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Don’t Vote For Gore

Monday, July 10, 2006

aninconvenienttruth.jpgAn Inconvenient Truth

Dir: Davis Guggenheim

By: Sarah Powell

Let me put this out there – I am one of those “tree huggers” or “hippies” or whatever they call us, that believes that the human race is harming its home to such an extent that it will take a major reaction from the natural world to realign the balance. I believe that we in the industrialized world need to reduce our consumption of most resources, and that if we don’t, there will be severe environmental consequences. I am not as of yet convinced exactly what those consequences will be, but am willing to be persuaded with solid scientific theory about the potential future of our blue planet.

So, when I walked into An Inconvenient Truth, I was brought there more by my interest in the global warming “debate” than I was by my knowledge or opinion of Al Gore. However, that is not to say I wasn’t naively expecting an apolitical presentation by a man who the American Left often represent as being cheated out of the presidency in 2000. It is to say that I was interested in the science on offer, not the campaigning. I should also mention, I have in the past known little to nothing about Gore, but overall, he seemed rather bland.

And after walking out of the movie theatre, he still seems bland. What I was shocked by had nothing to do with the presenter; it was the presentation. I found my mouth hanging open at the pictures Gore was offering of glacier retreat. I was intrigued by the temperature data compiled by Antarctic ice core samples as compared to carbon dioxide levels. I was compelled by the evidence of the Antarctic ice shelves, and the comparison to the conditions on top of Greenland’s ice cap. These examples in-and-of-themselves are not evidence of global warming. So then, what are they?

truth1_1149114856.jpgThis movie is one more boulder on what I perceive to be the mountain of evidence growing in favour of the existence of global warming. Gore simplistically describes global warming as a build up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that traps the sun’s rays that would otherwise escape, and those rays unnaturally heat up the Earth. And he continues on to explain how that warming negatively affects our world, and will do so exponentially if we don’t change our attitudes and behaviours. I’m not sure I can get behind the personal anecdotes about the family farm, or the explanation for his motivations in the near death of his son. I did appreciate the personal connection he had with one of the original scientists who studied the early evidence of global warming. Overall, while I did not find Gore’s slideshow thrilling, sensational, or overly sentimental, I found it compelling.

I have read reviews that criticise the documentary as simply political campaigning on Gore’s part, and even as self-contradictory (erroneously, I believe). I am not a scientist, but I have yet to see equally compelling evidence that the changes in our environment are exclusively natural. What is there to fear from taking better care of our planet? What could the lefties (as one review coined them) possibly hope to gain from this? In the end, I highly recommend that everyone see the documentary, if only to disagree with it and prove me and my ilk wrong. I look forward to the reaction.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Tuesday, July 11, 2006 8:17 am

    The problem I feared walking into An Inconvenient Truth was that there would be a lot of ‘yay Al Gore and the Democrats’ and a lot of ‘boo George W. and the Republicans’. Not that I’m in any way a supporter of Bush, it’s just that I appreciate a balanced take on issues, not angry finger-pointing. There were a few times when An Inconvenient Truth could have gone down that path, and yes, he lightly jabs the current Bush administration’s environmental policies. But for the most part, I felt Gore and the filmmakers stuck to the high road. For a politician who lost one the closest, and most controversial elections in US history, to devote his time to a cause that is, well, a political no-man’s-land, shows that Gore, whatever you may think of his politics, has picked up the pieces and embarked on a brand new career.

    I found Gore’s presentation of information fascinating. It’s a one-sided argument to be sure, but unlike Michael Moore, I didn’t find the director trying to cram this information down my throat. This is more Gore the folksy university lecturer, rather than Gore the boring politician. I could have watched it for at least another hour, I was left craving more information, and wanting to seek out different sources of information, opposing views, which, I think, was how I was supposed to have felt.

    It’s a persuasive film, and granted there will be nay-sayers, but what is the alternative to not listening to Gore’s message – his cry from the tree-hugging wilderness? No one knows for certain, but is it really a chance we can afford to take?

  2. Tuesday, July 11, 2006 8:26 am

    Oh yeah, and check out this ridiculous story:

  3. James17930 permalink
    Friday, January 26, 2007 12:07 pm

    I finally saw this last night (what’s wrong with me taking so long to do this stuff?).

    Anyway — it’s a 90 min movie. I liked the 45 mins that were actually about global warming, but the other 45 which were just about Al Gore ‘The Man’ weren’t overly interesting (and even laughable in places).

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