Everything's Cool (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

Everything's Cool (2007)

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Global warming has been the most significant environmental issue to come to the public's attention in the final quarter of the Twentieth Century. But while most people know what global warming is, convincing folks that it's a real and present danger has been a difficult task, especially since a number of Republican political leaders and leading figures in multi-national business have used their power and influence to question the facts behind the issue, or dismiss scientific evidence as tree-hugging hysteria. The grassroots efforts of environmental activists to spread the word about the very real dangers of this looming crisis are chronicled in Everything's Cool, a documentary which focuses on a wide variety of concerned people working to shift public opinion, from author Ross Gelbspan and former Vice President Al Gore to ordinary citizens who use chat at work and in elevators to spread the message. The film also looks at how activists used the big-budget sci-fi film The Day After Tomorrow as a springboard to push global warming into public consciousness. Everything's Cool was screened in competition at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Special Interest
Directed By: ,
Written By: Judith Helfand, Daniel B. Gold
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 11, 2007
Runtime:
City Lights Media/Green Owl/Red Envelope - Official Site

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Critic Reviews for Everything's Cool

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (5)

While the film offers plenty of food for thought along the way, it's hard not to wish that it contained more nutritional value.

November 28, 2007
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

No one who has read more than a couple of articles about global warming will learn anything from this movie, but there is some amusement value.

Full Review… | November 24, 2007
New York Post
Top Critic

Gratingly condescending toward its audience and sorely lacking in any substantive information about the problem or the solution.

Full Review… | November 20, 2007
Village Voice
Top Critic

Gold and Helfand paint a considerably livelier cinematic tableau than An Inconvenient Truth as they interview a diverse cross-section of artists, scientists and average Joes who are devoting themselves to the betterment of the environment.

Full Review… | February 28, 2007
Variety
Top Critic

November 23, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic

addresses the problem of making an American public aware of climactic catastrophe as if it were 1999 and Clinton still the president.

Full Review… | November 22, 2007
Filmcritic.com

Audience Reviews for Everything's Cool

½

Good documentary that takes a more laid-back approach to Global Warming. Sometimes, the approach is too laid-back, as the filmmakers don't state their case until the final moments of the film. Generally well done.

jmillerdp
John Miller
½

This is a good follow up film to "An Inconvenient Truth." The main thing to get out of this film is that to get the environmental movement to actually move, as Bill McKibben is trying to do, we need to remove the obstacles that impede our progress in a democratic society - those obstacles are the moneyed interests that fund bad science and turn powerful politicians into global warming skeptic spokespeople through their campaign contributions. Until we public finance our campaigns and remove the big money influence from our political process, all movements, not just the environmental movement will continue to move like molasses or not move at all.

SCREENED AT THE 2007 SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: Al Gore's Academy Award-winning documentary, [i]An Inconvenient Truth[/i], made a persuasive, often disturbing for global warming and the need to take concerted political action. Daniel B. Gold ([i]Blue Vinyl[/i]) and Judith Helfand's ([i]Blue Vinyl[/i], [i]A Healthy Baby Girl[/i]) documentary, [i]Everything's Cool[/i], focuses on the politics surrounding global warming. On one side, researchers, scientists, activists and like-minded politicians argued for global warming. On the other side, an interconnected group of think tanks funded by the energy lobby helped to delay action through artificial debate in the media and through Republican-controlled government. Environmentalists also had to contend with an indifferent media and an even more indifferent public.

Covering the months before the 2004 presidential election that saw George W. Bush win a second term by a narrow margin, through the fall of 2006, [i]Everything's Cool[/i] begins with Gold and Helfand going on tour of the highways and byways of the United States, their goal: to discover whether public opinion polls that suggested general apathy or ignorance about global warming was, in fact, correct. It was, especially during a contentious presidential election that focused primarily on the war and occupation of Iraq and President Bush's role as commander-in-chief. Bush won, and environmentalists concerned about global warming found an administration inhospitable to their claims essentially shut them out of the policy-making process.

While [i]Everything's Cool[/i] examines the Bush administration's efforts to ignore the mounting scientific evidence that supported global warming, often within the federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Aerospace and Space Administration (NASA), and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). Gold and Helfand draw from several whistleblowers, including Rick Piltz, a career bureaucrat with the CEQ who witnessed political appointees changing climate reports to downplay global warming, as well as interviews with several luminaries in the global warming field, including author Ross Gelbspan, as his latest (and reportedly last) book, [i]Boling Point[/i], gets published, Bill McKibben, an activist and author of [i]The End of Nature[/i] who leads a symposium, and Michael Shellenger and Ted Nordhaus, authors of a controversial paper, [i]The Death of Environmentalism[/i], that attempts to locate where scientists and the environmental movement has gone wrong in communicating the global warming message to the general public.

Gold and Helfand also follow Dr. Heidi Cullen, a climatologist with a Ph.D. from Columbia University, hired in 2004 by The Weather Channel to explain global warming to their audience in three-minute sound bites. Cullen takes lessons on deportment and delivery while honing her message about global warming (i.e., it's here, it's real, and we need to do something about it). Cullen eventually gets the hang of cable television and even gets a weekly program. While executives at The Weather Channel accept global warming as a reality and see Cullen as a valuable addition to their staff, the other cable news networks don't have anyone of Cullen's background on staff.

Connected to the Republican Party and other conservative interests, the FOX News Network gives global warming opponents plenty of airtime, in effect legitimizing claims that global warming is theory partially supported by factual evidence (if at all). FOX News regularly includes representatives from major conservative think tanks, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute (funded in large part by the energy industry), to "refute" global warming. Simply having a second voice in the "debate" gives global warming opponents the opportunity to delay political action as long as possible while the energy industry obtains record profits with the open support of the Bush administration and the Republican Party. The November 2006 elections that switched control of the House of Representatives and the Senate from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party may have a positive effect on political action aimed at curbing global warming, but so did Hurricane Katrina almost two years ago.

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, flooding New Orleans, leaving tens of thousands homeless and almost two thousand dead. With close to $150 billion dollars in property damage in Louisiana and Mississippi, Hurricane Katrina became the costliest Atlantic coast hurricane in history. With Cullen watching and reporting on the hurricane and its possible connection to global warming, federal inaction most likely affected the 2006 mid-term elections in favor of the Democratic Party. Here, finally, was real evidence of what unchecked global warming could do. Less than six months later, critics lauded [i]An Inconvenient Truth[/i] for making global warming understandable to general audiences. Audiences responded by making [i]An Inconvenient Truth[/i] a success at the box office.

[i]Everything's Cool[/i], however, ends before the November elections, leaving viewers to fill in the blanks on their own. While that?s not necessarily a problem(it?s just bad timing), [i]Everything?s Cool[/i] could have benefited from a more focused approach. A side trip into bio-diesel as an alternative fuel source, while insightful, could have been saved for the inevitable DVD release. Gold and Helfand could have also included more inter-titles or time stamps to indicate when specific footage was shot. Sometime it?s clear, sometimes it?s not. These are minor issues, however, with a documentary that offers viewers an opportunity to meet the relatively unknown researchers, scientists, and activists who?ve helped shape public and political opinion on global warming for the better.

fyodor_fish
Mel Valentin

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