Cool It

At last, cooler heads (...smile...) might be heard in this infernal Global Warming hoohah! Based on his book by the same name, author/narrator/interviewer Bjørn Lomborg is the ideal person to ramrod this discussion. A vegetarian, a member of Green Peace, a bicycle-riding health nut, he is also a scientist, an economist, an academic and an environmentalist. His first foray into this issue, The Skeptical Environmentalist, resulted in such venomous attacks by established Global Warming professionals, he feared that his career might be over before it began.

Born in Denmark, this globe-trotting researcher supports common sense solutions to a global issue. Using cost/benefits analysis, solving the issue of climate change by using current methods would cause economic catastrophe with only marginal results. A steady budget of $350 billion per year (the current estimate) for the next 100 years will result in less than a one percent reduction of global temperatures. For example, it might save one polar bear per year. That figure is eclipsed by the number killed each hunting season. Mr. Lomborg asks, "If we want to save polar bears, why don't we just stop shooting them?"

He rejects the inflammatory approach of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, but instead, finds scientists the world over diligently addressing the issue with creative and cost-effective solutions. In a review of Katrina, not one person claimed Global Warming as being in the top ten causes. Per the engineers who have improved the dams and flood mitigation devices in the Netherlands, their devastating flood a couple of decades ago was the result of poor engineering, not Global Warming.

During interviews, we see that Third World inhabitants don't give a rip about Global Warming. They simply want a decent standard of living, health care, education and clean water for their children. "Developed" countries have the luxury to fixate on other issues, because they already enjoy that standard of living. As a result, school children in the UK are traumatized by Global Warming. They pray about it at night, compete to see who can create the smallest carbon footprint for the week, and generally spend a lot of time suffering from the scare tactics of Global Warming professionals.

Lomborg posits that humans are adaptable, so let's use technology to adapt. We could use that $350 billion:
  • To develop clean, affordable energy, e.g., wind, wave, algae, nukes, solar, the list goes on and on;
  • To provide clean, potable water;
  • To address global health issues;
  • To study and launch the many climate-mitigating technologies that are under development. I won't go into them here, but they are fascinating and the interviews are terrific.
This screening was in a modest-sized theater and, to Seattle's shame, only attracted a handful of people. I guess if Al Gore isn't the central celebrity, it must not be any good. Actually, I think there was one earlier screening and I can't say how many attended that one. Gotta be honest here...

This review only covers the tip of the iceberg (...smile...); there is much more to see and learn. On the other hand, this film might be hard to find because of the nature of its viewpoint. Of course, if you want to see "Jackass 3D" I'm sure THAT's in your neighborhood multiplex. Aarghhh!