Unless you are prepared to go to the theater wearing a head vise, you’ll probably want to skip Lomborg’s new film, Cool It.
Heck, you are probably going to want to put on your vise just to watch the trailer below, since it features the now-discredited Richard Lindzen and the renowned confusionist Freeman Dyson of all people saying how much he admires Lomborg — along with Lomborg’s alone standard disinformation (see “More on the Lomborg Deception” and Caldeira calls the geoengineering vision of Lomborg’s Climate Consensus “a dystopic world out of a science fiction story”).
Of course, the head vise is analogous to a geo-engineering solution to watching Lomborg’s film: It doesn’t actually prevent most of the dangerous impacts and it might well cause its own problems. So, if you’d rather skip even the trailer, you can read the excellent “alternative guide” by Leo Hickman, features journalist and editor at the UK Guardian:
Cinema-goers now have less than a month to wait until they get the chance to see Cool It, the new documentary made by Bj¸rn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist. Cool It promises to be the antidote to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, with Lomborg “exploring the real facts and true science of global warming and its impact”. But, as all keen Lomborg watchers know, the Danish economist has been repeatedly challenged about his own use of the “real facts”. So one awaits Cool It’s interpretation of the global warming debate with some interest, if not a little trepidation.
In the meantime (the film is released in the US and Canada on 12 November), we must make do with the recently released trailer, above. Condensing a feature-length documentary into a 150-second trailer is always going to be a challenge, but it at least gives us a flavour of the feast ahead. So let’s see what we can expect:
00.11: Rapid-edit montage showing flooding, hurricanes, ice shearing off glaciers etc, all set to a dramatic score featuring jagged strings.
Voiceover of concerned children: “All the ice is going to melt”; “Trees will die and fall down”; “Countries will be underwater”; “I’m scared it’s going to happen quite soon.”
[Translation: Those naughty environmentalists; they've been terrifying our children again with their apocalyptic tales about how climate change is going to bring about the End of the World.]
00.26: Sudden softening of score signals arrival of the authoritative tones of film’s hero, Bj¸rn Lomborg: “Fear has been ruling the climate debate.”
Black-and-white footage of children in a cinema jumping on their seats in fear.
Lomborg: “It’s about time we realised that the current approach is broken.”
[Translation: Phew, at last: a voice of reason. Our children don't need to wet themselves with fear, after all.]
00.32: Uncaptioned, middle-aged English man (who is, in fact, Professor Gwyn Prins, joint author of the hotly debated Hartwell Paper) pointing his thumb at viewer: “If you want to get the attention of people on a complex issue you scare the pants off them.”
Footage of pyroclastic flows from volcano and children hiding under their desks during a Cold War drill.
[Translation: We're not into scaring people like these pitiful folk brainwashing our children, but we're going to use footage of a pyroclastic flow to ram home our point anyway, even though it has nothing to do with climate change. By the way, did we tell you that environmentalists are freaking the living bejesus out of our children? In fact, they're no better than those evil Commies we fought in the Cold War. They probably are Commies, to be honest.]
00.42: Lomborg: “If we only listen to worst-case scenarios, we are likely to be spending our money on the people who shout the loudest.”
JR: A truly inane comment. First off, if we listen to Lomborg and do virtually nothing to restrain emissions, then we just about guarantee the “worst-case scenarios,” which, in fact, are really just business as usual scenarios (see U.S. media largely ignores latest warning from climate scientists: “Recent observations confirm “¦ the worst-case IPCC scenario trajectories (or even worse) are being realised” “” 1000 ppm and Our hellish future: Definitive NOAA-led report on U.S. climate impacts warns of scorching 9 to 11°F warming over most of inland U.S. by 2090 with Kansas above 90°F some 120 days a year “” and that isn’t the worst case, it’s business as usual!“) Second, if we listen to the worst-case scenarios, we wouldn’t be spending our money on people who shout the loudest — we’d be spending it on energy efficiency and renewable technologies that reduce emissions, cut oil consumption, and improve public health.
Cut to archive footage of Al Gore: “The future of human civilisation is at stake.”
[Translation: Gosh, doesn't Gore shout loudly? Best to ignore him, then, and spend your money on my causes instead. See, I don't shout very loudly, do I?]
00.50: Cut to Freeman Dyson, labelled as “professor emeritus, institute of advanced study, Princeton”. Dyson is sitting in front of crammed bookshelves and a blackboard displaying equations.
[Translation: Sit up straight, people. This is a very wise man, indeed. He's also a darling of climate sceptics, but you don't need to know that for the purposes of this trailer because it might lessen his impact if we told you now that he actually accepts that mankind's carbon dioxide emissions are warming the planet - a point often ignored by his adoring fans.]
Dyson: “Al Gore’s film, that’s a brilliant film. The only problem is that a lot of it isn’t true and all of it that’s true is misinterpreted.”
[Translation: Gore's a clever manipulator. But I'm a lot smarter than him and have the evidence to prove it. Well, not in this trailer, obviously. You'll have to see the movie to see how I do that.]
JR: In fact, RealClimate explains here how the film’s supposed errors are not in fact erroneous.
00.58: Cut to Richard Lindzen, labelled as “professor of atmospheric science, MIT”. As with Dyson, Lindzen is sitting in front of a bookshelf.
[Translation: Look smart, people. We've got another clever person here to dazzle you with their intellect and authority. Yes, that's two of them in a row! Boy, doesn't this Lomborg fella mix with some seriously brainy people? His thesis about global warming must, therefore, be completely compelling. But we won't bother telling you here that Lindzen is among the most famous of the handful - count them - of climate sceptic scientists who has long revelled in his role as contrarian-in-chief.]
Lindzen: “[An Inconvenient Truth] was designed to scare you.”
01.02: Lomborg, giving a lecture: “The tag line of Al Gore’s movie is: ‘This is the most terrifying film you will ever see.’
[Translation: Just in case we haven't rammed home the point enough yet, Gore is a scaremonger.]
01.06: Cut to Paul Reiter, labelled as “professor of medical entomology, Pasteur Institute”, sitting in a garden: “Science has been hijacked by alarmists and the public are given to believe they are to blame.”
[Translation: Yes, that's right: we've got another sciency person for you. As with the previous two, he happens to be from a tiny cluster of scientists who hold views convenient for my thesis, but this is just a trailer so you don't need to bother with that. Nor, for that matter, the fact that Paul Reiter was also a go-to guy - hey, it's a small pond so who can blame him! - for Martin Durkin in his discredited "documentary" The Great Global Warming Swindle.]
01.12: Montage of celebrities pronouncing what to do to help the environment: “We started washing our clothes with stones”; “I’m completely off electronics” (Larry David); “Energy-efficient lightbulbs” (Ed Begley Jr); “Recycling more, drive hybrids.”
[Translation: We'd like you to believe that Lomborg has arrived at the conclusion that millionaire, jet-setting celebrities who espouse green advice are dumb, vapid and just a teeny-weeny bit hypocritical. But we don't really want to simultaneously give you the impression that most environmentalists have arrived at the same conclusion, too.]
01.21: Lomborg, giving a lecture: “These are great things. By all means let’s do them, but let’s not kid ourselves and believe that these things are going to fix the problem. Even if everyone changed to Priuses, it would only cut by about half a percent of what we need to cut by mid-century.”
[Translation: Lomborg sees through all this BS about how tiny steps make a big difference. As did many environmentalists long ago, but, again, we won't raise that here because we want to maintain the idea that Lomborg is the first person to reach this conclusion. Hey, we've got a film to promote here!]
01.36: Cut to montage of Lomborg’s critics.
Uncaptioned voice: “Bj¸rn Lomborg is a traitor.”
Uncaptioned man [who is, in fact, the late Professor Stephen Schneider]: “Now all of a sudden a guy no one’s ever heard comes along and he’s got the answer.”
Lomborg: “People got incredibly upset and said that can’t be true.”
[Translation: The calm, smart Lomborg is being unfairly maligned by over-emotional no-nothings.]
01.47: Freeman Dyson in his study: “Lomborg is someone I admire very much.”
Dyson’s statement is mixed with an image of a newspaper cutting: “Bj¸rn Lomborg is the devil incarnate.”
[Translation: Lomborg's critics sure are a crazy bunch, aren't they? Hey, they even call him the "devil incarnate"! Actually, that's not really true, but we're deep into this trailer so can probably get away with it. That quote actually comes from a 2001 Daily Telegraph article comparing Lomborg's "inquisition" to that experienced by Galileo. This is what the article actually said: "Among environmentalists, Dr Bj¸rn Lomborg is the devil incarnate, an academic Beelzebub determined to convince us that, contrary to everything we have been told, our planet is not really on the brink of eco-disaster at all." Anyway, back to the trailer"¦]
[Translation: Lomborg's critics can't reason with him, they can only resort to childish pranks. But let's ignore that Lomborg and Lynas have had many civil public debates since this event nine years ago.]
01.52: Uncaptioned man [the late Professor Stephen Schneider again]: “This guy needs to be taken down.”
[Translation: Wow, here's a critic calling for Lomborg to be "taken down"! Does he mean intellectually, or physically? You decide, because we haven't supplied you with enough context to know. You also don't need to know that Schneider was himself the victim of violently abusive hate mail due to the views he held about climate change.]
01.54: Uncaptioned man in white coat: “Bj¸rn is contributing significantly to our awareness.”
[Translation: Did we tell you that Lomborg is a hero? Look, a man in a white coat says so!]
01:56: Footage of Lomborg pacing with intent towards Capitol Hill.
[Translation: Watch out, any politician who dares to tackle climate change! Your nemesis has arrived and he means business.]
Lomborg (on BBC Hardtalk): “Global warming is happening.”
[Translation: Lomborg is not - I repeat NOT - one of those people who refuses to accept that mankind is contributing to global warming. He's on the side of actual, y'know, science.]
Lomborg: “It’s a discussion of how do we actually tackle it.”
[Translation: That's the nub, really. This film is just a debate about choosing the best policy response to climate change. It's the kind of debate environmentalists have been trying to spark for the past three decades. But we couldn't sell you a film on that premise because it's kind of dull, so we've spent the past two minutes trying to whip this all up into some kind of message about how Lomborg is peering fearlessly into a new paradigm of human knowledge despite attacks from the Luddites surrounding him. It's neat, isn't it?]
01:58: Text on blue-sky background: “Sundance Award-Winning Director Ondi Timoner”¦ Takes You On A Journey”¦ Where Speaking Out, Might Just Save the Planet.”
[Translation: So what if we've slipped into just the sort of hyperbole we accuse environmentalists of using? This is a Sundance award-winning director we're talking about here! Comprende?]
Uncaptioned narration: “When we put our minds to things, and when we invest, we could do amazing things.”
[Translation: Yep, another line we've conveniently cribbed from environmentalists, but it's a positive, rousing message so we're going to borrow it for the climax of our trailer.]
02.11: Quote from a review of Cool It appears on blue-sky background: “‘Enlightening, Eye-opening, Brain-Nourishing Stuff’ Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times.”
[Translation: See, even the liberal-loving Los Angeles Times buys into Lomborg. Everyone loves him - except for those unenlightened, eyes-closed, brainless environmentalists, of course. And, honestly, we just didn't have enough room on the screen to provide the full quote from Steven Zeitchik's review: "Cool It isn't always convincing, but it's enlightening, brain-nourishing stuff." We also couldn't squeeze in this other quote: "The accuracy of some points is hard to divine from the doc itself, but, if true, they are thought-provoking." If true! How dare he? To think that anyone could even think such a thought about the facts Lomborg's uses to underpin his arguments. Shame on them!]
02:18: Uncaptioned scientist in a laboratory: “There are a lot of scientists and engineers all over the world who are fully energised. We’re going to do it.”
[Translation: Again, Lomborg has uncovered solutions that, like, no one has ever thought of before. Scientists and engineers have been waiting for decades for Lomborg to come along so that their previously unnoticed and ignored innovations could be aired to the world.]
Lomborg: “What are the smart ideas and what is the cost and what is the benefit?”
[Translation: Holy bat cave! This man has dreamt up something that will come to be known to future generations as cost-benefit analysis! It will revolutionise how we come to see the solutions to climate change, because until now no one had even thought to consider their cost, or even their benefit.]
Graphic shows some options: “Alternative Energy, Wave energy, Water Splitting, Wind Energy, Urban Cooling, Geo-Engineering.”
[Translation: "Hello, is that the Nobel Prize jury? Ah, yes. I would like to nominate someone called Bj¸rn Lomborg for next year's peace prize"¦"]
– Leo Hickman, reprinted with permission from The Guardian website.
A reporter asked me today if there was a silver lining to the election. Hmm. Well, at least everyone’s gonna get to see just how wrong confusionists like Lomborg were — and because he’s a young guy, he may well live to see it himself.
- Lomborg flip-flop: “Climate change is undoubtedly one of the chief concerns facing the world today.”
- Martin Bunzl on “the definitive killer objection to geoengineering as even a temporary fix”
- The Bjorn Irrelevancy: Duke dean disses Danish delayer
- Lomborg’s main argument has collapsed
- Lindzen debunked again: New scientific study finds his paper downplaying dangers of human-caused warming is “seriously in error” - Trenberth: The flaws in Lindzen-Choi paper “have all the appearance of the authors having contrived to get the answer they got”).
- Re-discredited climate denialists (aka Lindzen) in denial: “The fact remains that the overwhelming body of evidence suggests that the alarmists’ fears are grounded in empirical reality.”
- Science: “Clouds Appear to Be Big, Bad Player in Global Warming,”an amplifying feedback (sorry Lindzen and fellow deniers).
- Kerry Emanuel slams media, asserts Lindzen charge in Boston Globe is “pure fabrication”
- For more Lindzen debunking “” see RealClimate here.