In the wake of the big splash made by Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" earlier this year, is there room for another documentary on the apocalyptic dangers of global warming? In a word, yes. "The Great Warming," a film that's been in the works for more than six years and boasts Keanu Reeves and Alanis Morissette as its narrators, does a solid job of dealing with the problem but with enough originality that it's not an exact duplication of the Gore film.
And the fact that the film is being distributed exclusively by Regal Cinemas -- which is owned by a conservative Denver billionaire -- is encouraging evidence that the vital issue is no longer the exclusive domain of the Democratic left in this country.
Unlike Gore's film, this one does not start out with a lengthy attempt to persuade us that global warming is real: It essentially tells us that the emergency is universally accepted by scientists and anyone who doubts it has to be some kind of idiot.
After that, it jumps around the planet showing the catastrophic effects of trapped greenhouse gases: melting ice caps, rising seas, extreme weather, drought, famine, insect plagues, pandemics of new infectious diseases and all the rest. In the process, it manages to point out some elements to the equation that were not in the Gore film, such as the acceleration the process is likely to undergo in the next decade as the economic boom in Asia puts spewing cars in the hands of millions more of Chinese and East Indians.
The film is at its best, however, in its second half when it speculates how the coming climate change is going to put its brand on the first generation of the new millennium, and demonstrates how so many young and old people already are answering the call to arms.
We meet all sorts of innovative people addressing the challenge in myriad creative ways, including a family that has developed plans for huge "synthetic" trees that literally will suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. (Some 200,000 of them placed around the world could cure the problem)
The movie makes a big point of showing us how the Evangelical Christian movement is leaping on the global-warming bandwagon with the concept of "Creation Care," and predicts the Republican Party won't be able to duck the matter much longer.
Indeed, "The Great Warming" ends with a very stern warning, suggesting, in so many words, that the current leaders who, in the face of all this evidence, do nothing about the problem run the risk of going down in history next to Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot.
Source and Thanks to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer