Published Nov 24, 2010Beyond that of creature comfort, adamant fear of change and rightness as decibel reflection of speech comes from base annihilation anxieties. In order to cope with mortality, we construct a rigid, often assimilative, counterproductive ideologue to foster individual purpose and identity amongst the chaos and lack of concrete proof of an afterlife.
These "personal" assertions typically stem from peer group validations and social cultural contexts, making a documentary contradicting a dominant blind assertion in its field thoroughly entertaining, if only to watch and listen to the reactions of the particularly pious, post-viewing.
In the case of Cool It, this shit-take amusement is likely the only redeeming feature, aside from some interesting statistical conjecture that suggests fear-mongering tactics on the climate change issue are misguided and lacking pragmatism. Otherwise, it's mostly a bid to paint its subject, Bjorn Lomborg, in a saintly light, positioning his vilification by environmental advocates as mercurial noise while promoting the assertions in his book, The Skeptical Environmentalist.
Using cartoon graphics and stats, quickly cut talking head interchanges, a peppy instructional video and a generic "rock" soundtrack that shifts to jungle drums when Lomborg heads to Africa, this doc acknowledges that global warming is indeed a problem, but may not be one as urgent or globally concerning as disease and third-world poverty. It argues, with clear-headed confidence, that the spending of billions on the issue would only result in an infinitesimal outcome (a fraction of a percentage of a degree over 100 years), which helps humanity less than curing ailments that kill millions of people per year.
Discussions about creating alternatives to the global reliance on fossil fuels, along with carbon tax exploitation, fill out the feature, as do some quaint lessons on perspective, wherein Lomborg patronizes Kenyan schoolchildren.
While the actual material within inspires thought on the subject — whether it's adamant refusal or genuine analysis — the presentation leaves much to be desired, flipping by with a self-satisfied glibness and a tendency to champion the Danish author and researcher as an altruistic being. Fortunately, he speaks with enough clarity, sanity and logic to maintain his image, even if the film comes off as cheap and condescending. (Maple)