Bjorn Lomborg set the scientific world on its ear in 2001 when he published the controversial book, The Skeptical Environmentalist, in which he argued that claims, by the science community, of over population, dwindling energy supplies, species extinction, deforestation and global warming are unsupported with pertinent current data. Documentary filmmaker Ondi Timoner brings his ideas and opinions to the big screen in “Cool It.”
This indulgent effort should have been titled “The Bjorn Lomborg Story” since it spends the bulk of its screen time on Lomborg’s mug. Fully 20 minutes goes by before the subject of global warming is addressed. When Lomborg talks about his many, often contrary, theories on the state and future of Planet Earth, he comes across as wishy-washy. He has controversial ideas, such as reducing carbon emissions is a waste of time and money. What good is it, says Lomborg, to reduce the global temperature one degree at the cost of $30 trillion dollars. That money, he says good be put to better use, like for education and health care.
One thing that Lomborg does not answer is that, if we do not stop global warming or, at least, slow it down, what will happen? Will the problem fix itself if we put our resources into other scientific endeavors? The author does not have the answers, just some suggestions. Timoner does show us some new technologies, such as splitting water into its hydrogen and oxygen fuels, farming algae for energy and geo engineering – all technologies that can be researched for 10s of millions of dollars and put into live production for hundreds of millions. As opposed to the 10s of billions for R&D and 100s of billions, maybe trillions for the current fossil fuel mind set.
Lots of numbers and statistic are paraded out but, in the end, I do not get anything more than a mild feeling of optimism that Lomborg might be right, then again, maybe not. “Cool It” is more about Bjorn Lomborg than it is about the perils our world faces, now and into the future. I would have preferred more of the latter and far less of the former. I give it a C-.
Laura also gives "Cool It" a C-. A huge disappointment from Ondi Timoner.
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