Building the Movement for a Green and Just Future | Everything's Cool
The Everything’s Cool campaign was a two-year national campaign aimed at engaging communities to take action on climate change with the goal of building a green and just future. Working Films directed the campaign, from late 2006 through late 2008, in partnership with grassroots organizations at the forefront of the climate action movement – from those coordinating national days of action and putting political leadership on the spot, to those raising young voices against the climate crisis and demanding a green energy economy that will provide jobs and advancement for low-income people.
After two decades of
research, computer modeling and miles of ancient glaciers melting away, most
scientists around the world agree that human behavior is causing global warming.
It’s happening faster than ever anticipated. At the same time, there have been resistant politicians, fossil-fueled corporations and right-wing think tanks that have
created a dangerous gap between the scientific understanding of global warming
and the political action needed by the United States.
If America does not aggressively cut greenhouse gas emissions in the next decade, the problem of climate change will eventually dwarf all other economic and social problems. Inaction by the United States places everyone on the planet in jeopardy.
Everything’s Cool follows the country and a group of global warming messengers who are on a high stakes quest to find the points of leverage that will finally create the political will to move the United States from its reliance on fossil fuels to the new clean energy economy - AND FAST.
Everything’s Cool became one of Working Films’ campaigns early in its production.When the film premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, Working Films implemented outreach strategies to engage audiences and incite activism in response to the film’s message.
In June 2007, Working Films organized a summit meeting with Clean Air-Cool Planet, Energy Action Coalition, Clif Bar, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Focus the Nation, League of Conservation Voters, NativeEnergy, Redefining Progress, Sierra Club and Step It Up. This meeting called on the combined creative energies of the filmmakers and the organizations to define the short and long-term goals and strategies for Everything’s Cool that have insured the campaign’s impact. Together, we have used the film to create a shift in American’s understanding of the politics surrounding global warming as well as strengthened the movement for climate action.The Solution
The Everything’s Cool campaign has linked actions and initiatives both at the local, state and national levels. The campaign has supported efforts aimed at offering solutions to global warming, including building a groundswell of citizens to call on their national leadership to take action, committing schools and colleges to become climate neutral, and supporting the shift from a dirty to a clean and just economy. Partner organizations collaborated in the development of campaign resources, which included an activist DVD with special activist shorts, screening toolkit, and an interactive website available at everythingscool.org.The Result
Through the Everything's Cool campaign, we have strengthened efforts to get the American public to take action on global warming by supporting solutions that can be implemented at every level. Working Films created partnerships with grassroots organizations and socially responsible businesses and collaboratively developed support resources that turn the experience of viewing the film into an opportunity to take action.
Working Films used the Everything’s Cool world premiere at Sundance to kick off the film’s campaign collaborating with Utah Clean Energy, NativeEnergy, Clif Bar, Natural Resources Defense Council, League of Conservation Voters and IKEA — catalyzing responsive and strategic action. Our Sundance activism included:
• Distributing 3600 energy efficient light bulbs to audience members, saving 1,260 tons of carbon;
• Offsetting 420,000 miles of travel for our audiences with Clif Bar Cool Tags through NativeEnergy;
• The League of Conservation Voters hand-delivered thousands of postcards to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Shortly after, Pelosi came out to boldly support the Green Jobs Act of 2007;
• Helped launch the Step It Up campaign with a beautiful aerial message, calling on U.S. leaders to cut carbon emissions 80% by 2050 – this image was featured in the New York Times.
You can watch the videos Everything’s Cool at Sundance: How to leverage a film festival parts 1 & 2 to see the entirety of our impact.
Sundance set the stage for a high-energy summit meeting that conceptualized a multifaceted audience engagement campaign, segmented into the following four parts:
• National Days of Action: These are days of collective, coordinated actions to stop global warming, orchestrated by partners including Step It Up, the national teach-in with Focus The Nation and Energy Action Coalition’s Fossil Fools Day. There have been hundreds of screenings by our partner’s supporters as parts of their days of action. Energy Action incorporated the film as an event item for the 2008 Fossil Fools Day and with participants hosting approximately 120 screening events nationwide and doubling the participation in Fossil Fools Day.
"I screened it on 11/3/07 at the Step It Up Rally. The projector was run on human/bike power."
- Ingrid Cheng, Everything’s Cool screening host
• Green Job Revolution: Motivating communities to advocate for local “Green Collar jobs,” such as installing solar panels or making homes energy-efficient. The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Redefining Progress and the Apollo Alliance are leading partners of “Green for All”— a national effort to build an economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. In the Spring and Summer of 2008, our partners utilized two of the extras featured on the Activist DVD, “Green Jobs Revolution” and “Biodiesel High ” on their blogs as they worked to build support for the Green Jobs Now national day of action. The videos focus on real homegrown solutions, and our partners shared with us that the pieces resonate with their constituencies, as they offer two examples of how green jobs can harness the growing power of the green economic revolution to fight poverty. The Everything's Cool campaign played a role in the success of raising the public’s awareness of green jobs to solve the climate crisis and economic crisis at once. Green jobs are currently gaining traction with the Obama administration.
• Hot Leaders, Cool Actions: Our partners at the League of Conservation Voters and Sierra Club are leading efforts to demand strong leadership within local, state and national government that address the problem of global warming. Many Sierra Club chapters have hosted screening events to advance the Cool Cities campaign in their area motivating their local governments to move forward with innovative energy solutions that curb global warming.
Showing "Everything's Cool" was a great opportunity for our Trapper's Lake Group of the Sierra Club to get people interested in the 'Cool Cities' campaign which the Sierra Club organizes nationally. We are going to move forward with urging Steamboat Springs to make a commitment to the 'Cool Cities' philosophy and take action to curb local greenhouse gas emissions.
- Stacey Bodden, Everything’s Cool screening host
• Youth for a Cool Now: Together with the Energy Action Coalition’s Campus Climate Challenge, we have supported young people to motivate their campuses to adopt carbon neutral policies and sustainable practices. Many of our efforts coincided with national days of action, such as the Fossil Fools Day described above.
The Everything's Cool campaign succeeded in making global warming a national priority, raised awareness for the need for green jobs in the public debate over the current energy crisis, empowered young people to challenge and change institutions, grew investment and involvement in organizations that are on the ground, and brought creativity to a seemingly insurmountable problem. Although the two year campaign wrapped in November of 2008, Everything's Cool remains to be a resources to the climate action movement. You can sign up to host a screening and motivate your community to get involved.