This is the tale of a magical mycelium-like connection of dedicated individuals that will ultimately end right in your very lap, dear reader, with an invitation to join a mighty tribe dedicated to a mighty cause.
The story begins with an extraordinary woman, Lyn Davis Lear. Over one year ago, feeling (as many do) as though she aught to take matters into her own hands, Mrs. Lear convened an eclectic group of powerful private citizens and Hollywood creatives to see what they could collectively imagine to help bring attention to the climate crisis.
The result of that very first meeting was the short film below, which was played before the entire UN global body – 193 governments – at the New York UN Climate Summit of 2014 – narrated by Morgan Freeman, directed by Louie Schwartzberg, written by Scott Burns, score by Hans Zimmer, and produced by Lyn Lear. The film was followed immediately by a moving speech from Leonardo DiCaprio who privately shared his admiration with Louie for Paul Stamets’ work attempting to save the bees with fungi. In his speech, DiCaprio eloquently reminded the gathered global leaders that he stood before them “… not as an expert, but as a concerned citizen. One of the 400,000 people who marched in the streets of New York on Sunday, and the billions of others around the world who want to solve our climate crisis.”
The day before, hundreds of thousands of individuals like you walked side by side down the streets of NYC to demand our voices be heard. Louie captured us through his lens, documenting our passion, our commitment, and our determination for change.
The success of this event would only strengthen Lyn Lear’s conviction. A year after the first, a second meeting was called. The discussion would be lead by Ambassador Tomas Anker Christensen, Chief de Cabinet to the President of the UN General Assembly, and Under-Secretary-General Dr. David Nabarro, Special Advisor on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Hosted by Lyn Lear, the question was posed: What can we do to go beyond the groundbreaking but small step forward made in signing the accord in Paris? If in a single year this Collective could produce a short film shown before the entire world, what could we accomplish next?
Thoughtful and inspired ideas began to percolate and take form.
What Paul, Louie, Lyn, and the UN realized is soil is the critical solution to climate change. Mycelium makes soil, and with its plant partners through photosynthesis, takes C02 from the atmosphere and releases oxygen, driving the carbon down to its roots where it is exchanged for nutrients the plants and trees need, sequestering the carbon undergound where it belongs.
So if we want to make a movie about climate change, we need to make Fantastic Fungi. But, this film is so much more than that.
From the beginning, there has been a sense that this community in particular – the mycelium community, consisting of scientists, environmentalists, spiritualists, foodies and artists, explorers and foragers all – is a tribe of warriors. We are active. We speak our minds. We are passionately invested in protecting fungi and in educating others of its worth.
Here at Moving Art, we believe this film can play a valuable role in the discussions around the climate crisis. We are calling all Mycelium Warriors to join us.
And, like all warriors or superheroes, it’s important to identify your “super power.” Louie Schwartzberg is The Artist. Paul Stamets is The Scientist. Mrs. Lear is The Connector, much like mycelia itself. Just as mycelia grow deep into the underground, so does our network of Fantastic Friends.
Today we are more determined than ever to create, produce, and distribute our message to find a solution to the climate crisis through the visual storytelling and investigatory research already begun.
If you’re with me, this next year will be about activating this movement. More than a film, Fantastic Fungi must become a vehicle for change. And in order to do that, it must crack open our hearts and dive deep enough to make it impossible NOT to change.
Our job in the next coming months is to provide you with integral information so you can help implement real actions into your daily routine that can have a significant collective impact. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to pass the message along to more and more fantastic friends and fellow mycelium warriors.
Momentum is our friend; time is not. Like any epic adventure, this is only the beginning of the long and hard journey ahead. There’s much work to be done. Let’s do it together.
(The image used in this articles banner is a pic of Shitake Ninja, a member of our Mushroom Personality Quiz family, and proud supporter of Fantastic Fungi.)