There was a time when going to the pictures was a treat. We went there to be entertained, to have fun, and to indulge in a bit of escapism. Not any more.

This week I received an email from my local small theatre and occasional cinema, inviting me to attend a couple of screenings. The first title didn’t exactly send my pulse racing: “Thriving – A Journey into Regenerative Farming”:

By visiting farmers who are adopting regenerative practices along the route Clare wanted to see firsthand how people are simultaneously producing food whilst boosting biodiversity and mitigating climate change.

I can’t wait. And the Q&A session afterwards sounds fun…

The second film, however, really plumbs the depths of misery. “Finite -The Climate of Change”. It’s about as interesting and escapist as one might expect from something which – as the email tells me – “…is organised by a group of local climate change activists and is sponsored by Friends of the Earth and Extinction Rebellion North Lakes.”

There is an extensive write-up to encourage us to attend, though it didn’t do it for me:

Inside the core of the climate movement, concerned citizens in Germany put their bodies on the line to save the ancient Hambach forest from one of Europe’s biggest coal mines. Every year since the 1970s, a section of the forest has been cut by Europe’s biggest CO2 emitter, energy giant RWE. Now just 10% remains. Robin, Indigo and Clumsy are part of a secretive community of dedicated activists who have spent years living in self-built treehouses to halt the chainsaws. They are heading for a final showdown with RWE and the police to decide whether the forest is wiped off the map forever, or if the all powerful fossil fuel industry can be stopped before we fall off the cliff of climate breakdown. The activists form an unlikely alliance with a frustrated but tight-knit community in rural northeast England who have spent 30 years fighting plans for a new coal mine next to their homes. Julia, June and their neighbours have exhausted all legal avenues to protect the beautiful valley where their children grew up. With mining about to begin, the community feel they have no choice but to occupy the valley to halt work commencing.

FINITE is a cinematic, timely insider’s view of the world of direct action and climate activism; a raw, shocking, intimate and emotional insight into the David and Goliath battle between ordinary people and fossil fuel corporations. A localised chapter of the story that will define humanity. FINITE lays bare what the green leaders of the world are really doing to our natural environment but also how collective action can turn the tide against all odds.

After the film there will be a Q&A panel and a social with local and national climate activists.

It sounds a barrel of laughs. What worries me is that the organisers at my local theatre-cum-cinema think this is likely to be of interest and to generate a decent attendance. Even more worrying is the thought that others might agree and that the place might be full for the evening.

What with my local building society urging me to check the carbon footprint of my finances, my professional body demanding that I save the planet and my local library pushing climate change indoctrination at me we do seem to have entered a new age of Puritanism. Where did all the fun go?

Pass me the popcorn.


  1. Mark,

    Why on Earth would you not want to go? What better chance to observe a herd of activists grazing peacefully in their natural habitat? Take notes and return to us with visceral accounts of what you saw. Paint pictures with your words. Make us feel that we were there, seeing for ourselves how important the activist is for the future of all our children.

    Anything Attenborough can do, I’m sure you could equal. All you need is a good title. How about ‘Living on another planet’?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Echoing John’s sage words.

    A knowledgeable attendee, pre-armed with a (or similar source) recent print-out showing how badly our 40GW of heavily subsidised wind & solar was performing during the screening may bring down-to-earth a few waverers in the audience.

    Presuming the picture-house was drawing its electricity from the grid, the print-out would show that the screening was only available thanks to gas-fired generation preventing a blackout. 🤣🤣🤣


  3. Mike,

    Thanks for the link. It’s worth a watch. I do actually have sympathy with anyone fighting against the rape of their local environment. I think open-cast coal mining is pretty awful (though as alert readers will know, I have no problem with deep coal mining that is environmentally unobtrusive and creates jobs).

    The problem is that for a lot of these people it’s all about climate change, rather than about environmentalism. They say in the trailer that “it’s all about the money”, yet no environmental campaigners seem concerned that for renewables companies it’s all about the money too. The email plug for the film that I received talked about people who had “exhausted all legal avenues to protect the beautiful valley where their children grew up” and about “the David and Goliath battle between ordinary people and fossil fuel corporations.” Well, I know plenty of people who have exhausted all legal options fighting a David and Goliath battle with renewable corporations, seeking to protect the beautiful valleys where their children grew up. Environmental protestors never seem to care about them. The double standards are deeply disappointing.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. By the way, if anyone’s interested, there’s a website for the film too:

    It includes inevitable links to the websites for Coal Action Network, Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion.

    Joe P – stop it: you know I don’t want to have to go and see it and participate in the Q&As!

    Liked by 2 people

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