It would be a “win-win” situation, says Julia Steinberger. Steinberger is Professor of Environmental Economics at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. If everyone participates in climate change, then buildings can be renovated and made climate-friendly, diets can be changed and mobility can become more collective and emission-free.
But things are very different. Since the beginning of climate conferences 30 years ago, CO has become worldwide2Emissions are up 60 percent, glaciers are melting, seas are rising and land is wilting.
“Governments knew what to do, but they didn’t,” directs the director Joanna Schilhagen Her latest film is about the climate crisis and she immediately follows the question of why.
Noisy Spring gives quite clear answers. Swedish human ecologist Andreas Malm puts it this way in the film: “Companies that produce oil, gas and coal for a profit keep investing to find more reserves. It is a systematic imperative. It is imperative for these companies to keep and grow.”
Malm says that the task of developed countries today is to “stitch the wheels of capital accumulation” in order to pave the way for companies to generate more profits. International competition for spatial advantages stands in the way of the end of the fossil fuel industries just as progressive governments are under pressure from the international state structure.
The film makes it clear that the government cannot expect climate change to occur at a fast enough pace. Green capitalism also amplifies the ecological crisis and neo-colonial inequality.
“Growth means emissions, and therefore it is completely incompatible with settled human life on Earth,” says Julia Steinberger. Although the climate movement has brought issues into public discourse through school strikes, mass demonstrations and the occupation of open coal mines, this is little more than a symbolic impetus.
“We can organize the production ourselves”
The “noisy spring” defines the blind spot of movement and at the same time the lever of collective power in the sphere of production. Schilhagen notes that “the structural impotence of the climate movement will persist as long as it ignores the structural power of workers.”
“We can put capitalism at a standstill by striking together, we can overcome it by seizing the means of production, we can replace it by organizing production ourselves” – with this Schilhagen advances Part Two, the fictional part of her film.
Cartoon characters narrate life in post-revolution times in 2024. They talk about how the ecological revolution happened, and what are the advantages of collectively organized production. “Only when we take control of the productive fabric of society can we finally begin to do what is necessary to reduce climate change,” the voiceover explains.
And that would be: a democratic, decentralized, grassroots energy system, the relocation of economic cycles, the socialization of production conditions, with those affected making central decisions – all through synchronized global networks. A world you can only wish for for our planet and all its inhabitants – “win-win, all-win”.
With her documentary partly, and partly fiction, Joanna Schilhagen wants to contribute to letting go of a time “when it was easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism,” she wrote. This undoubtedly succeeded in their remarkable display.
The staging looks too smooth and perfect to be completely convincing. However, “The Loud Spring” opens up spaces for reflection that find not very much space: how, for example, a pernicious social system that brings so great profits to a few can be substituted for the great disadvantages of the many, a system that has also been gradually destroying our livelihoods since 150 general.
The focus of the film is to appeal to the climate movement to show solidarity with the ongoing labor disputes and thus approach the “center of power” and workers in production and other related branches systematically.
This is exactly what some climate activists and union organizers have been doing for some time. This gave rise to initiatives such as “United to Fight”, “Climate Unionists” or labor strife in Bosch in Munich. Because, according to the idea behind the film, there is great power in the mass of workers in production, in energy companies, in logistics – and with it the ability to change.
The film thus provides fruitful developments for strategic debates within the climate movements. However, at the same time, its weaknesses are also shown here.
More questions than answers
Roaring Spring conceals the transition between the present and the present, between the climate crisis and the successful and peaceful environmental revolution. However, this particular process of regulation, awareness, and self-empowerment will be interesting and important. In addition, the “noisy spring” makes invisible any contradictions that will certainly arise during the transformation.
And so the film leaves viewers with more questions than answers about the future of climate neutrality: How did it manage, despite economic pressures and fears about the future, to lose people’s rights with their simple solutions and hostile images? Why do people from poor countries so willingly give up all the advantages of a Western lifestyle of consumption, exclusionary mentality, better, faster, and beauty, even though this has long been considered desirable?
What had to happen to the fictional commercial artist in the movie to realize that his job was pointless because it was only meant to awaken people’s additional consumer needs? And how was a Lidl employee able to convince former business partners to continue delivery to his branch after the retail group had been merged (in fiction)?
These are just some of the questions that come to mind while watching. The upcoming performances of Roaring Spring provide a good opportunity to discuss all this, often with the presenting director.