Persuading Climate Change Doubters with “Cool It”

A new documentary, Cool It, may be able to help some of us in our quest to settle arguments about climate change.  Most readers of this publication probably accept that climate change is a real phenomenon.  But there are still people out there, usually politically charged, who think climate change is nonsense.

Although Cool It was released in theaters late last year, it recently screened at the Anthem Film Festival, part of FreedomFest 2011, in Las Vegas, NV – a libertarian gathering.  It was a surprise to see such a pro environmental documentary given the leanings of this particular event.

Last year at FreedomFest 2010, a debate was held on whether or not global warming was a hoax.  A poll of the audience resulted in the 99% consensus that it was indeed a hoax, hence my surprise to stumble upon such a screening!

Cool It assumes that global warming is real, but may not be as catastrophic as it is said to be. Furthermore, it critiques the fashionable plans of fixing the problem, namely cap and trade.  Rather, Bjorn Lomborg is shown picking brains and brainstorming innovative ideas of how to stop and/or alleviate global warming.  

Lomborg also has a different take on how climate change has been presented to the public.  “Fear has been ruling the climate debate.  It’s about time that we realize the current approach is broken,” says Lomborg.  The FreedomFest crowd seemed a lot more receptive to Lomborg’s approach than that of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.

However, the crowd wasn’t without adamant opposition.  One audience member commented that even though Lomborg was known as the skeptical environmentalist, he wasn’t skeptical enough, suggesting that climate change was still a hoax.  But despite such opposition, there was one point that many could agree on, cutting out wasteful spending.

Cool It is especially critical of the wasteful monetary spending on climate change.  It hints that with the amount of money being used to fight climate change, we can do a better job with that fight, and more.  With smarter technological and renewable solutions, we can not only alleviate climate change, but perhaps tackle other problems such as hunger and health in the third world.

“And I think that is the way of the future, is not blowing money in ridiculous ways, but helping human beings here and now,” says producer Sarah Gibson.  The monetary factor is yet another reason why Cool It had a much more positive response to the traditionally fiscally mindful folks of FreedomFest.

All in all, whether you believe in climate change or not, Cool It is eye opening in pragmatic and fiscally responsible approach to dealing with the climate change debate and the phenomena itself.

Jonathan Mariano is an MBA candidate with the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco, CA. His interests include the convergence between lean & green and pursuing free-market based sustainable solutions.