Last night our synagogue previewed The Great Warming (with Keanu Reeves and Alanis Morissette) and promoted as a film that 'examines evidence that human activities are provoking an unprecedented era of atmospheric warming and climatic events". Since I have yet to find any credible evidence of such a phenomena I decided that I had to attend.
What I found was that the film scares people with the prospect of global warming but did not present evidence of the impact of humanity in causing significant global warming other than assertions and anecdotes. Since this event was a discussion - after the presentation people started reacting. A typical response is 'since this is such an obvious danger what can we do about it?'. I challenged the rest of the audience with a scientific view - science shows that this is a normal and repeating cycle with very controversial evidence that humanity has any significant impact.
The outcome was very positive - people shifted their focus to the positive actions being taken to pollute less and consider that the information in the film is presented by many with vested interests. One of the 'experts' maintains that only government officials have the power to make the necessary changes but the 'rest of us' should be so agitated that we force our elected officials to do something. This is the obvious activist and political thrust of the film. We had some discussion about the types of economic triggers people responded to and I found that the case presented in the film of Chris Holmes EcoCité was very compelling in that in Canada they can construct an apartment where the yearly energy cost is about $75 per year.
One important aspect that this film could address (but misses) is not how we can prevent global warming but how we could marshal efforts to survive global warming.
This film was presented in a religious context (Selihot) and our Rabbi offer verses from Genesis to compare mankind's domination of the earth with its care taking. I offered that in the Book of Job man is admonished for arrogance in thinking that we can cause the wind to blow or harness the power of Leviathan. Selihot calls for humility - a humility to walk respectfully and not to presume that we are in control of our destiny or of the earth.