Documentary Review: ‘Cool It’
When a plant in China can make more money by producing a toxin and then accepting offsets to destroy it than they actually make on their product, we know it’s time for the next important chapter in our handling of climate change. Cool It succinctly and simply explains what our approach should look like.
Director Ondi Timoner presents the arguments of climate activist Bjorn Lomborg (whose 2007 book is entitled Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming).
Lomborg’s views challenge the consensus, a decade of inaction and many environmentalists, but mostly Timoner focuses this documentary on some of Lomborg’s most economical and practical ways to make an actual difference in the lives of coming generations.
Without negating individual daily choices and their effect on the environment (he himself is a vegetarian who doesn’t have a car), Lomborg clearly states that it is our votes that can do the most good, because the problem is big enough that it has to be solved on an institutional level. He illustrates the ways governments can dramatically increase spending on R&D for green energy and common sense solutions, while he dispels some myths about climate change.
Refreshingly, Lomborg injects a can-do attitude into the equation, bringing us out of our bunkers and into our garage laboratories. Starting with neutralizing our paralyzing fear, he then opens us to the idea of real problem solving and convinces us that we can tackle our coming climate problems the way humans often have in the past, with innovation and common sense. Cool It asks us to focus our attention on sending a message to our politicians that “cap and trade” is a massive invitation to corruption and waste, and that we need concrete action.
Al Gore scared us with Inconvenient Truth. Now that climate change has our attention, Bjorn picks up the baton and runs with it.