German film offers answers to Gore climate concerns

Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:45am EDT
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By Erik Kirschbaum

BERLIN (Reuters) - Al Gore raised some alarming questions about climate change in his Oscar-winning 2006 film "An Inconvenient Truth" that a German filmmaker has now tried to provide some answers for in a new documentary.

Carl Fechner's "The Fourth Revolution - Energy Autonomy" is an attempt to show how the world could be getting all its energy from renewable sources in 30 years -- and help slow the climate change that Gore warned about in his blockbuster film.

An unabashedly provocative look at renewable energy in countries from the United States, Germany, Denmark, China, Mali and Bangladesh, Fechner's new film has attracted rave reviews and fierce criticism in Germany since it opened last week.

It has been lauded by some newspapers for spelling out a fossil fuel-free route the world could follow but denounced by others as political propaganda for suggesting powerful special interests are blocking wider use of renewable energy.

"The film takes a clear-cut position that it would be possible for the world to rely on renewable energy for 100 percent of its energy needs," Fechner told Reuters. "But it is still nevertheless a piece of solid journalism."

Fechner added: "It's a documentary. Every film takes a position. You can't achieve 100 percent objectivity in any film. Ours is especially noticeable because we offer solutions. Can a film offer solutions like this? In my mind, yes it can."

Fechner, who has been making documentary films for 20 years, said he was inspired by Gore's film that thrust the issue of global warming into the spotlight. Fechner said he wanted to show one path that could be taken to help fight climate change.

"Who isn't inspired by Al Gore?" said Fechner, 56. "He's a star of our times because he so effectively showed the problem."   Continued...