Movie Review: Carbon Nation

Now before you go and write this off as another boring documentary about Global Warming claiming to scare you into caring, give me a chance to enlighten you about Carbon Nation. The documentary is simply an unbiased, yet interesting look at what every person could do on the Earth to help curb our global climate crisis. The film doesn’t care if you believe in Global Warming or not, and it really doesn’t care if you think it’s caused by humans, nature or whatever. This is simply a grown up version of politics that aims at getting some simple and innovative solutions out there for everyone to take part in.

Now, anyone who knows me knows that I am a certified eco-friendly, green-preaching tree hugger and I have done my fair share of research on anything I can do to help out. I already recycle 90% of my trash, drive a hybrid and have replaced all my bulbs with CFLs. I am in the process of setting up a compost bin in the yard and then I won’t have to pay a trash bill at all! However, I was surprised and intrigued when Carbon Nation introduced some new ideas I hadn’t heard yet. Most of the film is set on a big picture spectrum, so many of the things that are discussed will have to have some big initiative behind them, like a mayor or the government funding the item of change.

Such an idea that I hadn’t thought of or heard before was turning some of the idle car manufacturing plants into those that build wind turbines instead. I’ve always thought, why do we need to keep making so many cars every year? When I buy a new car, which I just did this year (the Hybrid, remember) I plan on riding it into the ground. Well, maybe not that much, but I do plan on keeping the car for the possibility of ten years. The average American keeps a car for four or five years though. So, why do car manufacturers make enough new cars every year for every one to get a new one every year? Shut some of those down, or alternate the years. One year the company can make some swanky new eco-friendly car, the next year, it’s completely dedicated to wind turbines. There’s so much money in it anyway. Every steel worker would love the work.

Another idea from the film is getting behind the Department of Defense. There are some very smart people that are taking a look at where all our money goes in these wars over seas. A huge chunk is delivering fuel in large convoys to the camp sites to fuel electricity in order to run air conditioners. However, the tents weren’t insulated or sealed in any way. We have a massive national debt because we spend billions every year air conditioning the desert. This team of smarties started using spray foam on the tents, which sealed them to the ground and made them much more stable. Now they can use very little of the resources they used before and the soldiers can actually cool off inside.

So, I would like to encourage everyone to sit down and watch this 82 minute documentary that claims no side, but just tries to put some ideas in people’s heads about what they can do. Maybe you can’t afford solar panels, but you could start recycling your plastics, aluminums and paper products. And to all those people who go through every winter and when it gets really cold, or we get a foot of snow say, “what global warming?” I pity your ignorance. Have you not noticed that storms in every season are twice as worse as they have been in the past all over the world? The Earth is simply trying to correct itself with all the methane and CO2 we keep injecting in it’s veins. It can still get cold here in the winter and kill the polar bears in the North Pole. Glaciers are disappearing at a rapid rate, and half of the animals on this planet are in danger of becoming extinct.

Carbon Nation gives some really smart ideas throughout the documentary, but ultimately people won’t do anything unless they are going to get money out of it. The documentary gives many ideas for how to start making a little extra in your pocket while being kind to the planet. Everyone and their brother has said, “We have got to get off our dependence for foreign oil.” Is it just me, or is this statement starting to sound like a woman that keeps stating that she needs to start dieting… next week. Everyone is starting to talk about climate change, and that’s a good start, but we need some action in large proportions starting now. One aspect of the documentary that they barely touched on and I wished they had done more of was the prospects of the next generation of kids that are becoming economically responsible. They are more aware of what animals are endangered and what conditions need to be reversed more so than 95% of the elected officials on Capital Hill. It was one of the more inspiring moments of the film and it’s a thought that calms me and lets me sleep at night knowing that we will probably come out of this.

Carbon Nation puts the light on a lot of problems that the United States is currently dealing with, but it also ends with an uplifting note. I really left the film with a feeling of renewed hope for Americans. It also renewed my passion for going as green as possible and you should too. Embrace change.

I give Carbon Nation 4.5 “Happy Polar Bears”out of 5

by Angela Davis

About Angela

Angela is the Editor-in-Chief of Lost in Reviews. She and Ryan created Lost in Reviews together in 2009 out of a mutual hatred for all the stodgy old farts currently writing film reviews. Since launching the site, Angela has enjoyed reviewing indie films over all other films, picking up new music from all corners of the world and photographing live shows. She is the co-host of Blu Monday and a member of the Kansas City Film Critic Circle.

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