AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH - MOVIE REVIEW
I've talked about this movie a couple of times before, but now I'd like to give my personal review. I saw it on Friday night at this little theatre about 20 minutes from my house - and I have to point this out because it's such an anomaly these days - We bought two tickets, two sodas and a pretty big tub of popcorn for UNDER $20!! I think the last time that happened to me I was probably 13. So I will confess that I was riding a high even before we walked into the dark theatre. But back to the movie . . .
It's running time is less than two hours and it runs much like the lectures Al Gore gives when he travels the world educating people about global warming. Because of this format it is VERY informative, yet speaks to a general audience. In other words, it's obvious that Gore has done his homework to the point that he can "dumb down" the scientific jargon so that those of us who had a C average in the high school sciences can easily understand and follow him. This was a definite plus for me since I already had some basic knowledge of the subject matter, but was able to gain more in-depth information.
Gore also uses dramatic photographs, excellent sound effects, easily understood and effective graphs and most of all a well-written, emotional and dramatic script to get his point across. The sound was so incredible that someone I was with pointed out afterward that the sound of a glacier breaking up in the arctic, which was preceded by Gore's voiceover about the dangers of such melting, so touched him that in that moment he paused and truly felt a sadness about the destruction of our Earth. Now that's what I call "Mission Accomplished."
Woven in between segments of Gore's seminar were these personal vignettes that took moments from Gore's personal life - a professor from his college days that first sparked his interest in a theory about global warming, a car accident suffered by his six-year-old son, the death of his sister from lung cancer which stopped his father from growing tobacco on the family farm and of course the 2000 Presidential election - all give the audience some insight into Gore as a person with a passion to make a difference and helps us to relate to him not just as a politician. In fact, while there are mentions of his political career, I didn't see this as a film starring a politician - past or present - but about a man who truly believes that we are destroying the Earth and he has taken it upon himself to try and do something about it. Believe me, this is not an Al Gore for President in 2008.
Now, for anyone who reads this blog, I make no bones about the fact that I am a liberal, progressive leaning thinker and tend to vote Democrat in any given election. In fact, I believe that I will never vote for a Republican again. (Yes, I have in the past - read Mitt Romney - but never again will I be duped.) Having said that, I didn't go to see this movie because it was "Al Gore's movie." I went to see it because I believe in what he's talking about. I believe that we are headed down a path of even greater destruction and if we don't do anything about it - well, it would mean the end for all of us.
So while he points out all that is going wrong in the environment right now, he also gives the audience a lot of hope. There are things that we can do to try and reverse this catastrophe lying in wait. We can all begin by conserving whatever energy we can, we can become carbon neutral, we can write to our Congress men and women and ask them to push for more research into renewable energy sources, we can walk more and drive less and most of all we can educate others on this most urgent problem. Afterall, there is no conflicting evidence that global warming is happening. The temperatures are rising on land and in the sea, the rainy seasons are lengthening, the storms are intensifying and the CO2 levels in the atmosphere are increasing at an alarming rate - the highest in all of recorded history. That is not up for debate.
What some would like us to believe, however, is that it is not humans who are causing the problem; That this is some natural, cyclical occurrence and we are powerless to stop it, and so, let's just go about business as usual. I, and 99 percent of the legitimate scientific community, don't agree.
We are consuming things at an astounding rate and it's that consumption of goods that is the biggest contributing factor to CO2 emissions. Once again, the United States is leading the pack - we release 30 percent of the world's total CO2 emissions. And, as is too often the case, we are leading the world in a BAD direction. So it is our responsibility to lead the international community in showing how we can change such destructive behavior. The number one way we can do that is to be aware of how the things we buy are produced and stop rewarding those corporations who aren't environmentally responsible. Using our financial power as consumers would have the greatest impact on this problem and if we replace our lightbulbs with more energy efficient ones, if we walk to the corner store instead of take the car, if we buy cars that get better gas mileage when we have to drive them - we can end this crisis.
I mean, what have we got to lose? So we have to adjust our lives a little bit. So we have to educate ourselves about the environment and how our behavior impacts the Earth. Is that so much to ask in trying to save the lifeforce that sustains us all? It could be "inconvenient" at the beginning, but once you know the facts you can no longer, in good conscience, ignore them. Afterall, what's the alternative? If we do nothing, then we WILL lose EVERYTHING. The choice is yours.
Oh yeah, and go see the movie. Five stars in my book.