The message of Daniel B. Gold and Judith Helfand's hipster documentary about global warming is, of course, that everything is profoundly not cool.
An irreverent companion piece to AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH (2006), the film delivers the same basic facts and figures but focuses less on how the situation developed than on what's being done about it. It's an unapologetic call to action whose primary villains are global-warming deniers, whose claims that there's no crisis, just a lot of bad science and Chicken Littling, are undermined by their ties to the gas and oil industry, which the filmmakers document with devastating thoroughness. The heroes are writers notably Bill McKibben, one of the first journalists to cover the story in depth scientists, grassroots activists (including "snow groomer" Bish Neuhauser, whose modest goal is to make bio-diesel the fuel of choice at the high-end ski resort where he works), artists and media figures like Weather Channel climatologist Dr. Heidi Cullen: Undaunted by the magnitude of the problem, they're all dedicated to doing what they can rather than throwing up their hands in despair.
The film gets off to a slow start and runs long, but Gold and Helfand effectively stake out their own piece of a large and complicated issue. And though it would be excessive to call their documentary cheerful, there's an underlying note of optimism missing from most films on the subject: Without downplaying the seriousness of catastrophic climatic changes, they proceed from the conviction that scare tactics are a less effective motivator than offering hope that individuals can make a difference. leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh