Scientists’ careers on line in climate wars

Andrew Weaver
Andrew Weaver

• The lengths that scientists will go to highlight the danger of runaway climate change is the subject of a new, short video by Vancouver-based productions ltd.

The video, released on April 24, is part of productions’ campaign to raise $10,000 to help complete the hour-long documentary Running on Climate. View the clip and campaign at

The clip looks at the motivations for University of Victoria climatologist Dr. Andrew Weaver’s successful run for provincial office in the riding of Oak Bay-Gordon Head in Victoria. It also features Simon Fraser University Environmental Economist Dr. Mark Jaccard, one of the more high profile scientists to state he would resort to civil disobedience to prevent expansion of Canada’s carbon footprint. Scientist and broadcaster Dr. David Suzuki, a household name in Canada, also features.

Running on Climate is a feature documentary being made by Robert Alstead and Jo Clarke of productions ltd. The documentary focuses on the riding of Oak Bay-Gordon Head, in the provincial capital of Victoria, where world renowned climatologist Dr. Andrew Weaver ran and won the seat for the BC Green Party. It was the first time the Greens, often dismissed as a “fringe” party, had won a provincial seat in Canada. He won over 40% percent of the vote, an increase of more than 400% for the B.C. Green Party in that riding from the 2009 election.

While a professor at the University of Victoria, Weaver was among the scientific advisers who helped develop a package of climate change policy initiatives in BC, including the introduction of North America’s first carbon tax in 2008 and a legislated carbon emissions target for 2020. The BC carbon tax is often held up as a model for pricing carbon.

The election of a lead author on the United Nation’s International Panel on Climate Change to political office is particularly significant at a time when Canada’s federal government has been widely condemned for muzzling of its scientists and a lack of action on global warming.

With commentary from scientists, politicians and ordinary citizens, Running on Climate will look beyond the election rhetoric to ask, “What is our responsibility to future generations who have the most to lose from global warming? What is sustainable? And what can an individual feasibly do, here and now, to prevent the planet careening toward catastrophic climate change?”

About Robert Alstead

Robert Alstead and childRobert Alstead is a journalist and filmmaker based in Vancouver, BC. He has written a monthly movie review column for Common Ground magazine since 1993, with a special focus on documentaries about social and global change. He previously directed You Never Bike Alone ( and began following Weaver before his nomination as the Oak Bay Gordon Head candidate for the BC Greens.

The Running on Climate crowdfunding campaign continues until Saturday, May 24 at 9:42AM at

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