An Inconvenient Truth

Last night we watched Davis Guggenheim’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. The film focuses on Al Gore’s struggles to enlighten the world about the huge threat of Global Warming. In today’s world and current government, the threat of terrorism and the effect lobbyists say eco-friendly practices put on the economy far outweigh the threat of global pollution. No one seems to care that the effects our pollution and consumption have on the world outweigh any kind of problems terrorism can produce.

The film, and Al Gore, are getting excellent reviews. Gore believes in his cause, and is doing everything in his power to get this message out. It’s funny, because if Gore showed this much passion and charisma, you have to wonder if the US would be in the predicament it is today. Gore’s lack of excitement was one of his major downfalls in 2000.

The film is more or less segments of Gore’s Global Warming slide presentation, spliced with some family history, and some action shots of Gore traveling across the world for his talks. There are two different ways to look at this film. A skeptic could say that the people who would actually care about this film and make the effort to not only see the film but change how they think are the ones that already know the issue and do the little things like recycling, carpooling or other eco-friendly means of transportation.

The other way to look at this film is the more important way. Today’s society requires graphics, facts and figures, and direct implications to take an idea seriously. The effects of global warming are pretty obvious. In the last few years, the strengths of storms and damage we are causing the Earth is growing exponentially. Unfortunately, the majority of people see this as a problem that will never affect society. It’s something that will happen so far down the road, it is more important to ensure the economy and homeland security is under control. Gore’s presentation uses matter of fact imagery and predictions to show how big this problem is, and how fast it can affect the Earth.

The strength of the film is the way images and charts are used to support facts. Time lapse photography showing the evaporation of lake’s, oceans and soil erosion is a lot more effective than a slide with obscure scientific facts. For most people, hearing that the ice caps are melting means nothing. This film shows how an ice cap melting actually changes our weather patterns, and some of the results. Knowing CO2 levels are higher than any time in history is an abstract fact for a lot of people, but seeing that the ice caps melting would raise the sea-level by 20ft (covering parts of Manhattan, San Francisco, China, India, and almost all of the low lying countries of Europe with water) is a fact that can’t be ignored.

Watch the trailer. See the film. Make the small changes you need to make to make our world a world we can all live in. More importantly, let's make this a world our children can live in.

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