An Inconvenient Truth
This is such a cliché that
I hesitate to open this review with it, however in this case it is nearly
impossible to avoid. An Inconvenient Truth may very well be the
most important movie that you will ever see.
No matter where you come
down on the political divide or what you think of former Vice President
(arguably former President) Al Gore, put that aside. Because Gore is
merely the vessel here; the conduit for information which could be vital to
the survival of the planet.
Gore has been a champion of
the cause against global warning for his entire career. His calls for ecological
sense have often fallen on deaf ears. However as this past year showed
with the destruction of New Orleans and the Asian tsunami, nature is a
deadly and vital force which can't be overlooked anymore. You don't
have to be a tree-hugger to realize that something weird and scary is going
on in the world.
There is very little
argument on the facts presented in the movie, as Gore points out here. Of course Gore knows
better than most that whether or not there is a valid argument on a point,
there will be
people who will take pot shots. Remember how his critics portrayed Gore as
a loon for saying he created the internet? In fact, what he really said (which
was absolutely true), was that as a Senator he was very involved in getting
the Arpanet – the military computer network which soon mutated into the internet
– off the ground.
However even if you buy
into the suggestion of a Republican Senator that global warming is the
biggest hoax ever perpetrated on the world, you still owe it to yourself and
your community to see this film. Research the claims and refute them
if you can. If not, perhaps consider changing your lifestyle a bit.
Not for political or philosophical reasons, but for the survival of the
Even if the idea of an hour
and a half hearing about weather and the earth's crust and the ecosystem sounds
like eye-glazing stuff, you'll be surprising how interesting and engaging
the film is. I am "scientifically challenged" but only once or twice
did the technical descriptions lose me. Gore and director Davis
Guggenheim keep the descriptions simple, clear and surprisingly funny.
Gore is charming, forceful,
informative and loose here. ("Hi, I'm Al Gore, the former next
President of the United States.) All the stiffness which he (somewhat
unfairly) was rebuked for in the 2000 elections has completely faded away. It's
an impressive image transformation – Gore portrays a science and political
wonk as a rock star.
The movie is Gore's
reminder (as if any was needed) of how different the world might be had the
country not been handed to George W. Bush by Katherine Harris and the
Republican Supreme Court. He comes off as not only more intelligent
and having more of a plan that the current inhabitor of the White House, he
even beats out Dubya in his beloved rating of someone I'd like to have a
beer with. With Bush's approval ratings hovering around the level of
trigonometry, you have to wonder if Gore does not take a certain amount of
bemusement that he's suddenly much more hip.
Is An Inconvenient Truth
Al Gore's reentry into the political fray? Perhaps, but I'd like
to believe that it comes from a true and passionate belief in the cause.
As is persuasively pointed out in An Inconvenient Truth, any human
being – even one who has won the popular vote for President of the United
States – is just a tiny, insignificant blip on the ecosystem of the
Universe. The best any of us can do is try to better our world while
we are here.
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Posted: May 13, 2006.