Most people commenting here seem to be a combination of illiterate and/or uneducated which is unfortunate and makes me want to post something positive because this is an amicable movement. However I came here to note that the woman's reaction to the Berlin meeting was unreasonable. It costs money to transition from fossil fuels. Capital investment, moving jobs, changing electrical infrastructure, meeting electrical demands at peak and non peak hours of the day...not as simple as she seems to think, at least in that moment.

7 years ago

Blaice. Yes the keeping of domestic pets and feeding them the products of animal husbandry also places too large of a burden upon our limited resources and this practice needs to be curbed.

7 years ago

And sorry but saying that someone will try to "own" sunlight is pretty odd. You can own the technology that produces electricity from sunlight but that's usual isn't it? I mean if they pour more research into making more efficient photovoltaic cells can only be good and make electricity cheaper...

But yeah we already have a decent solution for getting relatively clean energy and it's called fission, but the misinformed public is so scared of it that they would rather burn coal than have a nuclear plant ( Germany is a prime example ), which is quite sad.

7 years ago

What would it take to convince people that global warming in the past couple decades is man made? Scientific consensus is that GW is extremely likely to be caused by humans. Extremely likely is 95%. Of course you have a slight chance that it isnt caused by humans but that is unlikely.

Sure the cycles on earth change, but not as fast as the last couple of decades. Please check the data and see for yourself, just google it ( many major atmospheric research institues have it publically available ). Don't make quick decisions on feelings alone without researching the issue.

7 years ago

All of the hand wringing and social morality clouds the only real statement made in this documentary.
It is a good move to divest from the unstable oil market. It's become far too emotional...too reactive to fear.
A good investment is in a fiscally conservative market where predictability is far easier and risk is more responsible.

7 years ago

I am afraid from what I gather from this doc is that they are just trying to redirect the financial sector into the renewable resources, which is most likely going to lead to corporations 'owning' sunlight, wind and water. Water has already been declared a 'good' that can be owned and traded. Sunlight and wind might not be far behind.

The fact is that renewable resources can't turn a profit unless owned fully as they are readily available to everyone. Scarcity is at the core of the profit mechanism. This kind of reform is only going to lead to more problems with even more concentration of power among a few. We need to change the system to perhaps something resource-based and apply scientific methods to everyday life, maximizing efficiency and minimizing waste.

As for the climate change "conspiracy", the answer is to buy new cars every year, buy air purifiers and pray to the sun to get cooler... These tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists are idiots with no connection to reality. Meanwhile, f*ck CO2, pump methane into the atmosphere with whatever means available to you! That makes the sun happy from personal experience...

Billy O'D
7 years ago

I have only watched a few minutes so far; but my question is how did all these all these ethically driven people get to these meetings ? If by ANY form of transport involving a fossil-fuel based resource, they are being duplicitous, and need to look inward first, before making demands on others.

7 years ago

Nice premise and all, but protesting fossil fuels will do very little—considering animal agriculture contributes more to climate change by a long shot.... Maybe these people could stop eating animal products and accomplish more than what they are attempting.

7 years ago

Yes pollution is the problem...Want a new vehicle? check out the "revolt trike" on kickstarter. Love thy neighbor like thyself, please....

7 years ago

Sean knows what's up. Any fool who thinks that the earth's climate stays the same forever is an ***** and shouldn't have a say or an opinion about these matters. The whole "global warming" 'conspiracy' (for lack of a better word) is up there with the notion of israel being a country of peace in "history's greatest hoaxes"

How do the "global warming" ***** explain the fact that the co2 levels and temperatures of earth have been fluctuating way more than they are now since long before humans ever started doing anything?

The planet is dynamic. to think that anything is going to be the same forever is so foolish it can't even be addressed.

7 years ago

Thank you for the video. This is a great logical and effective next step in combating climate change. I hope this movement really takes off!

More please!

7 years ago

You ask us to be cool which is ironic given it is the operative word. There is no man made warming caused by Co2 which is the central column of the warming alarmists. What we do have is a pollution problem that is choking the life out of all of us but it is not Co2. The main bad boy is Laughing gas or nitrous oxide along with carbon monoxide and sulphur and it is no laughing matter. I used to live in London but the pollution drove me out. 10,000 people drop dead each year from pollution caused mainly by engine emissions from trucks and cars and that's just in London. Yeah we have a fossil fuel problem but it's not Co2. If it were true I think the Royal navy might have something to say about it given their submariners live in environments where the level of Co2 is a bit above the 400 ppm that seems to scare the bejesus out of all you out there that clearly do not have a clue. Submariners spend weeks at a time sucking in levels of Co2 at over 4000 ppm with no ill effects whatsoever. People that work in commercial green houses suck in 10,000 ppm every day because that's what makes plants grow. The more Co2 the more vegetation but the powers that be want us to abolish Co2. A touch crazy you may think but that's what they are suggesting.