The Entire World Would Be Better Off If Donald Trump Just Watched This Video

All you need to know about climate change in 12 minutes.

DigitalVision/Getty Images

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.


In a yearlong series of short films for Undark, the digital publication of the Knight Science Journalism Fellowship Program at MIT, Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Ian Cheney, whose works include documentaries like “King Corn,” “The Search for General Tso,” and “The City Dark,” turned his lens on climate change. In just over 12 minutes, he explores the scale of the challenge facing humanity: scientific and technical, the emotional, psychological, and political. Cheney doesn’t pretend to offer answers or specific solutions; he only seeks to shine a light into the fog, to look for shapes and patterns, and ultimately to explore the many reasons why the problem of climate change is so difficult for humanity to even fathom, much less come together to solve.

Take a look at the film here:

Above is a 12-minute compilation of Cheney’s six short films in his series for Undark, “Measure of a Fog.” We also encourage visitors to explore each of the six installments, which are individually titled “Distance,” “Carbon,” “Energy,” “Geoengineering,” “Politics,” and “Ethics.”

“The very concept of ‘climate’ challenges the human mind,” Cheney noted at the outset of the series. “Its epochal timescales are difficult to fathom, its inner mechanics, rhythms and contours — they’re sometimes hard to discern, and even scientists are still trying to understand it all.

“Meanwhile,” he continued, “the changes we’re making to this immense, complex machinery — changes arising from a colorless, odorless gas tied to positive-sounding things like progress and growth and prosperity — it can all seem placeless and everywhere at the same time, both invisible and plain as day.”

Exploring and admitting to those tensions and ambiguities, Cheney suggests, is an important part of any conversation on where we go from here — perhaps the most important part. We hope you will find them useful as you continue your own discussions on this most crucial topic.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.