Bjorn Lomborg is a Dutch researcher that has made an impact around the world on his views on climate change. Some people will say he has had a negative impact and others will say he has had a positive impact. To make this judgement, I highly recommend that you watch his movie/documentary, Cool it. Here is the Trailer:
The Power of Fear
Many people have seen the movies on climate change, namely the movie that put climate change on the global priority list, The Inconvenient Truth, a movie telling its audience of the great potential for a catastrophic event to occur if we do not reduce our carbon footprints today. Since Al Gore’s movie, media coverage on climate change has been prolific with a doomsday sort of tone. Movies such as 2012 implanted the notion that a catastrophic event will occur within the next 50 years. FEAR seems to be the media’s driving force behind the motivation to the cause of man made climate change.
Bjorn Lomborg does not dispute the existence and cause (man made) of climate change; however, he does not believe the fear tactic approach is working to get people to reduce their carbon footprint. He addresses the fear tactics taken by movies and media to gain attention of its audience. In the movie, Bjorn soothes people’s fears of catastrophic events by down playing their probability of occurrence within the next century, which is where the controversy lies. He also talks about how people living in other parts of the world have a different set of priorities such as shelter, health, and hunger. The climate change campaign is built of fear to ensure people will act to reduce their impact and the people behind the campaign do not appreciate Bjorn’s new tactics to the point where he was brought before a panel of his peers in Denmark after the release of his book, The Skeptic Environmentalist, on the charges of misleading the people with false science. The charges were dropped due to lack of evidence. In other words, they could not prove him wrong.
The Real Solution
Cool it is a movie where Bjorn has a chance to tell us his why the current approach to the answer to climate change is wrong. He doesn’t stop there. He gives the audience his solution, which is shared by more than one himself, to the climate change solution. A solution, according to Bjorn, that will only cost the world $250 billion. Sounds like quite a bit of money, but in today’s times it’s not, especially when you compare it to the amount of money we spend per year on climate change and other important matters such as shelter, hunger and health. This is where the movie gets really interesting.
Cool it is the first movie that I have seen to propose solutions and provide the return on investment on each solution. Bjorn discusses the current solutions we are used to seeing, such as switching from incandescent light bulbs to fluorescent light bulbs and switching the hybrid/electric cars; however, after Bjorn discusses the return on investments of each current solution, the audience immediately sees the problem (You will have to find out the results by watching the movie!). His solutions provide a better financial reality that would make sense to business professionals (again, watch the movie to find out what these are!). He also discusses how we need to adapt to a changing world, which is constantly changing. Sea level rise may not be such a big deal if we stop building houses in floodplains or along vulnerable coasts.
In my opinion, this movie presented the best approach to educating the public on the realities of climate change and how to best approach it. Bjorn and his team presented both sides of the campaign to fight climate change (his and the fear approach). The most important part of Cool it is that Bjorn doesn’t just criticize the current approach to fight climate change, but he presents to the audience practical solutions and adaptations. Please note that I don’t know if the numbers presented by Bjorn on the movie are correct. They seem right, but if someone can shed light as to whether the numbers match the solutions, I would love to hear from them.
This movie lists at the top of my favorite movie list! I highly recommend it!