As April leaves us with this one last day, it’s appropriate to end the month’s theme of environmentalism with a look at films that very well could change your mind about something regarding alternative energy or climate change. And even if they don’t go that far, they’ll at least surprise you a bit about their subject matter and probably get you thinking differently. These are not documentaries aimed at sending the usual green messages, but they’re not conservative features looking to debunk those usual green messages, either. They’re about or made by people going against the grain in their thinking on the issues, and that makes them really fascinating. The following list highlights documentaries about the environment that aren’t preaching to the choir. They take risks with different attitudes, and here’s what’s not surprising: none of them are big hits.
From director Ondi Timoner (Dig!; We Live In Public), this 2010 doc is based on Bjorn Lomberg’s books The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the State of the World and Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming and features Lomberg explaining his highly controversial theories on climate change. He directly responds to Al Gore’s points from An Inconvenient Truth with his own facts on sea level rise and super storms and even polar bear endangerment. Lomberg isn’t a global warming denier from the other side of the political spectrum, though. He just is saying to “cool it” with all the fear-mongering rhetoric as well as all the wasting of money for solutions that aren’t working and maybe aren’t necessary. A movie like this should be able to bridge the extreme sides regarding climate change, though I’m not that surprised it didn’t seem appealing for either audience. And the regular climate change crowd were worried he’d hurt their cause.
Available to stream free on Amazon Instant Video Prime or rent from iTunes, Amazon and other digital outlets.