A Global Warming?A coworker lent me an amazing piece of work called A Global Warning? It does an excellent job illustrating the chaotic nature of terrestrial climate and explaining the theories behind some of the most dramatic climate transitions. It’s not a perfect movie, but if you won’t read With Speed and Violence, it’s probably the best thing there is. It gets into both ocean clathrates (methane hydrate crystals) and the melting permafrost (more methane).

Best of all, not a single denialist or confusionist in the whole thing. It simply says "most scientists," cites the IPCC (the only appearance by Gore is him picking up the Nobel), and makes a strong case that while climate may undergo some rapid changes without us, we have our collective finger on the trigger on the climate howitzer. No James Hansen, but lots of Lonnie Thompson (Ohio State), whom people will recall from The Weather Makers and other good books on the climate crisis.

I give it four stars rather than five — with good editing it could have been an amazing and riveting hour rather than a good 94 minutes. A little too much playing with CGS gizmos, a little too much repetition, but maybe that’s them knowing their audience.

What’s most amazing is that it seems to have received essentially zero notice — someone put a lot of work into this thing, and I’ve never heard of it, nor had my coworker. It should be in every library and school in the country.

And nice touch: the packaging is 100% recyclable material, no plastic at all (save the disc itself) and the "5 Easy First Steps You Can Do Today" on the inside cover are reasonably sensible, though we might quibble with the order:

  1. Bring your own bags when you shop
  2. Save on electricity (with suggestions)
  3. Save on gas (with suggestions)
  4. Shop a farmer [sic] — local food
  5. Water smarts– drink tap, not bottled, get a stainless steel bottle.

Interesting how such an uncompromisingly pro-science movie appeared on the History Channel and managed to be so widely ignored.