An Inconvenient Truth review by Tom Blain
If you are wondering what Al Gore has been doing since he lost to Dubya in 2000, look no further. He hasnt dropped off the face of the earth, or retreated into retirement like some believed. In fact, he has been just as active as ever. Gore has taken what he was known for in congress, bringing environmental awareness, and is delivering his message to people all over the globe. Why? Because its a message that needs to be delivered. Now you can find that message on DVD and its called The Inconvenient Truth.
At the center of The Inconvenient Truth is the issue of global warming. In the past some politicians and scientists have refuted global warming as a myth. Gore answers the all the nay-sayers with scientific evidence stating the opposite. For example a simple graph shows that the rise in the earths CO-2 is reaching astronomical levels that have never been reached before. Not in thousands of years. In fact you can see a rising trend starting with the industrial age, and as time moves on, the rise gets exponentially higher. This rise in CO-2 also correlates with the rise in the earths temperature.
How much of a rise? Gore shows that there have always been periods of warming and cooling over periods of hundreds of years. However, the levels the that we have reached in the last hundred or even the last ten are off the charts (in fact as he is giving presentation, he uses a lift to demonstrate where the line in the graph is headed).
In short, global warming exists
To take it a step further, some acknowledge global warning, but claim that its not a major issue. After all whats 1 or 2 degrees here and there? Gore goes on to explain that 1 degree difference on average close to the equator equals about 12 degrees in the polar ice caps (due to atmospheric movements in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans). This rise is already causing the Polar ice caps to melt. Before and after photographs are shown of Antarctica, Greenland, Mount Kilimanjaro and the difference is startling.
If you are convinced this is a bad thing, then Gore points you to Hurricane Katrina. This was a category one hurricane when it swept through Florida. Instead of dying in Florida, it went on to the Gulf of Mexico and began growing in unseasonably warm waters. The warm air and warm moisture began to feed Katrina to deadly proportions. The results are undeniable; the storm destroyed parts of the Gulf Coast and some places still havent recovered even near cities like New Orleans. Katrina wasnt the only storm; just the one Americans know best. Japan reported a record number of typhoons. Oceanic storms were hitting areas of the world that rarely get touched.
In short, global warming is a major problem.
Gore presents his message as if he is giving a talk to a college campus. Its engaging in detail and content. He is very candid in his speaking (not the robotic Al Gore Saturday Night Live is used to mocking) and loose. At no point does the film let down or loose the viewers attention. The film cuts away from the stage every 15 minutes or so to show mini-field studies (Gore visiting the North Pole by way of submarine, Gore visiting his parents home, Gore visiting China to give similar speech) to show what his charts and graphs mean in person. My only complaint is that at one point he cuts away to bring up the 2000 presidential campaign. In it they talk about the Florida controversy. I felt that bringing that up, detracted from his true message. It almost appeared that he drifted away form global warming to bring up a bitter part of his past. A little out of place if you ask me; that sort of talk belongs more in Fahrenheit 9/11. Luckily the scene didnt last long.
Gore notes through all the doom and gloom that its not too late to change bad habits (particularly in the US). We can become more earth friendly and less polluting without crippling our economy. Even as individuals we can get in the habit of doing small things that could make a difference.
In the past few weeks I have seen two different types of documentaries. Wordplay was fun light hearted documentary looking into human pastimes. The Inconvenient Truth serves more as a delivery of knowledge often ignored and an important message everyone needs to hear. Despite your political views, or despite who you voted for in 2000, the message within The Inconvenient Truth should not be ignored.
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