________________ CM . . . . Volume VI Number 21 . . . . June 23, 2000

cover Turning Down the Heat: The New Energy Revolution.

Jim Hamm (Director). Jim Hamm and for the NFB, Gillian Darling Kovanic (Producers).
Montreal, PQ: National Film Board of Canada, 1999.
48 min., 55 sec., VHS, $39.95
Supported by an educational Web Site: www.davidsuzuki.org/energy
Order Number: C9199 020.

Subject Headings:
Fossil fuels-Environmental aspects.
Renewable energy sources.
Climatic changes.

Grades 9 and up / Ages 14 and up.
Review by Joanne Peters.

**** /4

A sudden jump in gasoline prices gets people thinking about conservation, again. Lately, the television news has featured stories of disgruntled Canadians (and Americans) griping about the costs of fuel costs and of running their vehicles. But, watch this video, and you realize very quickly that such a complaint is not only a luxury, but totally misguided. Fossil fuels will run out, and it's time to consider, very seriously, how to harness and deploy non-renewable energy sources: hydrogen fuel cells, solar power, wind turbines, and waste recovery systems. Turning Down the Heat is narrated by David Suzuki, the "voice" of popular science in Canada, and there is no question that he is passionate about the subject. Suzuki takes the viewer on a world tour of renewable energy projects in Japan, the Maldive Islands, Denmark, Holland, and Vietnam, and the United States, and, as he presents economically successful initiatives being undertaken in a variety of contexts, it becomes harder and harder to understand why Canada is putting so little effort into "clean" energy projects and the encouragement of creative solutions to our energy problems. The answer is simple: the Canadian energy industry is stuck in a fossil fuel development policy conceived in the 1950's and heavily subsidized by government. As yet, there is no national renewable energy policy. Still, hope lies with creative minds in the research and development departments of some Canadian industries, with individuals willing to pilot clean energy projects, and with elementary school children who undertake personal "energy audits" so that they will become conservers, rather than just consumers. A co-production of the National Film Board, Turning Down the Heat is a tightly-edited, thought-provoking examination of how the developed world uses the major portion of the earth's fossil fuels and produces 80% of the world's atmospheric emissions, all the while exploiting the less developed world's resources and exacerbating global climate change. Economic justice demands that we change this situation, embrace the gift that renewable energy offers all, and act in a globally responsible manner.

Highly recommended as a resource for science, geography, and environmental studies programs. The Canadian perspective is much-needed and a real support for curricular demands. Additionally, the film is supported by an educational web site, providing a nice tie-in with electronic resources.

Highly Recommended.

Joanne Peters is a teacher-librarian at Kelvin High School in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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ISSN 1201-9364