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We Can Run the Planet on 100% Renewable Energy

Insights + Opinion

I have to write you a very deeply personal letter right now and I hope it is met with an open mind.

I have a secret to confess.

Well, it's actually not a secret at all, it's a very easy thing to find out if you just Google me, but I am not sure that many of you who are fans of my two documentaries GASLAND and GASLAND Part II know it.

It is this: I was not always a documentary filmmaker and I was not always an environmentalist. In fact, before the gas industry made a maelstrom out of all of our lives, I had a job that I deeply deeply loved: I was a theatre director and playwright.

I made more than 25 new works for the stage with my theatre troupe the International WOW Company. These plays would premiere in amazing places all over the world, hence our name. We performed in Thailand and Japan and the Philippines, we performed in Germany and France, we performed in New York City and in upstate New York. We made huge, fantastical, epic plays with large casts, striking imagery and powerful politics.

The theater is a kind of collective action. The theater is a motivator. A great theater production is something that you never forget about all your days.

So here is the news: I am making a new play, for the first time in five years, and I want you to come see it. I want you to be a part of this very special new kind of action. I am calling it The Solutions Grassroots Tour and it is a very different and unique kind of play that prompts a very different and unique kind of action.

In rehearsal for The Solutions Grassroots Tour. Photo credit: Erik Mc Gregor

But before I go into that I want to tell you one more secret.

Actually, it's not a secret either, if you Google this fact you will get it almost immediately.

It feels like a secret because it seems like nobody knows it.

It is this: we can run the planet on 100 percent renewable energy.

The science and technology says we can do it—100 percent wind, water and sun. No fossil fuels necessary. No more fracking, no more mountaintop removal, no more tar sands. We have the technology now.

What we don't have right now is enough people and politicians acting to create our new world.

So what The Solutions Grassroots tour does is combine culture and grassroots organizing, creating a powerful tool to change our nation's beliefs when it comes to renewable energy.

The Solutions Grassroots Tour is a theater, film and concert event that gives communities the tools and recourses to build their own renewable energy.

We have created these events to show you exactly how easy it is to immediately switch your power provider.

We have created these shows to show you exactly how difficult it will be to continue living in a hotter, more fracked up world.

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Our renewable energy partners will be on hand to show you how easy it is to begin your transition out of the fossil fuel cycle by switching to a renewable energy provider or installing rooftop solar.

We'll also connect you with your neighbors who want to work on this with you.

But don't let me give you the impression this event is all work, organizing and building renewable energy. It's so much more.

The Solutions Grassroots Tour will be the stage debut of rancher and spokesman John Fenton, subject of GASLAND I & II and his son Johnny Fenton, of Pavillion, Wyoming. It will also feature music by Vanessa Bley and Stuart Matthewman and the band Twin Danger and with a cast of more than 20 actors, live video installation and a world-class seven-piece band. It's like no other event on the planet.

It is some of the most important work I've ever done and I want nothing more than for you to come share this incredible experience of retuning to the theater with me.

We've even made a trailer from our first two performances in Oneonta and Callicoon this summer:

THE SOLUTIONS GRASSROOTS TOUR

Tickets here http://bit.ly/1qh6pn8

Sept. 21 - 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Irondale Theater

Directed by Josh Fox

With guest hosts Mark Ruffalo, Debra Winger, Peter Yarrow, Sandra Steingraber and Nahko Bear

Co-sponsored by Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Food & Water Watch, Frack Action, The Mother's Project, New Yorkers Against Fracking, Sane Energy Project and United For Actions.

Created by and featuring the International WOW Company: Carrie Getman, Herbe Go, Doug Chapman, Beth Griffith, Brandon Smith, Broderick Clavery, Sheree Campbell, John Fenton, Johnny Fenton, Jessica Hadju-Nemeth, Olivia Ross, Sarah Keyes, Cody Jordan, Noelia Antweiler, Malin Barr, Margot Bennet, Rebecca Goldstein, Ali Andre Ali, Jade Ziane, Zach Signore, Guy Eckstine, Nick Anderson, Robert Granata, Julian Smith, Omar A Little, Vanessa Bley, Stuart Matthewman and Josh Fox.

Thanks and see you at the show!

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Dr. Siders pointed out that it has happened before. She noted that in the 1970s, the small town of Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin moved itself out of the flood plain after one too many floods. The community found and reoriented the business district to take advantage of highway traffic and powered it entirely with solar energy, as the New York Times reported.

That's an important lesson now that rising sea levels pose a catastrophic risk around the world. Nearly 75 percent of the world's cities are along shorelines. In the U.S. alone coastline communities make up nearly 40 percent of the population— more than 123 million people, which is why Siders and her research team are so forthright about the urgency and the complexities of their findings, according to Harvard Magazine.

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If communities could practice strategic retreats, the study says, doing so would not only reduce the need for people to choose among bad options, but also improve their circumstances.

"It's a lot to think about," said Siders to Harvard Magazine. "And there are going to be hard choices. It will hurt—I mean, we have to get from here to some new future state, and that transition is going to be hard.…But the longer we put off making these decisions, the worse it will get, and the harder the decisions will become."

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"It's not that everywhere should retreat," said Dr. Siders to the New York Times. "It's that retreat should be an option. It should be a real viable option on the table that some places will need to use."

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