Filmmaker James Redford’s ‘Renewable Therapy’ Video Series Aims to Turn Climate Anxiety into Climate Action

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The Redford Center's Mini-Series Featuring Redford and Energy Investor, Matthew Nordan, Points Philanthropists and Venture Capitalists to Opportunities Highlighted By Green New Deal

James Redford

“The media bombards us with evidence of a changing climate, but we don’t hear much about what we can do about it,” said Redford. “Unfortunately, many of us don’t realize that clean energy now has the capacity to deter the worst of climate change. That seemed like a story worth telling.”

The Redford Center, a Bay Area based non-profit organization co-founded in 2005 by Robert Redford and his son, James, today announced that every morning, from April 15-22, 2019, the organization will post an episode a day of “Renewable Therapy for Climate Anxiety,” a conversational mini-series featuring Filmmaker, James Redford, and Matthew Nordan, clean energy investor and managing partner at MNL Partners. In each two-minute installment, the pair explores questions that nag environmentalists when it comes to renewable energy.

The video series will roll out during Solar Education Week, a campaign taking place the week leading up to Earth Day aimed to spark a national conversation about solar energy as a key solution to climate change. Throughout the week, participating organizations will coordinate events, including free screenings of Redford’s HBO documentary, Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution, to build public support for clean energy initiatives at the state and local levels.

The idea for the series came to Redford while he was directing Happening, a filmmaking journey that took him into the shadows of both an emerging energy sector and his own consciousness. “The media bombards us with evidence of a changing climate, but we don’t hear much about what we can do about it,” said Redford. “Unfortunately, many of us don’t realize that clean energy now has the capacity to deter the worst of climate change. That seemed like a story worth telling.”

As for Nordan, he accepted the role as Redford’s energy “therapist” because, as an investor, in addition to the potential that renewable energy has for easing our collective climate anxiety, he also views those technologies as a salve for a massive, but dangerously outmoded, energy industry. “Can you think of an industry that’s as huge and as invisible as energy? Most of us don’t think about what turns the lights on or makes the car go,” said Nordan. “Yet we’re talking about a trillion-dollar chunk of the economy that’s being disrupted, right now.”

Redford thinks The Green New Deal offers a roadmap for federal action on climate change, but he believes there are other avenues to make an impact in the near term. “We’re seeing governors, state legislatures, municipal leaders, and even business leaders take the initiative to advance clean energy in their regions,” he said, pointing to the diverse cast of advocates he met while filming Happening, including Matthew Nordan.

Nordan warns that a continued stalemate in Congress could one day place the U.S. in a very difficult position. “Energy seems like it should be the last thing in the world that causes anyone stress, however we could be fighting a Russo-American war for the Arctic soon, all while millions of climate refugees head north of the equator,” explains Nordan. Nevertheless, he sees signs of hope from his perch as a climate-conscious capitalist. “Fortunately there’s a new tribe of innovators and financiers fighting for a different future.”


About Solar Education Week (
During week leading up to Earth Day 2019, college students and community members around the country will host solar education events in their community to spark a national conversation about solar energy, energy access, and a just transition to a clean energy economy. Solar Education Week is hosted by RE-volv, with support from the Climate + Energy Project, ClimateMusic Project, GRID Alternatives, The Redford Center, Sierra Club #ReadyFor100, Solar Schoolhouse, Solar United Neighbors, and Vote Solar.

About The Redford Center (
Co-founded by Robert Redford and his son James in 2005, The Redford Center is a 501(c)(3) organization that harnesses the power of documentary films and impact campaigns to help tip the scales on critical environmental and social issues. The Redford Center’s original productions include: Fighting Goliath: Texas Coal Wars (2008) which helped prevent the construction of 177 new coal-powered plants. Watershed: Exploring a New Water Ethic for the New West (2012) which secured $10 million to support on-the-ground restoration work and obtain water rights for the delta region. The Redford Center’s current film and campaign, Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution (2017) has been viewed nearly two million times in the U.S. alone since its HBO broadcast premier in December 2017 and won “Best Environmental Film” at the 2018 NYWILD Film Festival. The Redford Center Grants program provides funding, filmmaker support, and networking opportunities to filmmakers with feature film projects in early development that are focused on driving awareness, education and tangible action on a variety of environmental topics. The Redford Center’s Fiscal Sponsorship Program extends its nonprofit status and filmmaking experience to support kindred environmental impact film and media projects. To learn more, please visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vimeo and YouTube.

About MNL Partners (
MNL Partners develops energy and environmental projects in global markets, with a focus on China. We bring together world-changing technologies, partnerships across the value chain, and the capital needed to scale. We work hands-on, providing active leadership from project conception through cash flow.

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