STUDIO: A&E Home Video
MSRP: $17.99
RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes
• A group of short history featurettes
• Behind the scenes featurette


The Pitch

Yet another predictably Pro-Earth documentary from the liberals at the History Channel.

This is my rock hammer.  There are many like it, but this one is mine. 
As such, I’ve put an orange ribbon on it. 

Please keep your hands off my rock hammer.

The Humans

Peter Coyote, narrator

The Nutshell

Examining geological trends and comparing them to current events, The History Channel’s A Global Warning presents a detailed argument for the actual causes of global climate change.  The documentary explores methane-belching oceanic vents, volcanic CO2 expulsion, sunspots, and human activity as possible explanations for Earth’s recent warming trend.  Is the global warming debate just a tempest in a teapot, or are we sowing the seeds of our own destruction? 

In an attempt to ensnare college males, one of Warning‘s bonus features
describes how to create an emergency bong out of camping supplies.

The Lowdown

A Global Warning?, much like Planet in Peril, The 11th Hour, An Inconvenient Truth, Spice World, Fahren-Earth 451, and Gaia Caliente, attempts to sway global warming nonbelievers with an array of evidence to support the human causes of modern climate change.  If you’ve ever found yourself at lunch with an ignorant blowhard who’s trying to convince the table that global warming is a liberal fantasy, Warning will provide you enough ammo to strike down the inevitable onslaught of nonsense.

It’s perhaps a little less dramatic than Al Gore’s famous entry, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Facts sometimes speak louder than theatrics, and Warning does a great job of illustrating ideas like energy absorption and glacial sediment distribution without getting too bogged down in minutia.    

Ice Club: +2 against Fire Golems LOLOLOLOLOL

The film’s main logical thrust- that all known sources of natural climate change can’t account for the radical upturn in the world’s climate- is well reasoned and presented.  By examining the geological record, scientists can trend historical climate shifts and CO2 levels very accurately.  The last mega-ice-age (given the euphemism “Snowball Earth” by annoyingly cute climatologists) ended around a million years ago, leading to a cycle of smaller ice ages, which were interspersed between temperature peaks and valleys.  CO2 and methane levels map directly with the peaks in temperature.  Warning follows a group of experts as they examine methane vents, volcanoes, and even sunspot trends to try and explain the current warming trend without falling back on the tired and depressing “BLAME THE HUMANS!” excuse.

Unfortunately, we’re led back to the same old conclusion- none of the natural sources are contributing significantly to the spike in global temperature.

The Hubble telescope’s recent discovery of God, who exists in two-dimensional
form on the outskirts of the galaxy.  2 questions remain:  Why does he look like a Civil War
general, and what does he want with a spaceship?

Warning‘s main mission is to inform, but the documentary also employs compelling arguments and dramatic images that make the message easier to absorb.  It’s a great candidate for a classroom piece, even though the policies of the Bush administration have left many U.S. schools without an Earth Science curriculum.  Standardized testing implemented to make our students more competitive in the ‘lucrative sciences’ may seem attractive, but it’s a very risky and unfortunate trade off. 

Warning isn’t perfect.  While it certainly is less theatrical than the more glamorous, star-studded contemporaries, it hews toward the dry.  Its historical perspective may not work as well for some viewers, since it’s not as focused on the doom-and-gloom forecasting as it is in providing a well defined argument, but it’s still a refreshing take on the subject.  It’s easily recommended for anyone interested in knowing more about the possible and likely causes of global warming.

The Package

Warning is a fairly well packed release, with trailers, behind the scenes features, and a whole host of featurettes, including a great mini-documentary about the Cliff Dwellers of the Anasazi.  The featurettes don’t always tie into the global warming theme, but they’re still interesting.

The video is a pretty shabby transfer, and the audio is a weak Dolby 2/0.  The box is made of 100% post-consumer recycled paper, so good on the History Channel for not making things worse!

7 out of 10