Up in Smoke

Slash and burn agriculture, is a massive and ongoing deforestation problem that affects much more than we think. Director Adam Wakeling utilizes his documentary Up in Smoke to pin a spotlight on tropical ecologist Mike Hands, and his proven issue-resolving method to overcome these environmental damages. More info in the full official synopsis as follows:

“This is a film about a technique that could save more carbon emissions annually than all global aviation combined. It is a film about one of the biggest contributors to tropical deforestation and global warming: slash and burn agriculture. It sits at the crossroads of two of the greatest threats to global stability: accelerating climate change and diminishing food security. The film follows British scientist Mike Hands, who has laboured for 25 years to perfect a sustainable farming technique to replace slash and burn farming in equatorial rainforests.

And he’s found it.

But developing the technique was only the start. Now he needs to persuade governments, agencies and, more importantly than anyone else, the farmers to all adopt it.

This is a film about a struggle for our future. About the heroic, sometimes quixotic, mission of Mike Hands to get people to understand his revolutionary method. It’s about the life and death struggle of impoverished farmers who can’t afford to risk adopting a new farming method. It’s a film about our driving need to change what’s happening to the planet’s rainforests, and about the pressures that may prevent that change from happening.

Mike Hands has the solution, but is the world ready to listen?

We follow three principal characters: Mike Hands, and two Honduran farmers, Faustino and Aladino. One has adopted and embraced Mike’s technique, the other is waiting to be convinced and drive the change forward. Filmed over 4 years in Honduras and the UK, the film presents a historic opportunity
to address one of the most urgent issues of the present day. It parallels the farmer’s struggles with Mike Hands attempts to get heavyweight political backing, as he tries to get his technique onto the agenda at the 2009 Copenhagen Summit. But politics has its own way of interfering with the science.”

Watch the hefty trailer down at the bottom of the page!

Up in Smoke, 2011