Josh Fox performed a rare feat in cinema – he brought the problem together with the solution – all in one frame.
The scene I’m talking about comes about 2/3 into the new HBO film Gasland 2, when Chris Paine, the filmmaker of Who Killed the Electric Car and Revenge of the Electric Car enters the movie. In addition to making great movies, Chris also lives in Culver City; one of his neighbors is the giant Inglewood oil field. Comprising more than 1,000 acres, the oil field and other oil wells around town make Los Angeles home to the largest urban oil and gas field in the country.
The scene in Gasland 2 had Josh sitting in the passenger seat, filming Chris in the drivers’ seat, with the oil pumpjacks slowly pumping oil in the Los Angeles basin in the background. What was truly remarkable about that scene, though, was that Josh Fox didn’t burn a drop of oil to film it: Chris was driving Josh around in his electric Nissan Leaf. Like many EV drivers, Chris’s Leaf is recharged by rooftop solar panels on his home.
In that scene, we could glimpse the 20th century dirty fossil fuel paradigm colliding with the 21st century powered by clean renewable energy. We know we face a tough battle against the oil and gas industry – but the good news is that these problems aren’t unsolvable. Chris Paine represents a surging movement of consumers who are fed up with the oil industry, and have walked away from it. The solutions are available – we just have to put them to use.
Jennifer is a co-founder and current board member of Plug In America, Executive Director at Earthworks, and saw both Who Killed the Electric Car and Gasland at Sundance Film Festivals.