This year’s Sundance film festival is all-in on climate. What better way to trigger the “Gore effect?” As often happens when Gore hypes the climate, festival-goers in Park City Utah are freezing their warming off.

“What else could go wrong?” asked festival director John Cooper. What’s gone “wrong”? Well, Trump Trump Trump, a cyber attack, power outages, public complaint about internet access, freeway shut downs, traffic gridlock due to too many SUVs, busses, delivery trucks and snow plows, festival banners blowing off and down Main Street, and a big chunky snowstorm with bouts of full on blizzard and temperature in the single digits. Minus three is forecast for Thursday.

The snow and freezing weather has attendees bundled up in fur coats, goose down stuffed Patagonia jackets, slick leather jackets and big furry snow boots — all the comforts an energy rich, free market society can provide.

Al Gore made a personal appearance at the premiere of his “An Inconvenient Sequel,” and told us, “we are putting 110 million tonnes of global warming pollution [CO2] in the atmosphere every 24 hours.” Gore proclaimed “the sustainability movement is unstoppable.” The audience of over 1000 clapped and cheered with enthusiasm, not pausing to consider what life might be like without the energy and prosperity they take for granted.

Sundance’s “New Climate” line up is relentless in targeting American freedom as the source of the world’s problems. Capitalism is bad, CO2 is bad, cars are bad, consumerism is bad, unrepentant white people are bad, cattle are bad, and the list goes on.

The solution is always the same: 100% renewable energy (wind and solar), moving people out of the countryside and packing them into cities, electric cars, banning Edison’s light bulb, reducing consumerism, giving children a thorough Green indoctrination, and giving in to whatever radical feminists are demanding at the moment.

The climate porn at Sundance moved beyond the figurative to the literal with the inclusion of the short film Hot Winter, a parody of the campy porn films of the eighties. “One of the first films in American cinema to address climate change,” the joke goes, the film was also a “hardcore porno.” For the Festival, “all sex scenes have been removed as to not distract from the conscious message.” We follow “Dr. Manly,” the world’s most renowned climate scientist, body builder, and former actor, as he eventually falls for the much hated Oil, Corporation’s president, Ms. Frost. Everything leads back to global warming and at the end of the film we are told that “global warming is real” and the way to save the earth is by using renewable energy. Are the film’s producers parodying eighties porn or the warming campaign itself? Do you they even know?

Chasing Coral, a documentary that has been purchased by Netflix, tells us that due to global warming coral reefs are “vanishing at an unprecedented rate.” It claims that your use of fossil fuel is adding CO2 to the atmosphere that is bleaching the reefs.

The film, which compares global warming to a fever, features some visually stunning underwater photography, but its heavy-handed lecturing makes it tough to watch. Inconveniently for the filmmakers, huge sections of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef recovered right after they left. The filmmakers seem unaware that corals are vastly old species that existed long before people at temperatures and CO2 concentrations far higher than anything we experience today.

A cool feature (in addition to the snow) was the use of virtual reality (VR).

Tree VR – virtual reality is fun and so was acting like an Amazon Rainforest tree…until the end. I started off inside the trunk as a growing tree. Reaching out my arms in front and back, to the sides, my branches grew. Chirping birds and fluttering butterflies flew around me. A babbling brook below me and the canopy of trees soon below me. And then, in the distance, a fire raged. As the fire got closer my legs heated up. Can you guess the ending? Next scene: a brand-new little tree.  Such is the circle of life.

Melting Ice VR – a 6 minute virtual reality experience that goes along with Inconvenient Sequel. The experience begins in an openness of snow. Looking down, I see my virtual snowmobile is tipped over. I must have crashed and am stranded. But thankfully I can hear and see a red chopper off in the distance. It lands before me. Two men get off and it’s Al Gore and a global warming scientist to the rescue. I don’t even think he asks me if I’m ok …there’s more important business to be done. I’m launched into a tent observing Al and the scientist discuss Greenland’s melting ice. And that’s what one observes the rest of the time until at the end, I found myself on a small, floating glacier about the size of a large Al Gore SUV.

Chasing Coral VR – this virtual reality experience goes along with the documentary – bleaching coral due to global warming.  Sadly on this one the quality was lame and the experience was lame.

Far sadder, it appears Robert Redford is no longer a Sundance kid.  He introduced a panel but forgot who he was supposed to introduce besides his son Jamie. You could hear someone helping him out…” it rhymes with Jamie.” Robert replied, oh, I have a daughter named Amy … and he got it…he was supposed to introduce Amy Goodwin of Democracy Now.  Ms. Goodwin made no effort to hold back her belief in global warming and dislike of President Trump. Panelists including Al Gore, David Suzuki, and others.  When Amy would nudge panelists into saying something not so nice about the new President the crowd loved it.  Any global warming gave Park City a miss that day.  When Amy Goodwin left the Egyptian Theater swaddled in winter boots, hat, jacket and arms crossing her chest in the cold, she certainly looked cold.  She hummed and hawed at me until she was driven off in her Democracy Now van sporting license plates from sunny Florida.

The New Climate” at Sundance 2017 includes:

Films, Clips, Short Projects

Chasing Coral

Hot Winter

Inconvenient Sequel

Look and See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry

Plastic China

Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman

Rise

The Dive

Trophy

Visions of an Island

Water & Power: A California Heist

Virtual Reality

Melting Ice

Chasing Coral

Tree

Panel Discussions

The Film That Blew My Mind Goes Environmental – how films shape audience minds and actions

The New Climate Panel and Storytelling with intro by Robert Redford featuring Al Gore and David Suzuki hosted by Amy Goodwin of Democracy Now

Community in Action – A Park City Panel Discussion on how Park City will be 100% renewable, net zero Carbon by 2032

 

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