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"We should not just solve a problem if the cost of solving that problem will be even greater than the problem itself."
The above comes from this documentary featuring Bjorn Lomborg. According to this film, Lomborg is the author of the best-seller "The Skeptical Environmentalist" (2001) and the organizer of the "Copenhagen Consensus" (a project that seeks to establish monetary priorities for advancing global welfare using methodologies based on the theory of welfare economics). The problem mentioned in the above quotation is climate change or, as the media likes to call it, "global warming." (Lomborg admits that global warming is real, a serious problem, and that it's caused by humans.)
Viewing this film, one might get the impression that this film is based on the best-seller mentioned above. NO. The DVD case also doesn't mention any actual titled book.
This documentary is actually based on Lomborg's book "Cool it" (2007). I found it interesting that this book is not mentioned anywhere in this documentary. In Amazon's "editorial review" for this film (shown above), it seems that Amazon's editors think it's based on Lomborg's best-seller.)
This entire film gives a one-sided presentation based on Lomborg's personal point of view.
In the first third of the film, a few of the topics discussed are:
Scenes from Lomborg's life, the Copenhagen Consensus, the Danish Committee for Scientific Dishonesty case, Lomborg and his mother, and Lomborg's travels.
For this part of the film, I found it quite interesting that we're not told who Lomborg is. Perhaps he's an economist? NO. Perhaps he's a scientist? NO. In Amazon's "editorial review" for this film (shown above), Lomborg is cited as a "Danish scientist.Read more ›
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81 of 91 people found the following review helpful
Exceptional film for those who do not fear honest debateMarch 10 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
This is a fascinating documentary about Bjorn Lomborg, who wrote The Skeptical Environmentalist, and other books discussing Global Warming (or what is now often referred to as "Climate Change"). Bjorn Lomborg has become something of a Boogyman for the environmental left, which perplexes me. Here are the broad strokes of what he believes, as outline in this documentary:
A.) Global Warming is happening
B.) It is contributed to by man's activity (he doesn't specify how much or how little he thinks man's contribution is).
C.) It is a problem that needs to be addressed.
For this he is routinely pilloried by those that...believe in global warming? Doesn't make sense, right? Well, that is because here are a couple of other things he believes:
D.) While Global Warming is a problem it is not going to lead to the end of the world.
E.) There is too much fear mongering and bad science involved in the current debate.
F.) The most commonly proposed solutions (in large part reducing carbon emissions) have enormous costs and provide almost no benefits (for example, about a 0.1 degree reduction in the projected temperature over a CENTURY, at a cost of 180+ TRILLION of today's dollars).
For this he is attacked and insulted. People try to discredit him and ruin his career.
I have watched An Inconvenient Truth, and now I have watched this. While this movie does indeed easily debunk a number of claims made by Al Gore's movie, I wouldn't consider it the Anti-Inconvenient Truth, but it certainly provides a good counterpoint to that film. I would recommend everyone watch both and decide for themselves where they come down on the issues.
I should also add that this is not completely devoted to global warming. There is an underlying theme that advances the proposition that if we want to generally benefit the planet let's be honest about what we can and cannot do, and what things can be done that have a greater impact and/or a lesser cost per "unit" of impact, as opposed to things which are less effective. For example, see the example of the cost and benefit of attempting to attack global warming above, versus attacking, say malaria, which would objectively save millions of lives over the course of a few short years, and it would only cost a fraction of a penny of every dollar being advocated for combating global warming (and with a return on investment of almost ZERO).
What are the most logical items that we can influence to improve the human condition planet wide? What is the biggest bang for the buck? Global warming ranks second to dead last.
You will see a lot of bad reviews from a lot of people with an axe to grind against the subject of this documentary, and most of them will not have watched the movie. I say if you believe in science and open inquiry then why would anyone object to more voices being present in a debate? Watching this film put me in mind of a few quotes by Burke:
* We must all obey the great law of change. It is the most powerful law of nature, and the means perhaps of its conservation.
* Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.
* It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the publick (sic) to be the most anxious for its welfare.
* The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.
This is a well made and informative film, and the intellectually honest reviewer should credit that, even if s/he disagrees with the subject of this film. See it and decide for yourself.
24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Real Solutions, not just throwing money at the problemApril 11 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
Fantastic! Lomborg believes in global warming but believes money should be spent where it does the most good. He shows that the usual solutions proposed for global warming (like cap and trade) are extremely expensive (about $250B/yr) but produce virtually no results. He discusses things that can be done to actually help reduce global warming which are MUCH cheaper than the usual solutions. He also discusses many other problems (like malnutrition) that could be solved for far less than we would spend on global warming, but produce a huge result and leave the world a better place. To me the most interesting part was the promising technologies that are in the research & development phase, like fuel from algae. This is a reasonable approach to global warming; its fact-based, sound science. Watch this and you'll come away with a positive outlook for the future. Excellent DVD.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A refreshing view on a real problemJan. 8 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
The one thing I appreciate about Mr Bjørn Lomborg is his rational way of thinking and attacking a problem - even in debates often guided by irrationality. He keeps a clear head and his eye on the target!
This documentary illustrates the very real problem of global warming and discusses how best to solve this for the benefit of both present and future generations. And he relates to a cost/benefit way of thinking and takes us through the bureaucratic machine and alternative solutions.
The documentary itself is a little self promotional and the first 30 minutes especially seems like a mushy infomercial. But, as the documentary progress it all fits together and end up forcing you to think sceptically on how to solve problems, not only global warming but many other global problems as well. So don’t let the first 30 minutes discard you.
The documentary is as much about global warming and possible solutions as it is about how the bureaucracy on this level of decision making (and obviously a major critic point in this Documentary). One critic point I have is that COOL IT does not really end up giving us a pragmatic approach or a solid game plan (I was personally hoping for this). It does however give us a better insight and a more diversified overview of possible solutions (some new to me) and not least it disproves what solutions the mainstream suggests today.
** Do not skip the deleted scenes section of the DVD - I think it shows some very interesting aspects on the subject at hand.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Bjørn Lomborg has shifted his argument, slightly.Sept. 2 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
In this later version of Cool It, Bjørn Lomborg has altered his stance from one skeptical of the value of attempts to fight human caused global warming at this time to one that addresses it as a more immediate concern. This is an argument he is much more likely to win. In the process, he has also simplified the economic arguments, which I had already found to be very simple (I have a BA in economics). I would not have believed this was necessary. However, an earlier reviewer of Cool It was unable to understand the difference between relative expansion of the monetary supply (inflation) and relative economic growth (increase in standard of living). A friend of mine made this same mistake. I had forgotten how difficult economics can be. This film makes such mistakes much less likely. To put a number on his growth argument (something he doesn't do because it is largely a big guess), if we had begun fighting global warming in 1900 in the way mainstream environmentalists suggest, we would now have the standard of living equal to that of the late 1950's.
Bjørn Lomborg's willingness to put a price tag on what he advocates and compare benefits is what make him unique. As always, he asks hard questions, admits they're hard questions, and presents a real answer. The bottom line is that even if human caused global warming is a myth, following his prescriptions will not cause significant economic harm to the world. If humans are to blame for global warming, his solutions are likely to work, something not true of his competitor's solutions.
I have serious disagreements with Bjørn Lomborg. Still, his willingness to admit to limited resources when attempting to save the world is something so obvious and so rare that his value as a humanitarian cannot be overestimated. This DVD is a better example of this.
14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Great film-making. Engaging. Thoughtful & thought provoking. This is not really an "anti-Al Gore" film nor narrative, but rather a provocative look at science & the politics that insinuates intself into it on occassion, how & why. Lomborg is a sober & passionate environmentalist who has simply not lost his perspective nor his integrity. A great, open, "global" look at the entire issue of Global Warming. See it with friends- a perfect double-date evening in a box whatever your current beliefs are.