Monday, February 14, 2011
Carbon Nation Documentary Review
Peter Byck, creator and producer of Carbon Nation, said his audience for the film is skeptics and people who just don't care - yet. He took the "big tent approach," to quote him directly. He said he didn't want to go down the blaming road, but rather to create an uplifting presentation of the answers to climate change.
I think the biggest problem with this movie is that Peter Byck is a filmmaker who decided to make a documentary about the environment, rather than an environmentalist or expert on a particular sustainability issue choosing to make a documentary. [Side anecdote: At the end of the screening there was a Q+A with him and two representatives from the organization 350. I asked if they had any upcoming events, if there might be one on 11.11.11 (since there was a huge event on 10.10.10) and Byck thought this was just genius! He was amazed by it for a good few minutes…]
I would not recommend this movie to any fellow bloggers or people who have studied the environment for any significant amount of time. The movie really is for beginners, for all others it's simply frustrating. Its oversimplification can been uplifting and hopeful, but causes many inaccurate statements. Its broad range of topics prevents the movie from delving into any single topic significantly and only allows time for a statement of the most obvious facts. Throughout the movie there were interviews from poorly described "experts," who I assumed could have very well been executives at companies whose products they were advocating. If you know anything about environmentalism this movie will probably not teach you anything.
Overall rating: thumbs down
oversimplified, inaccurate, naïve
NYPost gave it 1 star and said "Wind power plus solar power equals hot air in the propaganda piece "Carbon Nation," a documentary so disconnected from reality it could have been produced by President Obama's speechwriters.
New York Times said "all we need to do is enact some kind of carbon tax, and our problems will be solved. That may be true, but it sure is naïve. This film seems blissfully unaware that political obstructionists are paralyzing the legislative process; that deep-pocketed influence peddlers have a vested interest in maintaining the fossil fuel culture; that, in general, people resist change."