As part of the Transformational Change Methodologies Lab through the University of Guelph's ReVision Centre, I made this short film. It speaks to the underlying motivations for my research.
On Monday, October 8, 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a special report detailing the impacts of a global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius. Previous IPCC reports had been… conventional. This one was different. The dire state caused by human activity was made clear: we are already seeing the effects of 1 degree of warming and if we want to avoid loss of ecosystems and the loss livelihoods and health that are tied to these ecosystems, we NEED, TO ACT, NOW.
A few days after the release of this report, I had this dream: I am with a crowd, boarding a new commercial riverboat – the ones with the big red spinning paddles at the back. We are on a beautiful water way: a clear river surrounded by old growth coniferous trees. I’m on the top deck and I look over the edge of the boat, down into the river. I can see the river’s bottom: it’s a road with markings. Pointing in the direction we are heading are large arrows with the word “RODENTS” written inside. Pointing in the opposite direction is another arrow with a word, but I can’t see it clearly.
The other passengers and I are laughing about the strange arrows on the river bottom. Then, suddenly, we’re pushed up against the railings, the boat has come to a halt at the edge of a massive waterfall. The boat begins to turn and my eyes close. My eyes open again and I’m removed, an observer looking at this boat from afar, hanging over the edge of a waterfall. Eyes close, eyes open. I’m back on the boat now and the boat turns, engines on maximum to propel against the current. An alarm sounds, and I get my lifevest. My dream turns sepia as if we’ve suddenly be transported back in time. Some people are jumping ship: they thought we were going to go over the edge.
Eyes close, eyes open. I’m an observer again and underwater with those who are drowning. I see a little girl. She closes her eyes. Then everything vanishes except her glasses and a shoe and a Canadian Heritage Minute frames the scene. The last thing I see before I wake up is a historical landmark sign: it marks the site where many died when the boat almost went over but turned around.