As its title suggests, Patagonia’s latest film, The Scale Of Hope, takes a positive and proactive approach to a world in deep crisis. Conservationists and eco-warriors looking for helpful strategies, if not all the answers, in addressing climate change will want to give this recently released documentary a watch. The one-hour film profiles Molly Kawahata, an alpine climber and former climate advisor to the Obama White House, while also addressing familiar themes of struggle and hope amidst the greatest environmental challenge of our time. What will it take to muster the political will to confront and solve global climate change? No film can fully answer this question, but The Scale of Hope evocatively addresses and explores it.
Kawahata has been through her own struggle with mental health, and that challenge has given her a deeper understanding of how to use the power of the mind to create change. The Scale of Hope documents her preparation for a climbing expedition in the Alaska Range as well as her work drumming up a new climate narrative that’s centered on hope—one that will hopefully reach more people and get them to act by voting. “My ultimate goal is to give everybody access to the climate movement, and make the climate movement fight for everybody,” Kawahata says.
Ringing home the point that small actions can cause big changes, the film follows Kawahata’s trip to the Topaz Internment Camp in the Utah desert. During one of the worst civil rights violations in U.S. history, her Japanese-American grandparents and family were wrongfully imprisoned during World War II in an internment camp on American soil.
“That whole thing happened because of a guy who signed something in the same building I worked in at the White House,” says Kawahata. “That was a policy. Policies change everything.”
One of the biggest goals of the film is to help galvanize people to vote—and get voters to help register new voters. Kawahata calls this the most effective thing one can do right now to fight climate change. Patagonia is also asking its community to register, vote and, most importantly, volunteer to ensure that there are enough poll workers and help increase participation in the 2022 midterms. Learn more about Patagonia’s plans for the midterm elections here.
Since 2016, Patagonia has shuttered its businesses on Election Day to encourage employees and customers to get to the polls. The company’s Time to Vote initiative, co-founded with Levi Strauss & Co. and PayPal, is a non-partisan push to the polls that will help ensure no U.S. citizen has to choose between a paycheck and a rightful vote.