Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Movie Review: Cool It - PG

This is a documentary by Bjorn Lomborg, the author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist" (upon which this film is based) and the founder of Copenhagen Consensus Center, a think tank/environmental research center.. 

Bjorn has tried to bring some common sense and reason to propose solutions to  the issue of global warming.  While he acknowledges the problem of global warming, his point is that the consequences are greatly exaggerated by Al Gore in "An Inconvenient Truth"  and by other environmental alarmists.  As a result of his views,  He was attacked quite viciously, being labeled an environmental heretic, a liar, and the devil incarnate .  This reaction actually made me think of how Jesus was treated, of how irate people can be when confronted by the truth.

To support his position, Bjorn points to the goals set by the Kyoto protocol and by the European Union.  Their goal would  reduce global temperature by 2/10 of a degree by the end of the century.  Bjorn asserts that we can do as well for less.

The methods used by environmental alarmists are also challenged.  The main tactic can be summed up as FEAR.   The threat of natural disasters such as hurricanes and rising sea levels is augmented by an increase in malaria and the extinction of polar bears.  The scenes that really touched me were school kids drawing pictures of impending disaster and daily measuring their emissions.  It was heartbreaking to see children living in such fear.

What I really liked was that Bjorn spent quite a bit of the film discussing possible solutions.
Some of the proposed solutions include:

splitting hydrogen and oxygen
growing algae that produce fuel
nuclear energy which also burns its own nuclear waste
wave energy from the ocean
urban cooling

Admittedly, not all of these ideas will provide the answers.  But some of them showed enough promise to at least merit further research.

I found Cool It to be very thought-provoking.  In the interest of full disclosure, I am very skeptical of global warming, but the part I liked most was the search for alternative energy sources, which I strongly feel we need to pursue to ween ourselves off of our oil dependency.

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