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Written by Robin Miller on .

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Written by Robin Miller on .

cliff_etheredge_carbonnationcliff etheredge, wind farmer & west texas cotton farmer...

...was tired of watching the large ranches to the south lease their land to wind companies while his smaller ranching neighbors got none of the business. Defying the odds, he organized scores of 500 acre farms and has now created Peak Wind, one of the world's largest wind farms. His town of Roscoe, TX was dying – even their Dairy Queen had closed. Now, his son and many other kids from Roscoe are coming home to work on the wind farms. This is the story of green energy bringing families back together and resurrecting small towns.

dan_nolan_carbonnationdan nolan, former army colonel...

...is our guide into the world of the Green Hawks – the folks in the Department of Defense who are leading the Pentagon's move towards energy efficiency and sustainable power. The U.S.'s forward operating bases in Iraq need diesel fuel for their generators. Convoys transporting this fuel are ideal targets for improvised explosive devices. Getting these bases more energy efficient and even fully wind and solar powered will save more than fuel. It will save lives.

bernie_karl_carbonnationbernie karl, geothermal pioneer and crazy alaskan...

...has found a way to use 165 degree water to create geothermal power. Up until now, all geothermal needed at least 250 – 400 degree water temperatures. At most oil wells, 95% of the liquid drilled from the ground is hot water that measures around 165 degrees. The oil industry has always considered this water as waste and a nuisance. If Bernie could install one of these new geothermal units at every oil well in Texas, he'd create the same amount of power as 10 nuclear plants. United Technologies Corp., maker of Carrier air conditioners, has partnered with Bernie – and Goldman Sachs is predicting that they will sell 250,000 units; a true game changing technology.

van_jones_carbonnationvan jones, civil rights advocate turned green jobs organizer and advocate...

...founded Green For All after a realization: "Green Jobs Not Jails." Green For All is working to get green jobs to disadvantaged communities. He was the main advocate for the Green Jobs Act, which George W. Bush signed into law in 2007. The Act was the first piece of federal legislation to codify the term "green jobs." Under the Obama administration, it has resulted in $500 million for green job training nationally. We share a moving moment with Van when solar panels are being installed by trainees of Grid Alternatives in Richmond CA.

production background

Written by Robin Miller on .

circle_coatofarms_redFrom the Director

I became aware of climate change in 2006 and immediately wanted to know whether there were solutions. 

Along with my team, we set out to find the innovators and entrepreneurs who were laying the groundwork for a clean energy future.  Mid-way through production, we met Bernie Karl, a wild Alaskan geothermal pioneer – when Bernie told me he didn’t think humans were the cause of climate change, it was a light-bulb moment.  A person didn’t have to believe in climate science to still want clean air and clean water.  And once we filmed the Green Hawks in the Department of Defense, I realized that national security was another way into the clean energy world. 

In our travels, we filmed Bay Area radicals, utility CEOs, airlines execs and wonky economists – and they all agree that using as little energy as possible and making clean energy are important goals; whether for solutions to climate change, national or energy security or public health.  I wanted to make a big-tent film where folks of all political stripes could find common ground.  - Peter Byck


Written by Robin Miller on .

So many talented people have come together to make Carbon Nation a success. Allow us to introduce a few to you:

peter_byck_carbonnationpeter byck | director + producer

Peter Byck has over 20 years experience as a director and editor. His first documentary "Garbage" won the South by Southwest Film Festival. (It screened in scores of festivals in the U.S. and Europe and played at the Museum of Modern Art and Lincoln Center).

In addition, he has edited documentaries for Peter Jackson's last two films, "Lord of the Rings" and "King Kong." Peter has also worked as an editor or director for documentaries and promotional shorts for Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox, MTV, Vh1, BBC, Disney and MGM, for shows and movies including "The West Wing," "The Matrix," "Scrubs," "er" and many more.

In 1986, Peter received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from California Institute of the Arts.

Peter has presented Carbon Nation for Boeing, Nike, Google, Microsoft, Walmart.com, SC Johnson, Stonyfield, Carbon War Room, Shell, White House CEQ, CarbonTrade Ex, NetImpact, Social Venture Network. AREDAY, Metcalf Institute @ U of R.I., PEW-BICEP, Prince Charles’ B.E.P. program @ Cambridge University, R.I.S.D., Art Center (Pasadena),Yale University, Conservation International, Louisville Fund for the Arts & many other universities, companies and high schools across the country and internationally.


craig_sieben_carbonnationcraig sieben | producer

Craig Sieben, founder and CEO of Sieben Energy Associates, is a nationally recognized authority on energy efficiency and a leader in the field of energy management. Since 1990 Craig has successfully piloted Sieben Energy Associates through significant transformations in the energy industry while maintaining the firm’s dedication to providing exceptional client service. Craig also plays a key role in the firm’s strategic consulting and energy management services.

Craig speaks extensively to businesses and civic organizations on energy efficiency and sustainability, especially as they relate to corporate finance and public policy. He is also a frequent commentator on television and regularly contributes his energy expertise to journals and periodicals.

His professional career began in Washington, D.C., where he worked for the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy Conservation & Power and the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Solar Energy. He also worked in research and marketing at Daniel Yergin’s Cambridge Energy Research Associates and was vice president for marketing at The Lighting Corporation. He graduated from Hampshire College with a degree in Energy Policy and Planning.

In addition to his business responsibilities and “Carbon Nation”, Craig is active in numerous civic and professional organizations throughout Chicago and is currently President of the Leadership Greater Chicago Board of Directors. Historically he served on candidate Obama’s Energy & Environmental Policy Advisory Committee and The Illinois Climate Change Advisory Group. He was also a Crain's Chicago Business "40 under 40” and a member of the 1999 class of Leadership Greater Chicago.


karen_weigert_carbonnationkaren weigert | producer

Karen Weigert is Senior Fellow for Global Cities at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. She served as chief sustainability officer for the City of Chicago from 2011 - 2016. As chief sustainability officer Weigert worked to guide the city’s sustainability strategy and implementation, bringing innovative, practical solutions throughout the work of the city. 

Prior to her appointment she served as senior vice president of ShoreBank (later Urban Partnership Bank) where she built a national consumer group that generated deposits to support environmental sustainability and community development in low to moderate income urban neighborhoods. Before her work in community banking, Weigert was a strategy consultant at McKinsey where she served clients on topics including transportation, finance, energy, and land use. She began her career as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs and later served as an appointee in the Clinton administration focused on global environmental issues and agriculture.


chrisna_van_zyl_carbonnationchrisna van zyl | producer

Having spent a decade traveling the world and working in the travel industry, both in Cape Town, South Africa and London, England, Chrisna landed in the U.S.A in 2006. Chrisna holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Arizona State University and is currently working on a Master's of Liberal Studies degree. Carbon Nation is her first foray into the independent documentary film world.

As first time producer, she has taken on a wide array of roles and responsibilities as an integral part of the small production team. 


artemis_joukowsky_III_carbonnationartemis joukowsky lll | producer

Artemis Joukowsky is a venture capitalist, asset advisor, entrepreneur, non-profit activist and film producer. He has formed ten for-profit and eight non-for profit institutions and has been a founding partner in two venture capital funds. He has produced one book, and is in the process of making two movies and on-line TV projects.

Artemis is a Senior Advisor of Econergy International, a publicly traded company in the AIM market on the London Stock Market. Before the IPO, he was Vice-Chairman of Econergy which is a diversified international energy services company, focused on clean energy markets. In addition, Artemis is Chairman and CEO of Avalon Financial Group, Union Limited Partnership and HFG Financial Group.


eric driscoll | editor

Eric Driscoll has been editing professionally for over 10 years and has cut documentaries for Peter Jackson's "Two Towers," "Return of the King," and King Kong." Other documentary work includes programming for the National Geographic Channel and behind the scenes content for "Ugly Betty."

Eric also has extensive experience in reality, promo, and trailer work. Major clients have included NBC, Fox, New Line, TLC, ABC, Discovery Channel, Warner Brothers, National Geographic, DirecTV, Fox Movie Channel, Capitol Records, BET, and The Weinstein Company. Eric graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of San Diego with a Bachelor's degree in Humanities / Music.


gill_holland_carbonnationgill holland | associate producer

Spirit Award nominee for Producer of the Year, Gill Holland, has worked on over 50 films, including Sundance faves FLOW: For Love of Water, ADVENTURES OF POWER, SPRING FORWARD, LOGGERHEADS, triple winner HURRICANE STREETS, the FOX sit-com GREG THE BUNNY, the Spirit Award winner and first carbon-neutral independent film SWEETLAND, Al Gore's 2008 Reel Current Award winner MOUNTAIN TOP REMOVAL, and the Emmy-nominated DEAR JESSE. He produced three volumes of cineBLAST! the short film compilations He is partner at The Group Entertainment, the KY/NYC management/production company

Half-Norwegian, half North Carolinian lawyer and former adjunct professor at NYU Graduate Film School, Gill worked at the French Film Office. He has been on the jury for shorts at Sundance and selection committee for the Academy Awards, Student Division. His record label sonaBLAST! features Kelley McRae, Ben Sollee, The Old Ceremony and Irish star Mark Geary. (Featuring CDs made with recycled plastic and cardboard cases.) He, his wife Augusta, daughter Cora and twins Owsley and Lilla opened The Green Building, the first LEED certified platinum building in Louisville, KY and are also starting up the Jefferson Public Market, a year round public/farmers market in Louisville's East Market District. Louisville Magazine named him its "Person of the Year" in 2009.


bill_kurtis_carbonnationbill kurtis | narrator

At the start of his career, Bill Kurtis worked for a television station in Topeka, Kansas, before moving to Chicago in 1966 to work for WBBM-TV. In 1970, he joined the staff of a CBS station in Los Angeles and soon had his first taste of national news, serving as a contributor to CBS Reports. He returned to Chicago in 1973 to become a news anchor at his old station. During this time, he won several awards for his reporting. Kurtis covered the war in Vietnam, including the fall of Saigon, and created a documentary about the city's orphans.

In 1982, Bill Kurtis joined the national program, CBS Morning News, as a co-host. But after three years, he returned to Chicago, resuming his role as anchor at WBBM-TV. In 1990, Kurtis began a new phase of his career as a host and producer of documentary television series. Establishing his own production company, Kurtis Productions, he created Investigative Reports, Cold Case Files, and other programs for the A&E Television Network. As a producer, Kurtis earned two Emmy Award nominations for Cold Case Files for

Outstanding Nonfiction Series in 2004 and 2005. He also serves as host on the popular American Justice series, which looks at famous legal cases and their impact on the law.

In addition to his television work, Bill Kurtis has written two books: Bill Kurtis on Assignment (1983) and The Death Penalty on Trial: Crisis in American Justice (2004). He also lent his deep and distinguished voice to the 2004 news comedy The Legend of Ron Burgundy starring Will Farrell.

Since 2005, Kurtis has become heavily involved in raising and marketing grass-fed beef. His 10,000-acre (40 km) ranch in southeastern Kansas was once the home of Laura Ingalls Wilder. While looking for innovative uses for his ranch, Kurtis learned about the health and environmental benefits of grass-fed beef and founded Tallgrass Beef Company. He is also an investor in the Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook, Illinois.