Bill Moyer, co-founder of the Vashon’s Backbone Campaign, is profiled in “The Race to Save the World,” a new documentary about climate change activists. Moyer also appears on one of the versions of the film’s posters, leading a sea of “kayactivists” during Backbone Campaign’s ShellNO action in 2015 (Photo Courtesy The Race to Save the World).

Bill Moyer, co-founder of the Vashon’s Backbone Campaign, is profiled in “The Race to Save the World,” a new documentary about climate change activists. Moyer also appears on one of the versions of the film’s posters, leading a sea of “kayactivists” during Backbone Campaign’s ShellNO action in 2015 (Photo Courtesy The Race to Save the World).

Local Groups Bring Climate Change Doc, Talks to Island

Vashon’s Backbone Campaign to screen documentary profiling local activist Bill Moyer.

Expert talk: “The Climate Change Crisis and the Path to Zero Carbon”

Dr. Charles Kutscher, a Fellow and Senior Research Associate of the University of Colorado Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI) will present a talk, “The Climate Change Crisis and the Path to Carbon Zero,” at 11 a.m. Sunday, April 18, on Zoom.

Kutscher has given presentations on climate change solutions throughout the US and abroad, and he has been involved in several recent climate change projects, including the RASEI report, “Accelerating the US Clean Energy Transformation: Challenges and Solutions by Sector.”

The talk, presented by Vashon Island Unitarian Fellowship, can be accessed from a link posted at viuf.org/sunday. After the talk, Kutscher will answer questions from attendees.

Kutscher will provide up-to-date background on the seriousness of the climate change crisis and describe the urgency of a reasonable energy transformation. Primarily, he will discuss the achievable approach of using solar and wind to produce enough electricity to satisfy all the energy needs possible, as well as the challenges of utilizing these variable energy sources.

He will also present an overview of how to deal with energy needs that are more challenging to electrify, and also discuss various means being explored for the very important step of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Kutsher brings a lifetime of experience and expertise to his talk. He spent four decades as a renewable energy researcher and manager at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and was the director of the Thermal Sciences Center when he retired in July 2018. He is a Fellow of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and served as the Society’s chair in 2000 and 2001. He led the 2007 ASES study, “Tackling Climate Change in the U.S.”

New doc, “The Race to Save the World” profiles activists including local hero

Next week, Vashon’s Backbone Campaign will host a virtual watch party of “The Race to Save the World,” a new documentary that profiles well-known islander Bill Moyer, Backbone’s Campaign’s ShellNO action in 2015, and other high-profile climate actions and activists.

The online watch party will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 25, followed by a panel discussion featuring activists in the film, including Moyer, who is executive director of the Backbone Campaign.

Other panelists will include Abby Brockway, a mother who took direct action as part of the Delta 5 and stopped a coal train in Seattle; Michael Foster, a valve turner who shut off a tar sands pipeline in North Dakota; Joe Gantz, filmmaker; and Margaret Flowers, of Popular Resistance.

“The Race to Save The World,” a recent award-winner on the film festival circuit, has also received accolades from leaders in the environmental movement for its people-powered narrative, focused on climate warriors ages 15 to 79 who are powerful examples of how ordinary people can make a difference.

The poster for the documentary, “The Race to Save the World” (Courtesy Photo).

The poster for the documentary, “The Race to Save the World” (Courtesy Photo).

“The courage of the climate activists featured — young and old — gives goosebumps,” said Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International. “Story-telling, litigation and civil disobedience are essential to creating a greener, healthier and fairer future for all.”

Michael Mann, a scientist, author and professor of atmospheric science, said audiences will be inspired by the film, as it “shows how each of us can use our voice and our actions to save this planet from destruction.”

For Moyer, who co-founded The Backbone Campaign with friends in 2003, seeing his organization’s longtime work profiled so prominently in the film has been an inspiration, too.

“I feel so honored to be part of this,” he said. “Everything I’ve ever been involved in has been a collaboration, and this is also a huge opportunity to share the lessons learned over so many years — providing a way to have more impact.”

The Emmy Award-winning director of the film, Joe Gantz, said that he “didn’t want to make a climate change film that is telling people how bad things are and how much worse they are going to get.” Instead, he said, he structured his film around stories of struggle, solidarity and success playing out at protests, in courtrooms and inside activists’ homes.

To view the trailer for the film, visit vimeo.com/520076942. To purchase tickets to the virtual watch party, go to backbonecampaign.org/race2save.


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