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National Geographic: Six Degrees Could Change the World [Blu-ray]
National Geographic Six Degrees Could Change the World
Actor: Alec Baldwin
Director: Ron Bowman
Genres: Television, Educational
NR     2008     1hr 36min

Examines the effects of global warming on both personal and worldwide levels.


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Movie Details

Actor: Alec Baldwin
Director: Ron Bowman
Creators: Erich Roland, Iana Porter, Nicole Vinnola, Stephen Reverand, Ed Fields, Mark Lynas
Genres: Television, Educational
Sub-Genres: Television, Educational
Studio: Nat'l Geographic Vid
Format: Blu-ray - Color
DVD Release Date: 09/30/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 00/00/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 36min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Absorbing documentary; read the book, too
Jazz fan from New England | Boston, MA, USA | 02/18/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Excellent, well-paced documentary; kept me watching all the way through. Of course it's advocacy. What do you expect? Most worthwhile discussions of political topics are advocacy. It's up to you to decide what to think about such discussions, based on the evidence and your own policy preferences. The same people who complain that films like this are one-sided are perfectly happy to get their `news' from Fox News. For them, one-sidedness is OK so long as it's their side.

And of course the film is simplistic. 90 minutes isn't enough for a PhD dissertation or academic paper. The film dramatizes the conclusions of a variety of climate scientists. The book it's based on (Six Degrees by Mark Lynas, who shows up quite a lot in the film) notes over and over that many of these conclusions, particularly the more extreme ones, are highly speculative; no one knows exactly what will happen in extreme conditions. (The film says this too, now and then). Of course. These are possibilities, only. Some scientists think they are serious dangers. It's worth listening to them.

The scariest things in the film for me, though, weren't the dramatic scenes of wildfires and super-storms and massive destruction of the Amazon. One of the scariest was a nice segment showing vinyards in England growing champagne grapes. English champagne! You have to have lived in England forty years ago to know just how wrong that sounds. No one had been able to make wine in England for centuries. Now it's a paying proposition.

The biggest problem in environmentalist films is the pathetic nature of the solutions offered. We are exhorted to drive smaller cars, turn off appliances, etc. How hollow and silly this kind of thing is is shown in the film itself. One scientist has spent years researching the carbon footprint of cheeseburgers in the US. Turns out it is bigger than the carbon footprint of all the SUVs in the US. Clearly we have a problem too big for individuals here, if junking every SUV would have less impact than eliminating one particular kind of meal.

The bottom line for climate change is that it really isn't about religion, ideology, or politics. You can argue about those topics forever, and there will never be proof to convince the true believers on the other side. With climate change, however, it is either happening or it isn't. If it isn't, environmentalists' arguments won't mean anything. But if it is, all the claims of the skeptics, all their advocacy, all the money paid by energy companies and others to support them, will not turn down the Earth's thermostat by a tenth of a degree. Climate change will simply be an accomplished fact. Of course, by then, it will be too late to do anything about it."