Cool It (2010) Poster


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Someone has to tell it right
Fred-S17 November 2010
After reading the first 3 reviews I decided that a review from someone who has read Bjorn Lonborg - who is an economist (not "a poly-sci guy" as one newspaper reviewer referred to him) - and who has studied the science of global climate change for more than a decade might be helpful.

First off, Lonborg is not a GW skeptic: he thinks it is real, but that the severity has often been greatly overstated, which even the scientists at IPCC will admit. Also, he does not mean that if we spend a few trillion dollars and deprive (by creating large deficits of energy) poor people all over the world of the few things they currently get to enjoy (like adequate food) we will decrease global temperature by 1 degree: he means we will limit the increase by one degree. Big difference. He is pointing out that taking a sledge hammer to the world economy will not really make much difference in temperature, but a big difference to people who will not be able to buy energy at the intentionally increased prices.

Lonborg points out that we will be able to adapt to the climate change, as people and animals have been doing throughout history, as we gradually change from fossil fuels as more desirable technologies mature. Some parts of the world - equatorial zones - may change drastically, but those nearer the poles (Minnesota, Canada) will likely gain a longer growing season and more tillable land.

But, Lonborg's main point is that if we spent these large sums of money and resources on things we can change: hunger, diseases like malaria and AIDS, and clean water, we could bring about some real improvement in the lives of millions of people world-wide.

My studies, which include a discussion with one of the leading scientists at IPCC, lead me to think that Lonborg makes a very good case. I don't know why so many reviewers ridicule Lonborg. This movie, if you really watch and listen, does not deny climate change. It does state that global poverty is not the best way to counteract global climate change.
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A Rational Approach to a Divisive Issue
ockraz31 May 2011
Bjørn Lomborg is an environmentalist and an economist. He accepts without reservation that global warming is occurring and that it is caused by human activity, but he makes a critical examination of the methods by which we're attempting to deal with the problem. In other words, he disagrees with those who would say that climate change is not a real and serious problem, but he is skeptical of the primary strategies to combat the problem which have been advanced by mainstream environmentalists.

He's become controversial because he's asking questions of fellow environmentalists which they would rather not have to answer.

Are climate change activists engaging in alarmist scare tactics and exaggerating the dangers involved in an attempt to motivate through fear? If we wish to invest in attempts to improve the lives of those who are most disadvantaged, what is the relative benefit of spending on climate compared to other humanitarian endeavors?

Are attempts to artificially raise the price of fossil fuels likely to be successful at lowering temperatures? Will they be sufficiently effective to justify the costs in terms of slowed economic growth and lost increases in the standard of living?

Lomborg seems to believe that the most reasonable approach is a combination of:

>engage in many relatively unobtrusive small scale activities to combat global warming in the short term while contributing more to efforts to promote global health and education

>employ geo-engineering and adaptation in the medium term to minimize the disruption of temperature increases

>make large immediate increases in funding for research and development of renewable energy and more sophisticated nuclear reactors so that in the long term alternative energy will not be more costly than fossil fuels

His arguments about what the rational approach (lacking the unreflective dogmatism of both the deniers and the alarmists) is to finding the best future for the global population certainly merit the time it takes to view this film.
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Lomborg believes in global warming, so much so that he advocates doing something about it!
lionmama6 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Like Inconvenient Truth, this documentary (and it is a very good documentary) should be watched if you wish to empower yourself with additional information on the whole climate change debate. Lomborg believes in global warming, so much so that he is advocating that we do something about it. The difference between his proposals and those of the alarmists and fear-mongers is that he is questioning the current high costs for carbon reduction (and as usual the political protection of big corporations) that result in very little benefit to the planet. Instead he presents scientists who are already tackling the same problem (of global warming) but in different, non-mainstream ways that could also improve health, education, reduce poverty and enable a better way of life for people on the planet. So why should people decry this documentary when all he's asking is for us to consider alternatives that may be more efficient but potentially less profitable for the folks protecting the status quo? Remember, we only need to protect Earth for humans to survive and thrive on it, otherwise the planet will take care of itself as it has been doing for millions of years. Even if Earth's environment becomes that of Mars, Earth would adapt and continue. It's mankind that will disappear. What Lomborg is asking all of us to do is to think of and support alternative solutions that are practical without bankrupting mankind (thus stopping anything from being done in the first place because of the high costs). If putting solar panels on your house while painting your exterior walls and roof white COULD cost no more than what you would pay for cable TV in one year and it helped reduce your dependence on fossil fuels by cutting your energy bill as well as cooled the planet, wouldn't this be worth doing and writing to your congress representative for? As he points out, turning your lights off for one hour per year and lighting candles so that you can see in the dark does not affect climate change whatsoever. In fact, your candles are probably making it worse. Change your tactics: Do good that really makes a difference (follow the money and the data) rather than do good that's only a facade (skin deep).
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Finally an eco-wacktovist movie not mired in doom and blame
douglasp4 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this movie last night on Netflix. I had remembered reading an article about Bjorn Lomborg in one of the Popular Something magazines so I figured this would be something more than the propaganda of Birth of a Nation, Triumph of the Will, and Algore's I'm Super Cereal! So I decided to give it a twirl.

I don't necessarily agree with Lomborg across the board but it was so refreshing to see a movie about solutions instead of the usual misanthropic Neo-Christianity and doom and gloom of the eco-wacktovist movement.

And just like Europe was at the point of deforestation when coal suddenly showed up, it is important to look for rational alternatives, or better yet, additions to oil, coal, natural gas, and nuclear, instead of constantly carping on how we are "addicted to oil" which is probably the dumbest slogan the misanthropic eco-wacktovists have adopted yet. One might as well say we are addicted to healthy, happy lives.
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Intro to Global warming, but a 300 level course
unub0823 December 2011
This is a excellent documentary about what is really happening. Lomborg is NOT saying global warming is fake. He is simply saying we are using our money and time for solutions that DOES NOT WORK. Solar panels are expensive toys, wind turbines are not reliable. and etc...

This movie tackles with something most of us avoid to talk, and it does it brilliantly. There are many different if not permanent solutions to the problem of Global warming, we just need to get to use them until a cheaper renewable energy is at hand.

Must watch movie for many of us, and if you do watch it keep an open mind about the solutions he suggest. If you disagree and think it's fallacious please do a little research on your own.
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Will make you reconsider your paradigm
Canyoneer5 February 2012
Great documentary! It will make likely make you reconsider some of your established beliefs for the topic. Science based but still entertaining (as far as documentaries go). Those who believe that global warming is a myth will reconsider their paradigm and the believers that are praying for a local windmill farm might reconsider that stance. It also tells the story of how Lomborg was booted from the scientific community for political reasons and then returned to his position when an independent review/investigation found that his work is indeed fact based.Inspired me to get his first book "Skeptical Environmentalist". It is too bad that this topic is so divided and emotional as it will prevent many from viewing. I recommend watching no matter what your current paradigm.
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A must-see provided you have an open mind.
MartinHafer8 August 2013
Whether or not you agree with the things you see in "Cool It", you need to have an open mind to even consider watching it in the first place--and that is an inherent difficulty with the film. In other words, if you are dogmatic in your views, you wouldn't bother watching a movie that casts many assumptions into question about your assumptions. So, provided you actually watch it and have a reasonably open mind, you'll no doubt enjoy it and feel challenged by Bjørn Lomborg's film about the environment.

"Cool It" is a film that was inspired by Lomborg's book "The Skeptical Environmentalist". In this textbook, Lomborg uses statistics to explore the various claims some environmentalists have made about a variety of topics--in other words, he tries to determine if the claims stack up to a critical analysis. The most notable, and the one covered in "Cool It" most, is about global warming, though the book (which I strongly recommend) covers many other topics such as the oceans, population density and the quality of our air.

As I mentioned above, most of "Cool It" concerns Lomborg's assertion that the way that we deal with global warming is ineffective and wasteful. Now, despite his detractors saying that Lomborg denies global warming, he does not. He just thinks that current policy makes folks think highly of themselves and costs a lot of money but does no good--and there are a lot better ways would could direct our money and energies. And, it's not just Lomborg in this film but many other experts that state that the policies are ineffective and need to be OPENLY debated. Fortunately, they do not stop here--Lomborg and the rest suggest much more effective ways to spend our money and efforts that will either make a greater impact on the problem OR will address more serious problems, such as the serious lack of health care in developing nations.

Because the film does not completely deny global warming, some folks will no doubt hate it. And, because the film has the nerve to say that there really is not a consensus that global warming is a HUGE threat, folks on the other side will no doubt hate it. However, considering that the arguments "An Inconvenient Truth" are mostly alarmist and emotional*, it's really nice to see someone back up and take a look at this and many other issues scientifically--with data and not emotion to bolster it.

Overall, this is a very well-reasoned film that well states SOME of Lomborg's ideas in "The Skeptical Environmentalist". And, even if you don't agree with all or even much of it, it does make you THINK for yourself--something few films really try to do. Exceptional.

*Among the most offensive things I saw in "Cool It" were some of the alarmist videos that show children dying, presumably, if you don't act NOW! Considering that many of these same folks also own carbon offset companies or are supported by companies that would benefit from such policies, it seems pretty gross to use such scare tactics. Just my two cents worth...
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Climate Change: By experts, for beginners.
Jonathon_Natsis24 November 2012
Cool It is a documentary about climate change. But before this sends anyone who has ever listened to five minutes of talkback radio running for the slowly-rising ocean, be aware that this is a doco with a difference. Here there are no doomsayers; no scare tactics; just one man and his quarter-trillion dollar plan to fix not only climate change, but many of the world's most urgent issues.

This one man is Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and world betterment maverick. His unique approach to the issue of global warming, in which he shoots down almost every public policy on the issue in preference of rationality, has earnt him equal parts admirers and demonisers.

The film excels in its biting criticism of the Western and developing world's approach to the problem. Lomborg doesn't argue that we aren't doing any good, but rather that we are not maximising our return on the social good generated per dollar spent. He deconstructs and demolishes projects like 'Earth Hour' and the 'cap and trade' scheme (similar in nature to Australia's freshly-implemented carbon tax) with an engaging tone that makes sense to even the most apolitical viewer.

Given the film's subject matter, it is only a matter of time before the inevitable comparisons to An Inconvenient Truth arise. Here, Lomborg, with the help of articulate talking heads from all over the world, picks apart the 'blatant scare tactics' used by Gore in a manner that is, if nothing else, an intriguing exposition on the behind-the-scenes agendas of documentary filmmaking.

The final third, in which Lomborg recruits scientists to justify the mechanics of his plan, can be occasionally hard to swallow, particularly if one's knowledge of physics ended on the last day of Year Nine. And yet, this late onslaught of high-level science only lightly sours what is a wholeheartedly thoughtful experience.

*There's nothing I love more than a bit of feedback, good or bad. So drop me a line on and let me know what you thought of my review. If you're looking for a writer for your movie website or other publication, I'd also love to hear from you.**
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A "must see" for anyone interested in climate debate
mongand20009 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this on cable, twice now. The first time it was on in the background while I was working and I found that I couldn't work; it was just too interesting. The second time I sought it out, set a reminder to ensure I didn't miss it, and set aside undisturbed time so I could pay attention and LEARN.

Unlike most modern documentaries, which contain barely disguised sarcasm (think Michael Moore) rather than factual discussion, or which lecture without informing (think Al Gore) this film is a combination of facts (with references) and lectures with a common sense approach rather than Al Gore's "I know more than you do" doctrinal catechism.

Starting with his own background and disfavor in the mainstream climate change community, the film agrees that climate change is a problem to address, but then moves through several climate change "remedies" which have been proposed, looks at the cost, and then uses the same amount of money to address the climate change issue as well as hunger, education and disease. Turn off the lights for an hour? It's a great feel good remedy but it doesn't do a thing to help the planet, and lighting a candle is actually worse. Buy a hybrid? It has almost no impact.

The gist of the global warming debate, we learn, is fear. And taking on Al Gore point by point we learn that our fear is misplaced. Hurricanes cause more severe damage nowadays, but there's more people living at the beach and more high rise buildings to be damaged too. Was New Orleans flooded because of a global warming induced Hurricane Katrina, or because a levee was poorly designed? Moving on to solutions, we learn about alternative energies, alternative strategies, and more, and finally the final cost for all these strategies is so low that other world issues like hunger and disease are easily paid for with the same investment that Al Gore would ram down our otherwise-frightened throats.

Before you pay a "carbon tax," and buy a Prius, see this movie. And don't be afraid anymore.
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A Third Way...
projectorion27 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The basic idea of this movie is that it points out the costs of different environmental proposals for dealing with global warming, and points out that the ideas proposed by most American liberals such as "Cap and Trade" are far more expensive than other alternative solutions, and are also relatively ineffective at solving the global warming problem compared to these other alternative solutions.

This is not a movie that is setting out to "deny" that anthropogenic global warming is a real problem. This is a movie largely aimed at doing a cost-benefit analysis of various proposals for solving environmental problems like global warming, and that's a distinguishing quality it has that most other anti-environmentalist movies lack.

In that way, this movie provides a critical third point of view for the debate between environmentalists and conservatives which is desperately needed.
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Fossil fuel must flow!
anderlan-901-13743718 November 2010
Lomborg, by focusing on how we can adapt, and how 'we can use our money for better things' is avoiding a solution to the problem. He has moved on to accept the science, but now he is saying there is nothing to worry about, and we have better things to do.

His agenda is revealed by what he *doesn't* say. His goal is to avoid penalizing fossil fuel for as long as possible. Of course, such a penalty will not be a significant cost on the economy. There are free market solutions to the problem which can utilize the market to remove fossil fuel from the economy in a quarter of a century or less. This would create a good return on investment many times over, in terms of energy security and technological innovation (fossil energy is *old*), and of course avoiding some of the immigration and starvation that will be caused by warming.
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Keep an open mind!
et-656-25165411 November 2018
This film challenges us to think creatively, and provides lots of information not provided by either side of the global warming debate. I suspect the reviewer didn't watch the entire film.
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