A methodical, occasionally remedial survey of the energy crisis and its possible solutions, Switch fits a subject often treated polemically into a more benign, continuing education mold. It’s the less excitable and therefore ultimately more persuasive sibling to Ondi Timoner’s 2010 Cool It. Geologist Scott Tinker plays our conduit, searching the world for answers to a problem that the Asian economic boom will compound several times over. Sensible suggestions involving electric cars and home insulation are made, but Switch focuses more on meeting demand than cutting it. And why not: All those electric cars will still need (largely coal-fueled) electricity. Scott’s journeys to places like Iceland to check out geothermal and Denmark to look into wind generally end with an “unfortunately” followed by a “hopefully”—with the exception of nuclear, the most elegant solutions aren’t feasible on a larger scale. Lynch is thorough and has sought out an impressive array of key point people; a clearheaded presentation of the facts builds to a PowerPoint finale. Switch was created as part of the Switch Energy Project, a multi-platform effort the press notes indicate also comprises “a primary school energy education program.” No disrespect and certainly no discredit, but that sounds about right.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 19, 2012