Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cool it!

Folks my age have grown up with lots of noise. Impending doom, the economy, school violence, violent video games, global warming. My generation grew up thinking this was the way to go about things, screaming at the top of your lungs like some crazed sports fan. The loudest baby gets the bottle.

Thankfully the documentary “Cool It” is here and ready to pacify us with a message of “Calm the heck down, folks, the world isn’t ending”. The rationale response to global warming is one we've needed for awhile.

The film follows controversial environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg, who, despite his jaw line, isn’t as entertaining as he thinks he is, as he informs us that the current world environmental plan is to spend 250 billion dollars to lower the temperature of the earth about .01 degrees. He says this is a colossal waste of money. And it is. He argues that the same amount of money can be spent adapting to the changing climate, used to research sustainable, clean, energy, and education.

It’s weird because for a movie with a theme of cooling it, and being rationale, a great deal of this film is spent harping on Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth”, which came out something like four years ago, as well as 20 boring minutes spent telling us about Bjorn's trials and tribulations among the scientific community, because he's controversial!

It seems like Bjorn, who is the focal point of this film, had about forty five minutes worth of material directed at the craziness of the Gore documentary, another twenty or so on how wronged he's been by mainstream environmentalists, and that's really it.

The film detours into bits about sustainable energy, new nuclear technology and wave power, how education can cure famine in Africa, and interviews with school children I don't care about.

The movie is at it's best when it's soothing us with facts from real scientists at real institutions with real facts, statistics, and dollar figures. The polar icecaps aren't melting. The water level isn't going to rise. Hurricane Katrina wasn't a global warming created disaster.

I just feel like the movie could have been better as a PBS TV show, to watch casually while doing homework, Bjorn could certainly host his own show, and all of these subjects he covers are worthy of eyeballs. Just not in this way.

I know it’s not getting a wide release, and I didn’t pay to see it, and you probably won’t either due to the lack of computer generated explosions, but if you have a person’s attention for an hour and a half, you better make sure they want to be there the entire time, and I didn’t. Take the message, leave the documentary. Buy the book.

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