73.7 F

Davis, California

Friday, May 24, 2024

Davis Sunrise Rotary Club hosts screening of ‘Climate Restorers’ at Davis Veterans Memorial Center

The club gave audiences a rare opportunity to watch the series’ first episode before its full release


By MATTHEW MCELDOWNEY — city@theaggie.org


On April 24, The Environmental Committee of the Davis Sunrise Rotary Club hosted a screening for the first part of an expected four-part documentary series “Climate Restorers,” directed by John Bowey and co-produced by Phoebe Barnard, Ph.D.

The film series strives to not only educate people about the gravity of the ongoing climate crisis but also shifts this narrative to highlight the real possibility of healing the damage done to our atmosphere, ecosystems and communities. Its first episode, titled “The Only Way to Predict the Future is to Create it,” focused on counteracting the potent greenhouse gas, methane. 

The Davis Sunrise Rotary Club hosted this screening as a part of the nonprofit’s larger work around climate action and community service. Rotary, an international nonprofit service organization, coordinates acts of service to ensure more communities have things such as access to safe drinking water, healthcare for mothers and a cleaner environment. 

Frances McChesney, a chair member of the environmental committee, helps to ensure that the organization’s volunteers act and serve within the budget of the club, that they are in compliance with the bylaws of the organization as well as any directives or legislation at the federal, state and local level.

As the chair, McChesney has been a part of the environmental committee’s projects to restore natural wildlife around Putah Creek, funding a coral restoration project in Panama, advocating for environmentally conscious concrete and reducing plastic use. 

“One important thing for the environmental committee is that we continue to be a leader and help educate other clubs and people about how to protect the environment: avoiding single-use plastics, minimizing this impact where we can and the Rotary mission itself of service above self,” McChesney said. 

Having done her own share of work on climate restoration projects, including but not limited to the use of iron fertilization to promote ocean biodiversity, McChesney was excited to help host the screening of the film. 

The film was created on a small team and a thin budget, the “Climate Restorers” brings together a wide range of scientists and experts within the climate restoration field for the first time in documentary form according to Bowey.

Addressing himself to the audience before the screening, Bowey emphasizes the importance of a climate-conscious mindset.

“Too many people think of climate change as something purely subtractive,” Bowey said. 

“It makes people believe that they have to cut this and cut that, but that is not always the case.”

In short, Bowey feels that climate solutions could pave the way to new industries and introduce new and higher-quality products to consumers. The hardest hurdle to this is that change itself is uncomfortable, but at the very least it does not have to be uncertain.

The co-producer, Barnard, is an American global change scientist and a professor of conservation biology and environmental futures at the University of Washington. As co-producer, Barnard was concerned with much of the complicated science behind the film process, and thanks to her experience in policy and education, she felt very impassioned about making real changes through climate advocacy. 

Concerned by the unsustainability and lack of mobilization against the issue of climate change, she hopes that the film helps educate people on these issues, but more importantly, she hopes it is able to motivate people rather than discourage them. 

“The world really doesn’t have to be this way, and it certainly doesn’t have to end this way,” Barnard said. “But we have to understand now that we are at a certain crossroads for our civilization, and we have to take back our agency to shape our future.”


Written by: Matthew Mceldowney — city@theaggie.org



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here