How to save the planet in three simple steps

amazon rainforest
© Amazon rainforest in Brazil (Photo: Gustavo Frazao)

In a new video, Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot explain that we must use nature to fix our broken climate.

There is a new short film starring 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg and Guardian journalist George Monbiot – and it should be essential viewing for anyone who lives on Planet Earth.

While some humans are at odds over whether manmade climate change even exists, we are witnessing the extremes that climate scientists have predicted we would be seeing. Meanwhile, we go along sinking inordinate amounts of money into fossil fuels, while we watch the planet burn.

In just over three and a half minutes, the new video lays out the problems and suggests the solutions. Thunberg says, "To survive, we need to stop burning fossil fuels." But this alone will not be enough, she continues. "Lots of solutions are being talked about, but what about a solution that is right in front of us?"

At this point, Monbiot takes over: “There is a magic machine that sucks carbon out of the air, costs very little, and builds itself. It’s called a tree.”

Investing in nature could remove vast amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as the plant systems grow, think: forests, mangroves, peat bogs, jungles, marshes and seabeds. But these methods get a mere 2 percent of the funding spent on cutting emissions. Meanwhile, we are going the opposite direction and are actively decimating these living systems that are crucial to our survival.

The two activists suggest a three-step plan:

1. PROTECT
2. RESTORE
3. FUND

We need to PROTECT the forests (and other living systems) that are being cut down at the rate of 30 football fields a minute; we need to RESTORE the natural world that we have destroyed; and we need to FUND these natural solutions instead of the fossil fuel industry.

“Nature is a tool we can use to repair our broken climate," says Monibot. "These solutions could make a massive difference, but only if we leave fossil fuels in the ground as well.”

The film was produced by Tom Mustill of Gripping Films – and right on-brand, they walked the walked. Mustill said: “We tried to make the film have the tiniest environmental impact possible. We took trains to Sweden to interview Greta, charged our hybrid car at George’s house, used green energy to power the edit and recycled archive footage rather than shooting new.”

Watch it, absorb it, pass it on.

How to save the planet in three simple steps
In a new video, Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot explain that we must use nature to fix our broken climate.

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