The 4th Revolution: energy autonomy

Title The 4th Revolution: energy autonomy
Director(s) Carl A. Fechner
Date released (year) 2011
Production company Fechner Media
Length 8mins (trailer to full length feature film)
Location International
eywords/tags Energy, sustainability, technology
Link to film
Synopsis We   know that we can do something.

Sun, wind, hydro and geothermal energy are natural sources accessible to   everyone all over the world without making any difference. And they are   renewable, free and available in the long run. Only the widespread knowledge   about the possibilities of renewable energy can ignite an international   movement and take the absolutely necessary energy transition. We need a   quickly enlightening medium that conveys this knowledge comprehensible and   compactly. This can be provided by a great documentary. We have made it.

Reviews/discussion a great, informative, realistic and well   done movie/documentary on the upcoming change/opportunity behind renewable   energies. the movie is entirely sponsored/funded by single individuals with   no support/influence of any governmental organization whatsoever. it covers a   broad spectrum of existing realities and sheds its light on future   perspectives: the transformation of currant energetic, ecologic and economic   crisis into a process of democratization and global solution. the movie   starts in los angeles with hermand scheer, expert of ren. energy, scientist,   author and alternative nobel price winner, pointing out critical words to the   current model of architecture…. >>

that is not   implementing minimally solar and renewable technology on its high-rise   buildings and general urban design. It further brings you to the innovative   -Nordic Folk Center- in Denmark, where clean renewable energy has been   introduced since 30 years successfully providing now a whole region with   sufficient energy coming from 100% renewable sources. The Center is today a   shining example for the world and many students from all over the world come   here to learn and expand their knowledge. Like Malinese Ibrahim Togola, here   for one year and now developing, with the support of its government,   renewable energy projects into the small rural communities of his country.   The Movie continues to Bangladesh with Muhammad Yunu (”The Banker of the   Poor” Nobel Price Winner for Micro-Credits) where woman co-operatives   started to educate their communities and families introducing solar panel in   their villages and gaining so major financial and individual independence   from the urban cities. Germany, China, The Amazons – the movie takes various   looks at individuals and protagonist as projects, debunking the myth that   ‘renewable energy’ is an unrealistic affair so often propagated by media and   high corporate ranks that are fearing the loss of power and money behind such   a much awaited and inevitable process.




African renewables potential mapped

Bernard Appiah

1 March 2012 |

Some of the best potential   for solar power is in the Sahara belt

European Commission Joint   Research Centre

Tapping into Africa’s renewable   energy could transform living standards across the continent, according   to a report that has mapped the potential of renewables in the region.

The report aims to help   African governments set up renewable energy plans, and has called for the   urgent transfer of relevant knowledge to research and technology partners in   Africa.

“Only if much of the   research, prototyping, demonstration and large-scale deployment are done by   African people, one can accelerate the uptake of renewable energy,” says   the report, published by the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC)   last month (8 February).

Renewable energy has   particular relevance in remote and rural areas, where around 600 million   people live without electricity, and where renewables would be cheaper than   extending national grid services, the report says.

The authors used   geographical data to map out regions that could generate electricity from the   sun, wind, biomass and water. They then identified those regions where using   renewables might be cheaper than existing sources such as diesel or   electricity grids.

“We found good wind   energy potential in North Africa and good solar energy potential in Sub-Saharan Africa   and the Sahara belt,” said the report’s editor, Fabio Monforti-Ferrario.

The report says small   hydroelectric power plants would suit Equatorial Africa, where many people   live closer to river systems than to existing electricity grids.

Monforti-Ferrario added that   “biomass   is the ‘green gold’ of Central Africa”, but cautioned against its   widespread use on sustainability grounds.

Speaking more broadly, he   said Africa’s ability to tap the potential of renewables potential is   hampered by reliance on subsidised diesel fuel.

“It is the policy of   African countries to keep the cost of diesel low, even though [this policy]   is unsustainable. It makes the use of [alternatives like] photovoltaic   systems unattractive to consumers,” he said.

This view is backed by   Dieter Holm, honorary   board member of the International Solar Energy Society based in South Africa.   But he said the report had focused too heavily on petrol subsidies, and not   enough on the ability of renewable to create jobs.

Holm said that in Africa   photovoltaics and wind energy can create 62 and 12 jobs per gigawatt hour of   electricity produced respectively, compared to less than one job in the coal   industry for the same energy output.

“Political   decision-makers in Africa should be well-informed of the overall potential of   renewable energy sources in terms of electricity generation, job creation,   and environmental sustainability,” Holm told SciDev.Net.


Link   to full report      [3.16MB]



Links to other resources  


Title Ubuntu- Global Oneness Project
Date released (year) 2009
Production company ChannelSideBySide
Length 8.18mins
Location South Africa
Keywords/tags Ubuntu, sustainability, justice,  community
Link to film

Synopsis “I am because you are,”   is the deep meaning of Ubuntu, a traditional African philosophy recognizing   the shared essence within humanity and life. In this film, we visit Dorah   Lebelo and the GreenHouse Project, Credo Mutwa, the great Zulu traditional   healer and teacher, and the forem Deputy Minister of Health, Nozizwa   Madlala-Routledge, to learn more about this fundamental understanding of life   and its ramifications on how we treat each other, ourselves, and the earth.



The Global Oneness   Project is a digital, ad-free, bi-monthly magazine. Through stories, we   explore the threads that connect culture, ecology, and beauty. Our collection   of films, photography, and essays feature diverse and dynamic voices from   around the world.




Ubuntu (Zulu/Xhosa   pronunciation: [ùɓúntʼú]; English: /uˈbʊntuː/ ooBUUN-too)   or “uMunthu” (Chichewa) and “Botho” (Setswana) is   a southern African ethic   or humanist   philosophy   focusing on people’s allegiances and relations with each other. Some believe   that ubuntu is a classical African philosophy or worldview[1] whereas others point out that the   idea of ubuntu is a philosophy or worldview developed in written sources   during the second half of the 1900s.[2] The word ubuntu has its origins   in the Bantu languages of southern Africa.


Links to other resources  Mvuselelo Ngcoya (2009) Ubuntu: Globalization,   Accommodation, and Contestation in South Africa.


Jacqueline Church (2012) Sustainable Development   and the Culture of uBuntu, De Jure, 45 Volume 2: Download Article in PDF


How can we build a sustainable world?


How can we achieve a sustainable world? from InsightShare on Vimeo.

Title How can we build a sustainable world?
Director(s) Participatory production
Date released   (year) 2012
Production   company Insightshare
Length 3.03mins
Location South Africa, India, Bangladesh, Ethiopia
Keywords/tags Climate change, sustainability
Link to film
Synopsis A short film of voices from India, South   Africa, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia, giving their ideas on how we can achieve a   sustainable world.


Reviews/discussion Participatory Video (PV) is a   set of techniques to involve a group or community in shaping and creating   their own film. The idea behind this is that making a video is easy and   accessible, and is a great way of bringing people together to explore issues,   voice concerns or simply to be creative and tell stories.

This process can be very   empowering, enabling a group or community to take action to solve their own   problems and also to communicate their needs and ideas to decision-makers   and/or other groups and communities. As such, PV can be a highly effective   tool to engage and mobilise marginalised people and to help them implement   their own forms of sustainable development based on local needs.


Links to   other resources See Visioning the Future PV blog with   videos:

Global Oneness Project:

What if we Change?

Wangari Maathai & The Green Belt Movement


Title Wangari Maathai & The Green   Belt Movement
Director(s) Landon Van soest
Date released (year) 2010
Production company StridesinDevelopment
Length 8.52mins
Location Kenya
Keywords/tags Environmentalism, deforestation,   sustainability, empowerment
Link to film
Synopsis Wangari Maathai is a Kenyan   environmentalist and political activist. In the 1970s, Maathai founded the   Green Belt Movement, an environmental NGO focused on environmental   conservation and women’s rights. In 2004, she became the first African woman   to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for her contributions to sustainable   development, democracy, and peace.


Reviews/discussion The Green Belt Movement   ( organizes rural women in Kenya to plant trees,   an effort that combats deforestation while generating income for the   community and promoting empowerment for women. Since Maathai founded the   Movement, over 40 million trees have been planted and over 30,000 women have   been trained in forestry, food processing, beekeeping, and other sustainable,   income-generating activities.


Links to other resources

Stolen Fish


Title Earth   report: Stolen Fish
Director(s) TV/e
Date released (year) 2009
Production company TV/e
Length 11   mins
Location WEST   AFRICA
Keywords/tags Sustainability,   oceans, food, fishing
Link to film
Synopsis Illegal fishing is a multi million dollar   business and one of the most serious threats to global fish stocks. In a   2-part programme Earth Report reveals the pirate fishing trawlers illegally   plundering the seas off West Africa. In part one we visit local communities   devastated by the activities of pirate vessels and watch as one illegal   trawler is boarded and caught red-handed.


Reviews/discussion From the BBC:

“The problem of illegal fishing   is enormously widespread,” observes Michael Lodge, an OECD fisheries   expert.

“We have estimated the problem as being as much as 20% of the global   catch.”

Since 2000, the UN has been warning about the grave consequences of   overfishing in the world’s seas.

However, the impact of illegal fishing is adding to the strain on the already   overexploited oceans.

The skippers of the illegal fishing boats tend to favour the waters of some   of the poorest nations, which are often inadequately policed as a result of a   lack of resources.

The Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of West Africa, is one of the most fertile   fishing grounds in the world.

For centuries, the waters have supported generations of small coastal   communities, but as the world’s appetite for fish continues to grow, the rich   fishing grounds have attracted the attention of illegal vessels.
Many developing nations do not have funds to police their waters

Almost half of the boats in the area are estimated to be operating outside   the law.

Marine conservationist Helen Bours, who has been tracking illegal and   unlicensed boats for more than 20 years, says that it is a hidden world of   which very little is known.

“These vessels are at sea for years,” she tells Television Trust   for the Environment’s (TVE) Earth Report programme on the BBC World News   Channel.

“They transfer their fish on to other vessels, they get refuelled at sea;   even the crews are changed at sea.

“So nobody sees what’s happening, and there’s nobody to go there and   tell them to respect the rules. It’s another world.”

Fisheries experts from the UK government have attempted in recent years to   assess the scale of the problem.

“In 2005, we commissioned a major study of the impact of illegal fishing   on developing nations,” said Tim Bostock, a fisheries advisor for the   UK’s Department for International Development.

“We were able to derive a total figure for the value of fish stolen from   the world each year. This figure was of the order of US $9bn (£6.3bn).

Taking stock

Two inspectors from Guinea, during an expedition organised by Greenpeace and   the Environmental Justice Foundation, headed out to sea with a list of the   vessels authorised to fish the nation’s waters.
Local fishermen say illegal fishing is threatening their way of life

From the air, a group of Chinese trawlers was spotted and after a quick check   it was found that one of the vessels was not licensed.

“This vessel is under arrest for fishing without a licence in Guinean   waters,” explained Helen Bours.

“They never expect a surveillance patrol to come that far from shore   because they know the Guinean authorities don’t normally have the means to   come out this far.”

During the month-long expedition, about half of the 92 vessels spotted in the   region were found to be fishing illegally.

Many of the unlicensed boats use huge weighted nets with a very fine mesh.   These are scraped along the sea bed, scooping up everything in their path.

This method catches a very large amount of juvenile fish, wiping out the   chance of these creatures reaching sexual maturity and spawning future   generations to replenish the fish stocks.

Not only is the problem threatening the long-term economic opportunities for   the region, it is depriving the population of a very valuable source of   protein.

“It’s stealing the fish, killing people and endangering the marine   environment and the fish stocks; not just here but all over the world,”   said Ms Bours.

The precise figure for the number of vessels fishing illegally is unknown,   but officials are worried that the size of the unlawful fishermen greatly   exceeds most national fishing fleets.

“China is the largest fisher in the world, and the illegal fishers would   come second,” says Joe Borg, the EU fisheries commissioner.

“So we are speaking of fishing carried out legally by bodies like the   EU, Chile and Peru being outranked by illegal fishing.

“We are speaking of a very, very big problem.”


From Greenpeace:

According to the United Nations, over 75 percent of the world’s   fisheries are fully exploited, over exploited or significantly depleted. Some   species have already been fished to commercial extinction; many more are on   the verge.

West African nations have some of the richest fishing grounds in   the world; yet their food security is under threat. European and Asian   fishing fleets have moved into West African waters over the past 30 years   after depleting their own fish stocks. Sub-Saharan Africa is now the only   region on Earth where per capita fish consumption is actually falling, partly   because foreign fishing fleets have removed so much fish.


Links to other resources Greenpeace   Africa, Defending Our Oceans:

The   Global Issues Affecting the World Fish Stocks;

Europe’s   Fleets ‘waste’ Africa’s Fish: