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4.1 out of 5 stars
National Geographic: Six Degrees Could Change the World
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This is a spectacular piece of professional work and so compelling as to be inspirational.

I watched this with my wife with no lights, and decided to take no notes. Here are the highlights from my memory.

1) Brilliant, utterly brilliant, history, photography, personalities (such as the Indian guru that has photographed the source of the Ganges for 50 years) and sequencing. I don't want to overdo it, but this may well be the single most important DVD of the century, and so worthy of both buying, showing to groups, and giving as a gift to others.

2) We are well on our way to 2-3 degrees rise, and if we do not begin to act sensibly now, toward six degrees. I absolutely loved the way this film developed, showing the changes one degree at a time. My wife had to point out the computer simulations, the producers and editors of this film are world class--they should share the Nobel with Herman Daly, Lester Brown, Paul Hawkin, and Anthony Lovin, Gore's Nobel was an ill-advised politicized award, he is in the fourth grade compared to this film and the serious people it focused upon.

3) Oceans as the critical carbon absorbing element, and coral as the "canary in the coal mine" really grabbed me The overall screenplay, photography, voice overs, everything about this is spectacularly professional and rivieting.

4) Amazon as the next most critical element, with riveting views of the Amazon river drying up in 2005, and the potential scenarios of drought, fires, more drought.

5) Increasing destructiveness of weather. Katrina as the first of what could become every month storms, instead of 100 year storms. In passing, the film shows the world-class levies built by the Europeans, and they do not show the downright retarded cement levees of the US Army Corps of Engineers, levees that are the laughing stock of the rest of the (sophisticated) world.

A highlight of the film was its focus on the one man that has figured out the total carbon footprint of the cheeseburger, to include the methane farts of the cows. I am not making this up. This film is AMAZING, it is spectacular, it is professional, it is precisely the kind of well-crafted material that We the People need to begin self-governing rather than entrusting war criminals and and cronies (both parties) who sell us out.

Here are ten links that augment the deep insight and value that this DVD provides to anyone able to see it.

High Noon 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them
The Future of Life
Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, Third Edition
The leadership of civilization building: Administrative and civilization theory, symbolic dialogue, and citizen skills for the 21st century
How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, Updated Edition
Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage
Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution
The Philosophy of Sustainable Design
Running On Empty: How The Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It
Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

Apart from these, allowed by Amazon, I recommend the many books on climate, catastrophe, etcetera. See my many lists.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2008
Format: DVD
It's a shame how militarists have so narrowly defined "national security" as an issue to focus us on war-making. But as ample evidence shows, we have security issues that involve building a sustainable economy, renewable energy, sensible transit, green architecture, new urbanism and much else.
I saw "Six Degrees" on the National Geographic Channel, and the author of the book was recently interviewed on C-SPAN's BookTV. As impactful as these media efforts have been, social change is being stalled by reckless voices on radio stations around the country (Limbaugh alone is on over 700 stations) who are misinforming millions of politically engaged people. These same people insist that we spare no expense when it comes to threats from foreign policy blowback, but they refuse to acknowledge the potential catastrophe of double-glazing the planet in carbon dioxide.
"Security" does not have to mean more profits for weapons contractors Why We Fight. Security can come to mean more profits for businesses that work on wind, solar, and tidal power; as well as efficiency and conservation innovations Sustainable Industries.
Many of our energy "needs" have actually been manufactured and marketed by industries that want to maximize the use of their commodity. Overcoming the "perception management" campaigns of those entrenched business interests is a daunting task, but so much progress has already been made that corporatists are increasingly desperate in their media efforts. The general public may not have PR firms funded by Exxon to advocate for their interests Everything's Cool, but we do have countless people who can write letters to editors, blog, call into talk radio (progressive and right-wing shows), post on message boards, share DVDs Refugees of the Blue Planet, subscribe to magazines Plenty Magazine, teach Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, preach A Greener Faith: Religious Environmentalism and Our Planet's Future and invest green Green Investing: A Guide to Making Money through Environment Friendly Stocks.
True security doesn't mean designing evermore destructive weapons of war; but, rather, designing evermore constructive methods of sustainability e2: Design Season 2.

"Humanity has entered into a condition that is in some sense more globally united and interconnected, more sensitized to the experiences and suffering of others, in certain respects more spiritually awakened, more conscious of alternative future possibilities and ideals, more capable of collective healing and compassion, and, aided by technological advances in communication media, more able to think, feel, and respond together in a spiritually evolved manner to the world's swiftly changing realities than has ever before been possible."
-Richard Tarnas, quoted in Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History Is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beau
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2009
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I am a geography/earth science teacher. This DVD spells out in concrete terms what each degree of temperature increase means to us and planet Earth. It is a real eye opener.
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67 of 87 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2008
Format: Blu-ray
I think a break down of the ratings speak for themselve a bit.

One person put a 1 because they found it offensive(perhaps they don't like the idea of spending money to find an alternative to dumping their company's waste in the river.)

The other person put a 5 (perhaps they bought everything this propa-documentary said and hate selfish people that are too profit motivated or believe everything the powers that be try to sell them.)

Well I thought it was informative. But I also noticed some things that attempted to manipulated the viewers thoughts and opinions, like showing the nuclear plant's exhaust while talking about carbon dioxide and fossil fuels. That exhaust is water vapor from cooling towers, not smoke plumes.
Same with the catasrophic weather and katrina. Yes it was a catasrophic storm, but a lot of the suffering in N.O. was partly to blame on gross negligence of the powers that be.

I did notice it had high production values. Which is also what annoyed me with the manipulative information. If you are going to invest that much time and money into a film why do you have to shape the truth? Can't we ever get documentaries that are only moderately biased so that we can decide for ourselves? These films just fall on deaf ears to some and make others look like tin foil hat wearers. Integrity was compromised.

I still learned a lot however.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2008
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Don't just change your light bulbs. Don't just recycle. You have to stop using oil, you have to stop eating hamburgers, you have to stop cutting down trees. Not tomorrow, not next year, right now. The idea is not just to save money, which we would, and also save nature, which we would, but we have to save ourselves. We have to change the way we live. We have to get away from plastics, coal burning, roads, cities, and beef. To just name a few things. In other words, we're pretty much doomed. But Alec Baldwin has a great voice, the packaging is a green-product and the extras really help you save money. Too bad the packaging sucks when it comes to HOLDING the DVD in place but you can't have everything.
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2008
Format: DVD
Dido Eastsideenzo's comment. Buy Six Degrees, watch, learn, research and act. The science it contains is accurate and the consequences it presents range from probable to speculative, and is clearly stated so. Obviously, reviewer Scat Savoy does not give a hoot about science and did not read the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 report nor the 2005 Joint science academies' statement: Global response to climate change in which the U.S. National Academy of Sciences joined 10 other national science academies in calling on world leaders to acknowledge that the threat of climate change is clear and increasing, to address its causes, and to prepare for its consequences. The statement says sufficient scientific understanding of climate change exists for all nations to identify cost-effective steps that can be taken now to contribute to substantial and long-term reductions in net global greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. (and this was based on IPCC 2001 data!) These documents are a simple Google search away. Nations are made up of individuals. This documentary helps to educate the individuals, all of us, who need to understand this issue and be moved to act...if not for yourself, then for your children and grandchildren.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2010
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
Excellent, well-paced documentary; kept me watching all the way through. Of course it's advocacy. What do you expect? Most worthwhile discussions of political topics are advocacy. It's up to you to decide what to think about such discussions, based on the evidence and your own policy preferences. The same people who complain that films like this are one-sided are perfectly happy to get their `news' from Fox News. For them, one-sidedness is OK so long as it's their side.

And of course the film is simplistic. 90 minutes isn't enough for a PhD dissertation or academic paper. The film dramatizes the conclusions of a variety of climate scientists. The book it's based on (Six Degrees by Mark Lynas, who shows up quite a lot in the film) notes over and over that many of these conclusions, particularly the more extreme ones, are highly speculative; no one knows exactly what will happen in extreme conditions. (The film says this too, now and then). Of course. These are possibilities, only. Some scientists think they are serious dangers. It's worth listening to them.

The scariest things in the film for me, though, weren't the dramatic scenes of wildfires and super-storms and massive destruction of the Amazon. One of the scariest was a nice segment showing vinyards in England growing champagne grapes. English champagne! You have to have lived in England forty years ago to know just how wrong that sounds. No one had been able to make wine in England for centuries. Now it's a paying proposition.

The biggest problem in environmentalist films is the pathetic nature of the solutions offered. We are exhorted to drive smaller cars, turn off appliances, etc. How hollow and silly this kind of thing is is shown in the film itself. One scientist has spent years researching the carbon footprint of cheeseburgers in the US. Turns out it is bigger than the carbon footprint of all the SUVs in the US. Clearly we have a problem too big for individuals here, if junking every SUV would have less impact than eliminating one particular kind of meal.

The bottom line for climate change is that it really isn't about religion, ideology, or politics. You can argue about those topics forever, and there will never be proof to convince the true believers on the other side. With climate change, however, it is either happening or it isn't. If it isn't, environmentalists' arguments won't mean anything. But if it is, all the claims of the skeptics, all their advocacy, all the money paid by energy companies and others to support them, will not turn down the Earth's thermostat by a tenth of a degree. Climate change will simply be an accomplished fact. Of course, by then, it will be too late to do anything about it.
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28 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2008
Format: DVD
Instead of listening to the blather of Savoy Scat in the only review to date. Just buy the dvd, watch and learn. With over 2500 scientists world wide validating global warming as a man made caused event it at times is alarming which I'm sure it is supposed to be. Maybe Savoy Scat is better at reviewing pizza, burgers and sandwiches which is mostly what has been reviewed so far.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This documentary was much better than a companion in the same series by National Geographic. It explored a quickly approaching future, a task that sometimes can be daunting when working with climate change. While I'm sure they left many things out of the documentary, because you can't possibly cover every nuance of climate change in an hour and a half, the key points were made about the environmental expectations overall.

In addition, the documentary made the point to make sure the audience knew that the degree in the title is Celsius, but continually converted it to Fahrenheit for continual ease of understanding of myself along with millions of other Americans without the knowledge of the conversion rate from Celsius to Fahrenheit.

I would certainly recommend this documentary to all of those who are wondering how climate change will affect them. Also, to those non-believers, this will wake them up!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2009
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This DVD and the book it was based on by Mark Lynas are the only attempt I know of to put together much of what scientists are predicting for the effects of global warming. They answer a question I have had since learning about the problem: what will happen if we let temperatures rise a certain amount? The answers are organized into one degree steps. The book and DVD overlap but each covers quite a bit that they other doesn't, so it is well worth getting both.

Some people will give one star to anything that conveys what climate scientists are saying about global warming. If you have already made up your mind despite the overwhelming evidence, don't bother watching this DVD or reading the book. They make no attempt to prove anything, they simply lay out what scientists are predicting. But if you can at least tentatively accept that what the vast majority of experts are saying might indeed be true, then you will want to know what they are predicting for our future.

Of course you can't expect everything scientists are predicting to be 100% accurate. But I have been following the science for several years, and I can tell you without a doubt that in the vast majority of cases where the scientists were off, they were too optimistic, often by a large amount. Global warming deniers criticize the computer climate model predictions, but in the wrong way. As a whole, they are much more optimistic than they should be, and the reason is that they don't know how to include the various positive feedbacks in their equations. The simplest proof of this is that when they run the models for years in the past for which we have paleoclimatology data, they consistently predict the changes will be slower and less drastic than what actually happened. If they do this for past changes, they will probably do so for future changes too. This DVD has predictions based on these models and on the paleoclimatic data. The scariest predictions come from paleoclimatology, and unfortunately those are probably more accurate. So keep that in mind as you watch it.

The data that has come out since the DVD was made already indicate that some things will be happening sooner than was thought then. For example, arctic sea ice is melting much faster than predicted, and coral reefs are dying off faster than anyone thought possible. Here is another thing to keep in mind. Because of thermal inertia, the albedo feedback that is already in full force, and because of global dimming effects, temperatures are already guaranteed to rise at least one more degree. The Amazon was carbon neutral over the past 10 years, and when it turns into a carbon source, that will cause the temperature to rise another degree. Two to three derees more warming are when other feedbacks are predicted to take over, pushing global temperature even higher. So please realize that we have very little time left to prevent the worst things shown in this DVD. Do whatever you can to convince Congress and the President to treat this threat as more serious and urgent than a world war. If we don't make at least the same quality of effort as we did when fighting past world wars, we will not win this battle, and the consequences will be far worse than if we had lost those wars. We all have a patriotic and moral obligation to do our part, and the most effective thing you can do now is make our leaders do their duty to protect our future.

P.S. Note to the person who thought the DVD showed a nuclear plant's cooling tower: coal power plants also use cooling towers. It would have been better to show a chimney, where the CO2 is released, but the footage probably was from a coal power plant.
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