Bjørn Lomborg needs to Cool off.
COOL IT (Ondi Timoner). 88 minutes. Opens Friday (November 26). For venues, trailers and times, see Movies. Rating: NN
Ondi Timoner's documentaries Dig! and We Live In Public were the result of her hanging around fascinating, complicated people - the bipolar musician Anton Newcombe for the former, and the complex internet visionary Josh Harris for the latter.
Her latest project, Cool It, has a similarly confounding subject. Bjørn Lomborg, the Danish author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, infuriated climate-change scientists by suggesting Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth misrepresented the issue by using worst-case scenarios and demanding expensive industrial fixes that would cost far more than they would save.
Timoner follows Lomborg around the world as he explores cheaper - and more business-friendly - alternatives to the proposed methods of carbon reduction. First, though, the movie has to spend half its running time explaining that Lomborg isn't a climate-change denier by having him declare it over and over again, which isn't the most dynamic storytelling choice.
Things pick up when Timoner gets into the suggestions Lomborg investigates - like painting urban roads and rooftops white to reflect heat instead of trapping it, or releasing aerosol into the stratosphere to force global cooling.
But her subject keeps waffling on a specific course of action, calling for more research before his consulting group can decide on a definitive approach. You can see why he pisses off the activists. And, eventually, the audience.