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Ecological environment images: individual actions under climate change


The 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) is coming to an end. At present, there are still differences in the conference on the future of fossil energy and other issues. In order to jointly respond to the call of the COP28 United Nations Climate Change Conference and pay attention to climate warming and the use of renewable energy, BISFF Beijing International Short Film Exhibition and World Wildlife Fund WWF worked together to launch a series of ecological and environmental video screenings and dialogues to bring climate change to the forefront. The issue of warm new renewable energy has been brought into wider public view.


We selected three wonderful dialogues from the video screening, "Under the Glaciers", "Rethinking Energy" and "Staring at the Sand Sea". Through dialogues with climate scientists, public welfare environmentalists, policy makers and other experts in various fields, We discussed climate issues such as carbon emissions, dust weather and renewable energy. At a time when the use of fossil fuels is urgently needed to be reduced, renewable energy has become the focus of attention from all walks of life. What is the relationship between the adjustment of energy structure and us as individuals? Behind the well-known story of “desert control”, how should we re-examine the relationship between sand seas and humans, desertification and human activities? We try to jointly explore the complexities of climate warming and renewable energy, gain an in-depth understanding of climate issues and challenges under sustainable development, and provide a new perspective for future climate action.


Swipe left to view the BISFF x WWF special planning site

📍German Cultural Center Beijing·Goethe-Institut (China)

Moderator: Zhou Siya



The world has a carbon budget of 1 trillion tons of greenhouse gases, and so far we have used at least 600 billion tons.


Dialogue guest: Tang Weimin



Currently, he is a senior manager of climate energy at WWF, focusing on climate change and carbon trading. He served as China manager of the climate change department of Det Norske Veritas, and later joined the British Climate Change Capital Group (“CCC”) as director and president of China. Manage more than 50 CDM projects of CCC in China, with contract value exceeding 400 million euros and annual emission reduction of more than 14 million tons of CO2. It has accumulated rich experience in the fields of renewable energy and energy efficiency.


We have a concept called Carbon Budget in climate science. The total amount of all greenhouse gases around our earth, including carbon dioxide, methane, etc., has a limit. If it exceeds If we reach this limit, no matter how hard we humans try, once the threshold of climate warming is reached, the deterioration of the entire climate will be unstoppable.


The world has a carbon budget of 1 trillion tons of greenhouse gases. So far we have used at least 600 billion tons, and humans are still emitting about 41 billion tons of greenhouse gases to the earth every year. gas. Therefore, if we do not take urgent action, the trend of climate change may become worse in 10 years.


Recently we will see that any rain now occurs once in a hundred years, and any extreme heat occurs only once in hundreds of years. This will become the norm in the future.If we don’t take more radical measures to reduce emissions, in 10 years we may encounter once-in-a-thousand-year floods and heat every yearAnd so on, so climate change In fact, it is a very serious problem.


Our country has always been a follower in renewable energy, including many technologies, including project implementation and equipment manufacturing. We have always been a follower. When I first started doing these scientific research projects, we heard more about foreign equipment, but now we have slowly changed from following to leading. At least in terms of equipment manufacturing, we are an absolute world power.


For example, at this year's United Nations Climate Conference, the figures released by our country's leaders showed that we provide 50% of the world's wind power equipment and more than 80% of the photovoltaic equipment. Therefore, we continue to provide more equipment to the world in terms of production to jointly fight climate warming. In this regard, I feel that our country does what it says and is in a leading position.


The development of renewable energy still has its challenges. I think the development of renewable energy cannot be separated from the efforts of every industry and everyone. In fact, there are some aspects where we can contribute. For example, nowadays, especially in big cities, people think that electricity bills are actually very negligible, but they still encourage everyone to turn off the lights and eat from one plate when eating, because the washing process consumes a lot of clean water. For example, if we drink a bottle of water, we take it away, etc. By using green travel methods, each of our efforts will drive changes and help build and operate a cleaner power system.


In fact, climate change is closely related to us. I think our country has protected everyone too well, so everyone does not feel many of these problems. But if you are in South America or Africa, any big If there is a drought or a fire, half the country may starve, and then the water source will be gone.


When the earth's temperature rises by 1.5 degrees, it seems to be unstoppable now. If it rises by another two degrees, many people think that spending an extra one or two hundred yuan to turn on more air conditioners will be enough. It is very likely that in 10 or 20 years, more than half of the bees will be gone, and you will no longer be able to eat apples, or an apple will cost 500 yuan each. Then wheat production will decrease by 60%, and soybeans don’t know why. Done. Maybe I think we are too well protected, or our government doesn’t want to scare everyone like this, but these situations are actually very possible. At least you can see that a drought and plague in Africa now actually have a very big impact. So these are actually closely related to each of us.

Tang Weimin (right) at the event



In the topic of environmental protection, renewable energy is the only way to solve human energy problems and environmental problems.

Dialogue guest: Qin Haiyan



Vice-Chairman of the World Energy Association (WWEA), Vice-Chairman of the International Electrotechnical Commission Renewable Energy Certification System (IECRE), Executive Member of the Global Energy Organization (GWO), Secretary of the Energy Professional Committee of the China Renewable Energy Society (CWEA) ⓓ. Director of the National Offshore Power Equipment Quality Supervision and Inspection Center and Director of Beijing Jianheng Certification Center (CGC).


At this stage, the energy structure of society is relatively stable. Why should we give up the existing energy structure and pursue renewable energy instead? Because energy is so important to human production and life. Without energy, it would be difficult for humans to survive and develop, let alone enter the era of civilization. Energy is also constantly changing. Every time energy changes, it is actually a new progress for mankind.


Our country is still in an era dominated by coal. Why is there so much smog? The smog in Beijing around 2012 was very serious. In fact, the smog in London was also very serious more than 100 years ago. In fact, it is caused by the energy structure. Nuclear energy is also very controversial, such as the most famous Chernobyl incident. Hydropower is definitely very clean, but after all, there are very few places where hydropower can be developed. Coal produces pollution, and now a new problem has arisen, the so-called climate change. Because humans burn a large amount of fossil energy, the concentration of carbon dioxide is increasing, leading to the greenhouse effect. Over the years, everyone has seen it and personally felt the harshness of this environment. There are more and more extreme weather events, which are all caused by climate change. How to solve this problem? For human civilization to continue to develop, new energy sources must be found.


Traditional energy can no longer support our sustainable development, so wind energy and solar energy have stepped onto the stage in the past two years. Wind power was originally very expensive. The cost of generating electricity 10 years ago was about one yuan per unit. All of our wind power projects are located in barren mountains and uninhabited places. Now in places like Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang, we can generate electricity for 15 to 20 cents per kilowatt hour, which is cheaper than thermal power. The local thermal power is 30 cents per kilowatt hour. Using such energy with no pollution and no carbon dioxide emissions is our goal. Wind and light are inexhaustible. The coal reserves and production ratio in our country is calculated by dividing the reserves by the annual mining volume. There are still 50 years of coal left to mine.


We all know that cities must use electricity. At present, perhaps more than ten percent of our country's power supply comes from wind power. It is impossible to build wind power next to some residential areas because it is such a huge thing. Wind energy facilities around the city are mainly concentrated next to factories in some industrial parks, and there are also some distributed wind power. If you have time, you can go to Jiangyin or even some lubricant factories in Tianjin to build decentralized wind power installations.


When wind power first started, some environmental organizations would say that if the wind turbines were erected, they would "kill the birds", "the cows underneath would no longer produce milk", and "the sheep would no longer graze". First of all, any engineering equipment used by humans cannot have no impact on the environment. The so-called killing of birds may be the most impressive question for everyone. We have done a lot of statistics at home and abroad. Wind power has been engaged in foreign countries for 30 to 40 years. Before developing wind power, they did a lot of research on the impact on the environment. Is the chance that a bird will die after hitting a moving car very small? Today, a hundred orders of magnitude fewer birds are killed when they hit wind turbines than when they hit cars. Therefore, it is a very small probability event for a bird to hit a wind turbine.


Wind power has minimal impact on the environment. Everyone has seen a lot of people engaged in offshore wind power. In fact, the artificial islands and reefs formed by offshore wind power on the basis of wind power have had a positive impact on biodiversity. Various organisms such as fish and microorganisms under the wind turbines have actually increased. . The biggest criticism of the impact of wind power on the environment is landscape pollution in Europe. People think it affects the skyline and looks ugly, but to me this is a matter of opinion.


China’s wind power resource reserves exceed 6 billion kilowatts on land and more than 2.2 billion kilowatts in offshore areas. In other words, if wind power is fully exploited, it can fully meet human needs for electricity. Currently, the installed capacity of wind power in our country is about 500 million kilowatts, and the global installed capacity is 1 billion kilowatts, with China accounting for half. This is just the beginning.


At this stage, there is actually no technical difficulty in promoting wind power on a large scale. The most difficult thing for us to do wind power 10 years ago was that wind power was too expensive and the cost was too high. Now we can do it cheaper than thermal power, so basically there is no problem technically and economically.


But there are still two major challenges to continue developing wind power. The first is the transformation of the power system. Currently, wind energy accounts for only 10% of the entire power system. We need to eliminate coal power generation. When more than 90% comes from wind power, the entire power system is actually facing a major change. Because wind power, photovoltaics and thermal power are completely different, wind and light are volatile, and the original power system is definitely not suitable for this kind of power source. From the perspective of the entire power system, there are technologies that can solve it, including energy storage and other methods. This is one of them.


The second is to embrace the future in terms of understanding, system, and especially culture. When a new thing appears, it will definitely have an impact on interests. What should we do if we are engaged in thermal power generation? This conflict of interests will become more and more intense, and this is a problem that requires coordination and resolution. The change of thinking is also very important. People not only have to make decisions for profit, but human civilization needs to be realized by the continuous progress of thinking.


In the topic of environmental protection, renewable energy is the only way to solve human energy problems and environmental problems. The most realistic and economical thing we see currently that can meet human energy security, solve energy environmental problems, and maintain sustainable development is renewable energy.

Qin Haiyan (right) at the event



Sandstorms, a natural phenomenon, cannot be completely eliminated, but the harm can be reduced.


Dialogue guest: Zhou Jinxing



Director of the Soil and Water Conservation Engineering Teaching and Research Office of Beijing Forestry University. He serves as the director of the Yunnan Jianshui Ecological Station of the China Terrestrial Ecosystem Observation and Research Network (CTERN), the director of the Forestry Ecological Engineering Research Center of the Ministry of Education, the chairman of the National Innovation Alliance for Southwest Karst Rocky Desertification Control, and the rocky desertification monitoring and research director of the China Forestry Engineering Construction Association. Deputy Chairman of the Comprehensive Management Professional Committee. He was awarded the provincial and ministerial level candidate for the National Forestry and Grassland Administration's "Hundred Thousand Talents Project", the "China Forestry Youth Science and Technology Award", the "China Soil and Water Conservation Youth Science and Technology Award", and the "Beilin Scholar" outstanding youth. Research areas: soil and water conservation and desertification prevention, rocky desertification control, and ecological restoration projects.


Our country's original land desertification was still relatively serious. Limited by the past socio-economic development level, there was no emphasis on preventing and controlling all these sandstorm disasters.


The grass grid sand barrier shown in the video is an engineering method of sand control. The formation of mobile sand dunes is due to the organic matter in the soil being blown away. There is no sticky material in the soil, and there is no space for plants to survive. If you use grass grids, it is equivalent to adding artificial organic matter. After planting it, you can stabilize the flowing sand dunes.


In addition, grass grid sand barriers also increase surface organic matter, including some insects, which can improve the microclimate. Therefore, fixing the ground surface can not only reduce flying sand and dust, but also improve the environment. Grass grid sand barriers are one of the typical measures currently used to control moving sand dunes.


Often when people on the edge of the desert enter their homes, sand enters the house as soon as they open the door. They are the first to feel the necessity of desertification prevention and control. Desertification is closely related to them, affecting their production and life and endangering their health. I feel that this group of people in the film are actually very optimistic, and it is common for them to do desertification control work in desertification areas.


In fact, many measures to control desertification come from ordinary people and are based on experience gained from production and practice. Natural sand dunes with vegetation can form a large sandbag, so the grass grid sand barrier can prevent sand loss. This is what ordinary people discovered during production.


Sandstorms, a natural phenomenon, cannot be completely eliminated, but the harm can be reduced. If sandstorm prevention is carried out near residential areas, the house will not be filled with sand and dust as soon as the door is opened.


There are three major factors that produce sandstorms. One is the source of sand. Sand is formed over geological time and cannot be eliminated. The second factor is strong winds, especially now that extreme weather events are frequent, and strong winds cannot be eliminated. The third factor is The factor is the exposed surface. The formation of sandstorms is dominated by climate and natural environment, and the possibility of eradicating or eliminating sandstorms is very small.


People on the edge of the desert feel that there has been less sand in their rooms in recent years. It is difficult to say whether this is the result of man-made desertification control or a natural law. The occurrence of desertification is not only due to human factors, nature actually plays a leading role.


In some areas, human activities that do not follow the laws of nature are the main cause of desertification. Production in areas that lack water resources and are not suitable for reclamation will lead to desertification of the land. In addition, overgrazing on grasslands has led to overloading of grasslands, degradation of vegetation, and the loss of turf, exposing sand. Such changes are irreversible, turning into mobile sand dunes. As well as mining and building roads around the desert, fixed sand dunes will become mobile sand dunes if they are divided by roads.


The biggest difficulties and challenges in soil and water conservation and desertification prevention and control are water resources and adapting measures to local conditions. In the video, ordinary people choose to breed white thorns or Haloxylon ammodendron. The local species consume less water and are easier to adapt to the local environment. In northern desertification, water issues are the most important.


The second is to respect the environment. In the video, the people are very experienced and plant at low density in a sheltered low-lying environment. Pay attention to reducing "sand cutting". If you don't choose a suitable environment, the wind will blow and the sand will cut the tree like a saw; if it is too low-lying, it will be buried by the sand.


Our country’s desertification prevention and control results are the most effective in the world. Since China joined the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the intensity of national governance has been unprecedented. Now it has indeed achieved good prevention and control effects, and man-made damage has been significantly reduced.

Zhou Jinxing (left) at the event



The sandstorm will never go away. It will definitely come, but people will make their own efforts. I believe in fate but I don't accept it.


Dialogue guest: Zhou Hao



Professional documentary director, has been a reporter for more than ten years. He started making documentaries in 2001, and his works have been selected and won awards at film festivals around the world more than a hundred times. In 2014, "Cotton" won the Best Documentary Award at the 51st Golden Horse Awards. In 2015, "Datong" won the Special Jury Award at the 31st Sundance Film Festival, the Best Documentary Award at the 9th Asia Pacific Film Awards, and won the Best Documentary Award at the 52nd Golden Horse Awards.


The reason why I paid attention to such a group of people who control desertification was that I was originally interested in China's efforts to control desertification and plant trees in the desert, so I chose Gulang County in Gansu Province at that time. This county has quite a tradition. Since the 1980s, a few old men have started planting trees in the desert and on the edge of the county. This county has always had a very good tradition. Because the sandstorm is approaching the county seat, they must prevent the sandstorm outside the county seat.


The film "Listen, the Birds Are Chirping" was originally intended to be a grand narrative, but doing so might have a heavy promotional flavor, so I wanted to start small. We all seem to be talking about a very grand topic, but who is responsible for completing such a grand proposition? In fact, it is done by many ordinary people.


For them, the concept of environmental governance is a bit empty and big. There is a sentence in the film that says, “They do it for the environment, we do it for the hard-earned money.” So for most ordinary people, being able to work nearby is the most critical issue. Now China's desert management has formed a production chain, with government funds on the one hand and funds from large factories on the other. It has become a new local industry in the region.


They don’t plant trees in summer, but usually in spring and autumn. You may think that the "planting" thing seems a bit absurd. They first remove the floating sand on the surface, and the slightly darker soil below has moisture content, and is used to plant small shrubs that are easy to survive. In the summer, you need to water it once or twice. If the situation is good, the survival rate will be even higher than 60-70%; if not, they will do it again the next year. In fact, there is government investment and Ant Forest projects, and they are also investing heavily.


(Sandstorms) are mostly forces of nature, humans only need to control their own behavior. For example, we seem to have achieved results (desertification control) in three months here, but if we look at this achievement on a time scale of 100 to 200 years, human power is still very weak. We just do what we can do and don't do evil. We should understand it this way.


This film may have a philosophical meaning. They use talking to pass the time. The talking may not necessarily make sense, but is often just chatter on the wheels. Even the meaning of labor may be very limited, but in fact, sometimes life is about finding its meaning in the midst of meaninglessness.


We premiered this film at the Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival. The locals explained that they were doing a Sisyphus-like job, that is, pushing stones up a mountain every day, and the stones would roll back down again. After doing this for a long time, it seems to have been given a certain meaning. I don’t have a conclusion myself. In fact, our own lives need to be filled with one thing after another.


As the woman in the film said, "A woman's life is one thing after another.You don't know if what you make is useful, but this is how we spend our lives. My understanding of this matter.


I would prefer the English title of this film, Before Sandstorm. As teacher Zhou Jinxing said, sandstorms cannot disappear. It will definitely come, but people will make their own efforts. I believe in fate but I don’t accept it. I know that the sandstorm will definitely come, but if I can be a little stubborn, I hope it doesn't come.

Zhou Hao at the event



For live replays of the above events, please refer to the BISFF video number



Photography: Hu Yiwei, Ren Yimeng, Wang Luyao

Text arrangement: Zhou Siya, Zhao Zixuan, Miao Chenxu,

Zhou Jingjing, Wang Haoyu, Du Jinyu



Partners

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is one of the world's most prestigious and largest independent non-governmental environmental organizations. Since its establishment in Switzerland in 1961, it has more than 5 million supporters around the world and a global network active in more than 100 countries and regions. From local to global levels, WWF uses unique science-based working methods to provide innovative solutions that meet the needs of people and nature. WWF's mission is to curb the deterioration of the earth's natural environment and create a better future where humans and nature live in harmony.



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