Normal is Over is a documentary that uncovers the financial and economic paradigm underlying our planetary problems

The budget required for project ‘Save Civilization’ is estimated to be 1/3 of the U.S. Military Budget, which at the time of making this documentary was set at $598bn – this is according to Prof. Lester R. Brown, founder of the Worldwatch and Earth Policy institutes. And if you think about it, it’s a one-time investment with a handsome return.

Normal is Over is by no means the first documentary about environmental degradation, the evil’s of economic globalisation and our grotesque relationship with consumption – but it differs in that it uncovers the financial and economic paradigm underlying our planetary problems and it intends to inspire and motivate positive thinking and action by showing that there are real solutions, being carried out by ‘real’ people despite the overwhelming issues to address.

Shot over a period of five years, this award-winning film documents the incredible journey taken by investigative journalist, Renee Scheltema, as she goes on a global search to find out what’s going wrong and if it can be fixed. She shares the ideas of some of the world’s finest contemporary thinkers, the likes of Prof. Lester Brown, Dr Ian McCullum, Dr Vandana Shiva, Prof. Bernard Lietaer, Charles Eisenstein and a host of others.

The film recounts how human habits of consumption, the industrialisation and control of our food production and the use of a ‘single currency-positive interest rate’ economic system have brought about species extinction, climate change and the depletion of critical natural resources.

There is an element of myth-busting that takes place in this story too. The panel of economic experts all conclude that the current monetary system is absolutely unsustainable because of the consequence of widening the inequality gap, primarily through positive interest rates and a debt currency. In the film they propose some very exciting and feasible alternatives to this economic model that can offer hope of salvation to the world and benefit the other 99%. Normal is Over gives heaps of validation to the ‘green fight’ and offers well thought out strategies on how best to tackle it.

It is definitely worth a watch for those starting out on an exploratory understanding of global exploitation and decline. But equally so for those suffering from Green Fatigue because it offers new perspective and with it, hope. It’s surprisingly entertaining for a documentary offering rich visuals along with intelligent and humorous banter between Renee and her guests.

To find out more about screenings, organising a screening or how to stream the film please go to

Creatively addressing environmental concerns

There can be little doubt that our little planet is in need of attention; we’ve known for some years that we’re running out of fossil fuels and that deforestation is a major problem, and that the effects of climate change may soon become permanent or irreversible. Awareness surrounding global and environmental concerns is nothing new, but the campaigns created to highlight such issues have had to evolve to keep up with a bigger, brighter, and bolder world. Everyone is shouting to be heard; why should they listen to environmental concerns?

Capturing the public’s imagination

So, how can we ensure that our biggest, and most pressing environmental concerns are reaching a wider audience and making the required impact? With creativity, of course. You see, the main hurdle facing those attempting to showcase environmental concerns is that of indifference; people will often profess to have heard, or seen it all before, and yet issues such as global warming, plastic pollution, and the depletion of natural resources remain. It would appear that we’re becoming blind to the biggest issues facing our planet – words are falling on deaf ears, and we must shout louder than ever before. Indeed, you’re going to need to harness all of your creativity if you’re to make people sit up and take notice at last.

It’s time to get creative

Choosing your cause, researching its heart, and creating a soapbox or platform are just the beginning of the battle when it comes to engaging the masses. Your creativity is your main asset; many of our planet’s issues have remained the same for several decades, and yet there are still plenty of new, and engaging ways to shout about them – as long as you’re prepared to let your imagination run riot.

Use the skills you possess

Perhaps most obviously, it’s essential to use your strengths to your advantage. If you’re a keen writer consider the words that will make the biggest impact; if you’re a web designer think about the layout and content that will grab people’s attention. Rather than attempting to learn something new, embrace the talents you have and use them to your advantage. How can you channel your creativity towards producing something really special?

Raise awareness with a video, or ten

In this age of technology, visual media and video are perhaps two of the best ways to grab attention and showcase an environmental concern. Videos allow us to chart the cause and effects surrounding certain issues, and to tell a story in a way that actively engages the people it’s supposed to appeal to. A videomaker app or service is an excellent idea if you’re hoping to draw the public’s attention to a particular campaign. Such sites provide templates, which will ensure that all of the hard work is done for you – and leave plenty of time for you to demonstrate your concerns in a creative way.

Don’t be afraid to make a statement

Using your creativity doesn’t have to involve a written testimonial, a visually stunning set of photographs, or a video campaign, you could showcase an environmental concern in any number of ways. Take sponsored events and impact awareness, for example. Cycling during a drought, living on recycled goods and dumpster groceries, and living without plastic are all great ways to highlight particular plights – as long as you remember to keep a video diary, blog, or social media page to tell people about your adventures, of course.

Use the media to your advantage

Social media is your friend when it comes to showcasing environmental awareness; sites and apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are among the best ways to reach the biggest audience in the shortest amount of time – particularly as hashtags and trending topics have begun to take precedence in users’ newsfeeds. Creative input such as visuals and viral videos work well on social media platforms, while local news and media outlets are perhaps your best point of contact if you’ve got an event or campaign to advertise.

Above all, it pays to conduct your research; what environmental campaigns have been and gone? Which movements have stood the test of time, and which would you struggle to remember once they were out of sight? Dare to be different and embrace the resources that are available to you. After all, until you’ve tried everything can you actually admit defeat? Our planet is magnificent, inspiring creative minds and encouraging us all to head on out there and make a difference. We owe it to the world to demonstrate a little of that imagination; be brave and save the world!