Learning something new reaps rewards

By David Lavallee, Producer/Director, White Water, Black Gold

I had to adapt to a variety of situations in making this film. Everything from falling in a crevasse, learning to paddle a canoe, to writing a grant application, pitching a film idea, asking interview questions, and finally writing a screenplay.

This process has been an entirely new one for me. Although I didn’t quite have the skills at first, through trial and error I learned how to put together what is now an award-winning film.

A similar analogy could be made to our skills as a society in fighting climate change and managing water responsibly. We have some of the skills and can develop others. Although we haven’t quite put all the skills together in a coherent or organized way, we have what is required and are taking baby steps.

For example, technology exists to grow fuel in a lab using algae, mimicking a process that took mother nature millions of years. We’ve test flown jumbo jets with this fuel – clearly it works. Why can’t we buy this at a neighborhood gas station? Because our governments have chosen to subsidize the tar sands to the tune of $1.5 billion/year instead of kick starting industries like this – industries that make sense.

Why hasn’t government chosen to support these green industries? The current economic model supports infinite growth on a planet with finite resources- “externalities” like human health, climate change, air pollution, alternative energy, etc. don’t find their way onto the balance sheet.

And why haven’t these multinational “oil” companies become “energy” companies? Because it’s what they think the people want.

It’s circular, and it all comes back to people in a democratic society. Lots of people need to make lots of noise. So what are you waiting for – make some noise already!

David Lavallee’s documentary, White Water, Black Gold, makes its Canadian broadcast premiere on Thursday, March 22 at 10 pm ET on TVO.

Join the Canada Water Week team for our virtual viewing party on Twitter. Three lucky participants will win a Delta “Lahara” bathroom faucet with Touch2O Technology. Full Contest Details.


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