Thursday, February 10, 2011

Carbon Nation

Film Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Inspirational Eco-Documentary Advocates Grassroots Solutions for Global Warming

Today, there’s a consensus among experts in the scientific community not only that global warming is occurring, but that man-made climate change might not be reversible. Meanwhile our inept politicians continue to pass around the hot potato in the face of readily-observable phenomena like receding glaciers and the melting of the polar ice caps.
Given the leadership vacuum, “It’s the people nobody’s heard from who are going to solve the problem,” asserts Van Jones, the former Obama Administration Green Czar who resigned last year in the wake of a right-wing smear campaign. He is just one of a number of results-oriented innovators, including luminaries like Virgin Atlantic CEO Richard Branson and ex-CIA Director James Woolsey, sounding an urgent clarion call to action in Carbon Nation.
Directed by Peter Byck and narrated by Bill Kurtis, this eco-expose’ is unique in that it does more than merely warn of the devastating consequences of a continued dependence on fossil fuels. Rather than waiting for Congress “to take its head out of it ass,” the film exhorts each of us to take personal responsibility and to start doing what we can to help the cause on an individual basis.
For example, we meet Bernie Karl, an enterprising Alaskan who has discovered a way to use 165-degree water to generate geothermal power. Then there’s Michael Dunham, aka “The Fridge Guy,” who has designed a safe and sustainable means of disposing of CFC-11, a destructive greenhouse gas contained in many old refrigerators.
Still, it is Jones’ novel vision that proves the most inspiring here, given his utilitarian ideas for creating grassroots green jobs for the masses. Van also tugs at the heartstrings when he waxes sentimental, choking back the tears while discussing the dire prospects for the planet he’s likely to leave to his children in the absence of effective activism. “I know the ending… I know where we’re headed,” he laments.
A sobering documentary which makes a convincing case that climate change is a national security issue.

Excellent (4 stars)
Running time: 86 Minutes
Distributor: Clayway Media

Carbon Nation opens in theaters in New York City on February 11, and will open elsewhere around the country later in the month and in March before becoming available on DVD in April.

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