The science of global warming is tough enough to evaluate without the sort of hard sell that Ondi Timoner pushes on behalf of her subject, Bjorn Lomborg. Author of The Skeptical Environmentalist (the movie’s sourcebook), the Danish adjunct professor of statistics has become, over the past decade, a thorn in the side of the environmentalist consensus on climate meltdown.
Given a soapbox, the gadfly gets to air his cost-benefit objections to widely accepted proposals and entertains what-if alternatives that sound dubious for the long term. Thanks to knee-jerk condemnation by scientists back home, he’s cast as the rationalist victim of groupthink and has a counterproductive advocate in Timoner, the Sundance-approved director of Dig and We Live in Public.
Timoner does present a colorful cast of supportive scientists and scores a funny dig at green indoctrination with a classroom of schoolkids fretting over Dad’s toaster usage. But by the time we’re being hustled through the finer points of algae energy and the renewed viability of dikes, Lomborg sounds like an infomercial huckster, down to the vow to have money for “all the remaining problems of the world,” thanks to his low, low price for managing global warming.