What kind of world do you imagine in 2050?
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For everyone who wants to know exactly where we're at - and where we need to be to create a world where all life can thrive
Back to Our Future is a four-part series on climate and ecosystem restoration, and how to achieve them
to enable a future for humanity and the planet.
We are currently in production and editing - watch our 'Dispatches' series that takes you behind the scenes, sharing some really insightful interview highlights.
We were proud to be shown as a trailer at the Cannes Film Festival Side Event of Green17 Partners on climate and ocean solutions
at a lively evening event on 22 May, 2023! '
We recently filmed in Alaska with methane ecologist, Dr. Katey Walter Anthony, showing how climate warming affects permafrost and the landscape. Methane is a major contributor to climate warming and, if well managed, could help remove up to 0.5C from our atmosphere within a few decades.
1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
2 SHORT SYNOPSIS
3 DIRECTOR'S VISION
4 THE SUMMARY
6 THE PRODUCTION TEAM
7 PRODUCTION STATUS
8 SUPPORTING ARTICLE
9 THE SEVEN EPISODES
10 CONTACT INFORMATION
View the 8-minute trailer structured for COP27 experts
To predict the future, we must create it
1. Executive summary
The world doesn't have to be this way - heading to climate and social disaster - or end this way. We can change it. A restoration future for our climate and planet is not only possible, it's already underway. And it can herald the start of a kinder, wiser civilization.
Back to Our Future is a 4-part global documentary series, with much footage already assembled and edited.
John Bowey, awarded international director-producer of films, immersive media and talk shows (My Otherland, Insight Out, People of the South), is driving the creative vision and production.
Emmy-winning narrator, actor, director and screenwriter Peter Coyote and social innovator and climate philanthropist Peter Fiekowsky are centrally involved - narrator Coyote calls this the most important project he’s ever voiced.
Internationally awarded global change scientist/policy strategist Prof Phoebe Barnard is co-producing, and has ensured the involvement of top global scientists, economists, activists, and other specialists.
Emmy-winning cinematographer Cameron Currier is lensing much of the production.
The project is being shot in Alaska, California, Washington, New York, Florida, Iceland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Mexico, Egypt and the Philippines.
Climate restoration - it's the biggest thing we're not talking about
2. Short synopsis
The global documentary series Back to Our Future: Climate Restoration and Survival shifts our perceptions of the future - the climate we could have, if only we choose to create it.
The 4-part series explores climate restoration: the people, their visions and stories, and four major nature-based technologies of carbon removal and methane oxidation which are making it happen. The series also explores the social and economic changes we need to move 'back to our future.' It provides a framework for a new civilization by outlining how we can accelerate safe technologies, restore ecosystems, shift mindsets, and stabilize our climate and planet to protect our future.
The series is in production and post-production, with a planned timeline for delivery of July 2023.
3. Director's vision
John Bowey’s vision for the series embraces an alternative, positive future for our climate and planet. Bowey is awarded internationally for his insightful, entertaining work on big social and environmental issues. His signature style uses emotionally compelling, lively content, sensitively shot and edited, to engage and transform mindsets of viewers across cultures.
The consequences of climate change make news every day, which has the effect of numbing people to the grave consequences. At the same time, the only real narratives are business as usual vs apocalypse. We shift this dangerous and disempowering binary narrative by revealing a little-known alternative future that is both viable and underway. We also engage and inspire audiences with meaningful information, projects and possibilities.
Solving the climate problem has never been just about the science - it's about our beliefs, behavior and choices. The film's message is simple - the situation is far worse than most people realize, but new developing technologies, actions and mindsets offer a path back to a climate we've had for millennia. Most importantly - millions of people can soon be involved in climate and ecosystem restoration, empowering an active, positive new civilization.
Photo credit: Dr Dionne Miles
4. The summary
Recorded on four continents, Back to Our Future: Climate Restoration and Survival is a global documentary series on the future climate we could have, if only we choose to create it. The series explores climate and ecosystem restoration: the people, their visions and stories, and four major nature-based technologies for carbon removal and methane oxidation which are making it happen. The series also explores the social and economic changes we need to move back to our future. This is humanity’s future at stake, and it doesn’t have to be bleak. We can change it.
Collaborative solutions are needed at scale, at speed, this decade
Back to Our Future: Climate Restoration and Survival is a groundbreaking global documentary series on the future of our planet and civilization.
In four 52-min episodes (readily repackaged as 7-8 half-hour episodes), it shows how four little-known nature-based climate restoration technologies, combined with a major shift in mindsets and a commitment to the future, can literally stabilize the climate, the planet and our living world, and our societies. Stabilizing the climate buys us the time to make transformative change in our societies and mindsets, and it's increasingly possible through four major nature-based technologies for carbon removal and methane oxidation, combined with large-scale ecosystem protection and restoration.
Permafrost tunnel research facility operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers ERDC-CRREL team, Alaska.
The series' episodes will energize, inspire and equip viewers to rethink our future. Humanity can restore the climate and planet: we have the skills, the resources, and potentially numerous technologies to dramatically reduce methane and CO2 from the atmosphere, and buy the precious time needed for a fundamental shift of mindset, economy and culture in the next few decades. All we have to do is choose that better future, and make it happen.
The best way to deal with climate anxiety is to get involved
Director / Producer
Filmmaker and multimedia director John Bowey works on big-picture issues challenging society today, from the history of science, innovation and technology to conflict resolution, identity, sustainability, biodiversity, climate change, consciousness, wellness, entrepreneurship and interfaith dialogue. Creative director and owner of Transmediavision USA, John grew up in the UK, Nigeria and Zambia. He has designed, directed and produced live TV talk shows, horror films, documentaries, concerts and other creative and technical productions in Hollywood, the Middle East, South and West Africa and Pacific Northwest USA. He has worked with artists such as U2, Peter Gabriel and Tina Turner in the USA and Africa, traveled and worked with the Dalai Lama and Tibet House team, and designed/ produced Middle Eastern immersive virtual reality experiences for high-end science centers and museums.
Well-known global change scientist, ecosystem ecologist, ornithologist, science communicator and policy strategist, Phoebe is affiliate full professor of conservation biology and societal futures at University of Washington, and climate research associate at the University of Cape Town. Recipient of a Fulbright and a global conservation biology award, she is also founding CEO of the new but mighty global coalition on human planetary impact, Stable Planet Alliance. Phoebe worked 34 years based in Namibia and South Africa, founding and leading national and global development, biodiversity and climate change programs. She is driving the alignment of global ecosystem restoration, climate restoration, youth and women's leadership networks, to accelerate transformation of our economy and civilization.
Co-Producer / Science & Policy Advisor
6. Production team
John R Bowey
Prof Phoebe Barnard
The last 2 projects directed by John Bowey
Peter Fiekowsky is an MIT-educated physicist and engineer, serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, and social innovator. He worked at NASA and the Fairchild/ Schlumberger Artificial Intelligence Lab in Palo Alto; taught at MIT, and developed his own machine vision company, Automated Visual Inspection LLC (AVI). He holds 27 patents and is on the board of Climate Capex, a fintech company designed to help complete the global transition to 100 percent clean energy by 2040 by tripling the rate of investment in solar projects.
Director of Photography
Since 2005, Cameron has lensed music videos, shorts and feature films, most notably director Caleb Young’s “Do You See Colors When You Close Your Eyes?” His work with agencies and production companies led to a 2016 Emmy.
Experiential production management and major sporting events are just a few of the projects to which Aurielle applies her production management skills. Managing major production logistics in the Cascade volcanic range of the US Pacific Northwest is second nature to Aurielle.
Associate Producer/Camera Operator
Pat McDonnell has logged more than 25 years filming outdoors. In 2001 he created Medicinebleu Films, documenting the humble ambition of ordinary people around the world, from Nepal to Ecuador, working to make a difference in their communities and major watersheds.
American actor, director, screenwriter and narrator of films, theatre, TV and audiobooks, Peter Coyote is well known for films like ET the Extra-Terrestrial, Bitter Moon, Patch Adams, Erin Brockovich, and A Walk to Remember. His Emmy-winning narration is best known in 11 of Ken Burns’ documentary series.
Julia’s whole career has been dedicated to transforming the challenges of our time thru working with global leaders and organizations. Her 50+ years of work has focused on personal transformation, leadership and organizational development.
For the past 8 years she has been a consultant/advisor on multiple initiatives within several organizations, all committed to climate restoration and planetary sustainability.
Law, medieval history, sociology, psychology and front-office technology user experience management all form the backdrop to South African-born, London-based Savannah's meticulous research skills in a number of Transmediavision productions.
Everyone deserves a place at the table when it comes to
deciding the future of our planet
7. Production status
Filming is happening in Germany, France, Britain, Mexico, Canada, Egypt, Iceland and the USA. At COP27, we presented an 8-minute trailer at an official UNFCCC press conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, provoking excellent feedback from scientific, policy and activist communities.
The high volume of compelling footage and the variety of important perspectives, technologies and voices will create compelling episodes for global streaming. We intend this for delivery in July, 2023.
In Florida, we covered the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, and the people for whom increasingly severe climate instability is a harsh and miserable reality.
Production schedule to delivery
Moving forward, dependent on budget, we're finishing recording the series in China, Philippines, Australia, Europe and the Caribbean. We expect completion and delivery in July, 2023.
Note: episode numbers depend on sales packaging.
It's never been just about the science, it's about our thinking,
our behavior - and our choices
Season 1 of Back To Our Future consists of four hour-long episodes (which can readily be repackaged as 7-8 half-hour episodes). The opening one provides a rich overview of what climate restoration is, and how it can be brought into action. The following episodes go into detail about the various types of climate restoration and the changes we need to make in society, and our own choices about our impacts - especially our consumption and our numbers - to make it happen. This synopsis below is based on the four 52-min longer-format episodes preferred by terrestrial television broadcasters.
Ep 1. The only way to predict the future is to create it
Ep 2. Blue carbon on a blue planet
Ep 3. Carbon removal and regeneration
Ep 4. This changes everything
So what future do you imagine?
Isn't it worth learning about what's really happening, the choices we still (barely) have,
and where we could be going?
Join us on a journey of discovery and the chance to shift the narrative
to one of a world in which we all can thrive on this beautiful planet.
Contact: John Bowey
Producer/Director +1 360 712 9919
The project arose initially from the 2022 publication of an ambitious book, “Climate Restoration: the Only Future That Will Sustain the Human Race” by Peter Fiekowsky with Carole Douglis. It goes well beyond the scope of the book to explore the fundamental psychological, social and economic obstacles to climate restoration, how to break these open, and the need to reframe our future through regeneration, rather than exploitation, of our planet and climate.
The series covers four kinds of nature-based climate technologies which can, when fully funded and scaled up, restore our climate and planet. They are also affordable: seaweed permaculture, atmospheric CO2 removal, methane oxidation, ecosystem restoration and proforestation (strict conservation of mature forests and other carbon sinks).
Top global scientists, economists, justice advocates and indigenous wisdom elders reflect on the crossroads at which our civilization finds itself in 2023 – and the urgent action needed on a global-grand-challenge scale to reduce catastrophic risk to our future. The series delivers pathways to that action.