“I’m Al Gore and I used to be the next President of the United States.”
So it goes every time Gore begins his global warming slide show presentation; a presentation that he has given over one thousand times, according to himself. Global warming has always been Gore’s bread and butter, but it was curiously absent from his 2000 campaign for President. Was it really an “inconvenient truth” at the time, or was Gore just avoiding an issue that has unfairly been made political and could have cost him votes?
No matter, global warming is now a hot button political issue. Political in that no credible climate scientist has ever discounted the idea that we (the world) are gradually making the environment more temperamental with our pollution. Political in that polar bears are currently dying daily because their habitats are literally disappearing from the face of the Earth due to melting glaciers. Political in that the North and South poles are melting by the day, gradually raising ocean levels. Political? This is right and wrong, friends. The only individuals who are brushing off global warming are those who would be directly affected by it: big oil. If we start running clean-burning fuel in our cars we start dipping into their multi-trillion dollar well. The domino effect from that has them scared out of their skin.
Gore’s presentation makes up the bulk of An Inconvenient Truth, and I can easily say that his bar and line graphs are the most hair-raising and simultaneously frightening I have ever seen. The stats-heavy nature of the lecture may be information overload for some people, but putting together the sum of the parts is what’s key. Gore has clearly devoted a large portion of his life to this cause, and regardless of what you think of him as a political figure from a partisan standpoint, he demands and undeniably gets your attention with this material.
The film does sidestep about every twenty minutes for an anecdote regarding Gore’s past. While some background information does help, it also gets a little too melodramatic. Had the entire documentary been solely about global warming it would have been just as, if not more, effective. Some have questioned whether An Inconvenient Truth might be serving as a primer for a Gore 2008 run, but I doubt it. As an activist he is infinitely more in his element. Even if you think global warming is a bunch of malarkey you’ll at least be reassured that Gore is not a robotic government android.
Does the United States have the willpower to not only acknowledge but take action? We are, after all, far and away the biggest polluting country in the world. As it stands now, I think the country is much too stubborn and obsessed with pride to really rally around this issue. We love our SUV’s that get 14 miles per gallon and our wasteful use of electricity too much. Changing our ways would be difficult, but not as drastic as you might expect. When we examine the facts and that key graph of the Earth’s environmental cycle we basically have two choices: Shape up or possibly get dispatched from this planet under a mile of ice.
Studio: Paramount Classics
Length: 100 Minutes
Rating: PG for mild thematic elements.
Theatrical Release: January 24, 2006 (Sundance Film Festival) / May 24, 2006 (Limited)
Directed by: Davis Guggenheim
Written by: N/A
Cast: Al Gore
Something very strange happens when you talk about Global Warming: science goes out the window and “belief” and “consensus” becomes the topic of discussion.
It’s because of that fact that I give a failing mark to Al Gore’s documentary.
Instead of promoting intelligent discussion, he kept the debate at the level of “belief” and “consensus”.
Of course, when you’re trying to sell the world into spending trillions of dollars to “stop Global Warming” you may thing it’s a problem to tell the scientific truth: we don’t know how much of the current warming was caused by humans. Maybe none of it, maybe some of it, or maybe it has over-ceded the next Ice Age and we got really lucky not to have boiled the planet.
But the fact remains that we don’t know.
so we’re asked to “believe” in the “consensus”. Never mind that any scientist that strays from the “consensus” is ostracized. Never mind that scientific inquiry is about straying from the consensus. Einstein didn’t “believe” in the consensus, neither did Copernicus or Galileo.
So why so much scorn placed on those very researchers who would advance the field by asking the tough questions? If Global Warming is so incontrovertible, surely a few people testing that theory can’t be so threatening.
What is going on here? That’s the movie I was hoping Al Gore would have made. Istead, he chose to shore up his support with the true “believers” of the “consensus”.