By Melina Paris, Editorial Assistant
Over the past three-and-a-half years, we’ve watched the Trump administration bend trusted institutions to its will by rolling back decades of environmental protections for the sake of helping fossil fuel companies hoard profit and power. So much so, people of conscience are starting to believe that the only way forward for ecological and progressive change is to eliminate these institutions. As a result, public-private partnerships are viewed with prejudice. This can be problematic.
Earlier this year, I reviewed two environmental films, Beyond The Brink: California’s Watershed [an educational video] produced by Jim Thebaut, president of The Chronicles Group followed by Planet Of The Humans by director Jeff Gibbs and executive produced by Michael Moore.
In California’s Watershed, former landscape engineer, Thebaut, presented solutions for dispersing water from California watersheds through the Sierra Nevada forests to supply California’s agriculture and the commons. California’s Watershed asserts that the production of biofuels, produced through selective burning of forest trees, can play a part in providing a sustainable and healthy California watershed.
In building evidence for this solution, the video presented serious environmental and water supply issues in terms of agriculture and posited that forest overgrowth of trees from a century of fire suppression has degraded the ability to store water. But it didn’t connect on an ecological level how producing biofuels would help. Further, biofuels come along with a host of other problems which were not evaluated or quantified in the brief length of this video. However, in a later conversation with Thebaut he discussed more solutions for forest water channels not discussed in the video.
California’s Watershed is connected to a longer film titled Beyond The Brink [www.youtube.com/Beyond-The-Brink]. The full length film posits if forests are restored to a density historical to the 1900s, the hypothesis is that it may be possible to get more run off from the Northern Sierra with restoration of mechanical thinning of forests and controlled fire. The film showed the benefits resulting from the production of biofuels like, opportunities for public private partnerships, utilizing biomass as a carbon resource and converting biofuels into things people need.
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