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The politics of science

Finally, a documentary on global warming that does more than highlight the problems – it offers some sense of progress in raising public awareness on this hot topic.

Everything’s Cool presents viewers with more than just alarming environmental facts. It appeals to logic and lifts a political veil of secrecy that the 2006 box office hit An Inconvenient

Truth failed to touch.

To successfully depict global warming as a multi-faceted monster, directors Daniel B. Gold and Judith Helfand tackled the topic from every angle. With interviews from scientists, journalists, innovators, political think tank members, environmental critics and people affected by climate change, Gold and Helfand furnish a well-rounded account of the controversial issue.

The documentary could easily have been a bore, but a political polemic serves to preserve the entertainment value. Viewers delve into a deep layer of conspiracy to discover scandalous “edits” on scientific papers. Some semantic manipulation by Phillip Cooney, senior associate in the U.S. Climate Change

Science Program, turned scientific evidence to mere speculation. This disreputable behavior led whistleblower Rick Piltz, whose former job was to prepare scientific reports on climate change for Cooney, to resign from a position that misled the public – and was controlled by Cooney’s censoring pen. After Piltz’s resignation, he found the courage to reveal the misconduct.

With the same investigative air, the documentary traces the source of global warming research funds and found a suspicious scoop: testifying naysayers of global warming received substantial sums of money from oil and energy companies.

The no-nonsense tone continues as Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus come on screen. The two so-called “bad boys of environmentalism” contribute callous criticisms on the stereotypical negative and emotional environmentalist.

“We said things we weren’t supposed to say,” the men admitted. But their hard-nosed approach to addressing climate change won them an Environmental Power Player of the Year Award from Outside Magazine.

Shellenberger’s and Nordhaus’ approach to changing the public’s perspective on global warming stems from this logic: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t call his famous speech “I Have a Nightmare.” Also, they say, the image of a polar bear floating on an iceberg is not enough to appeal to the masses to change the common, widespread behavior that’s negatively changing the face of the planet.

Other threads in the story follow the paths of environmental champions who faced loads of adversity: Dr. Heidi Cullen, the first on-air climatologist, and her struggle for air time on The Weather Channel; Bill McKibben, “the poet laureate” of global warming and first author on the subject, and his fight to unite democracy and environmental policy; Bish Neuhouser, an amateur innovator, and his attempts at synthesizing biodiesel for his 1970-something Mercedes; and Ross Gelbspan, journalist and environmental investigator, and his battle between a desire to retire and the public’s demand for his knowledge.

More than a scaremonger, this documentary proves that global warming is not just the brainchild of a residual hippie movement and is backed by hard scientific evidence.

For more information on the documentary and environmental activism visit: