- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 2, 2016


A decade after “An Inconvenient Truth,” the debate continues to rage on all sides about global warming. While even so-called “climate change deniers” have begun to come around to the fact that it is, incontrovertibly, happening, many say it is simply too expensive to address.

“Time to Choose,” from documentarian Charles Ferguson (“No End in Sight,” “Inside Job”), makes the case that time is anything but on our side. Sadly, Al Gore’s “tipping point” has come and gone, with ideologues on all sides continue to scream that they know what must — or even can — be done. Cooperation continues to elude, and cash remains king.

Mr. Ferguson not only shines a harsh light on how much worse the problem has become — droughts, hurricanes, melting snowpacks, record-high temperatures — but on what can be done to hopefully stem the tide. Perhaps the saddest part of all is that many of the solutions espoused in the film have been around for years or even decades, but that old friend politics — and lobbying — continues to be a major roadblock toward anything being accomplishments.

The film, narrated by actor Oscar Isaac (who, if he is smart, will use the success of “X-Men: Apocalypse” to tout this film), is somewhat long on doomsday predictions and forced optimism. All of the talking heads have ideas, some of them great, but it’s not precisely enough to bring a hopeful glimmer by the closing credits. Also, Mr. Ferguson’s subjects are nearly all universally believers, with rather little in the way of debate between those who say it is happening and those who believe it is simply too big or too expensive to be addressed. The only way this issue will be solved is not through polemics but through cooperation, even making a coalition of those who are on the fence or far from it.

It’s hard to be optimistic in these times, both on a political and environmental front, in a culture that is obsessed with such seeming nonissues as bathroom access and which Kardashian is heading for divorce court. People are still having more children than they should, which is remains the heart of the problem given a dwindling world food supply. “Time to Choose” makes the case that the choice has already been made: Not enough has been done, and a final reckoning between humanity and the planet it has nearly drained of all resources is imminent.

Opens Friday at the District’s Landmark E Street Cinema. Russ Meittemerier of Conservation.org., who is featured in the film, will attend two Q&A sessions at E Street after screenings Friday at 7:30 and Saturday at 4:30.

Unrated: Contains proselytizing, a horror show of mankind’s activity and some rather somnambulant narration from Mr. Isaac.

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