Monday, July 17, 2006
Inconvenient Truth
You may remember my fondness for Al Gore. I love him. Believe in him. Still get teared up thinking about 2000. We went to see his movie, Inconvenient Truth, the other night. We weren't expecting too much. Drew and I know a fair amount about global warming. We believe it is happening and that humans are the primary cause. We try to live a fairly balanced life and are somewhat conscious consumers. However, we were hoping that the documentary would inspire us even more AND (more importantly) give us a new way of talking about environmental responsibility. How, Al, do we reach the people who don't think about global warming? How, Al, do we counter the media's claim that there is no scientific consensus?

The Good

The movie was interesting. Great research. Very up to date statistics. He does a great job explaining some complex scientific data and dispelling some common myths. Nothing groundbreaking, just interesting.

It also isn't very partisan. He is honest about how Washington has screwed up and put off action but he doesn't finger point. He is disappointed in both parties. I don't think this movie would be offensive to the average Republican. It is an environmental documentary, not a political commentary. I was glad for that.

The Bad

In an attempt to break up the very long documentary and provide some humanity, they splice the science with these heartfelt portraits of Gore. He is reflecting on how he came to think of the world and resources as fragile. He talks about his time as a child "working the land" and his son's accident. While I have no doubt that these incidents have shaped Gore, it just seems political and contrived in this medium. It was awkward. Just show us the science.

The Ugly

Toward the end of the film, he says that we need to get out and educate people about global warming. I was like "YES!" Here it is. Here is where he is going to give us some advice on how to re-frame this issue and make it accessible to the average American. But no. Nothing. He alludes to his strategy (going city to city and doing his lecture) but he doesn't really provide any new insight into the problem. At the end of the film some solutions are listed (buy better light bulbs, drive slower, etc). The thing is, Al, that if a person is choosing to spend $7 on a documentary about the environment, they are probably already doing those things. How do we reach the people who just think that the climate increase is part of a natural cycle? How do we educate those people? The people who would never set foot into your lecture? How do we mobilize people to take action?

Bottom line: Go see the film b/c it is important and informative. But don't expect it to provide a lot of insight.

We received the book Let My People Go Surfing as a wedding gift. Hopefully we'll get more ideas about environmental responsibility from it.


Anonymous  said...

You feel free to listen to your source, and I'll listen to mine. Global Warming is not real.

The end.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I highly recommend reading the book "Cradle to Cradle." It is an excellent book that will help inspire you in ways Mr. Gore's movie didn't.

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