Yesterday I went to see the new documentary starring Al Gore entitled An Inconvenient Truth. Before I say anything about the movie, I have to say that seeing it, in Ontario at least, is very inconvenient in itself because it’s showing in only ONE theatre in the province! (The Cumberland Four, which is right downtown in Toronto’s tony Yorkville area.)
However, I made this special pilgrimmage for you, gentle readers, because I felt it was my duty to see the movie and give you an early reaction so you can decide whether it’s worth seeing.
My answer is a definite “Yes.” I think this is a must-see film, and is one of those things that you can recommend to friends and relatives to give them a quick overview of the topic. Actually, that’s a bit unfair — it’s more than a quick overview and does offer some depth on certain aspects. It’s got some amazing visuals and brings to life some material that, being based on Gore’s PowerPoint presentation, could have been dullsville.
Now I caution you that this movie presents the facts from the global warming side and tends to be very dismissive any skepticism. The film could rightly be criticized for trying to suggest that there is no scientific debate over global warming and that it’s a closed matter, which in some respects it is not. But let’s give the filmmakers a break — they’re presenting a film version of this compelling lecture and it doesn’t have to argue all sides of the issue (for which there wouldn’t be time, in any case). It’s a very powerful and persuasive film that warns us of the dangers we face. It would be foolish not to read anything more about the issue, including some of the subtleties about how things may or may not play out in future. But that’s harder work and doesn’t negate this film’s value in articulating the core issues, that are certainly among the most important that we must all analyze and debate in our era.
So, go see the film. I’ll expand upon some global warming issues that film raised in future blogs, but I wanted to give you this quick reaction. And I would have told you if it’d been a waste of time. One more thought. Some critics have stated that they thought the personal segments about Gore were irrelevant or somehow pandering to a liberal audience. I disagree. I feel the segments humanized Gore and give us insight into a person who is actually deeply passionate and articulate. I very much like the man after seeing this film, even though I would no doubt take issue with a couple of the film’s slightly simplisitc claims. The film is much more personal and interesting because of its sections portraying Gore the man. Some of the information about the earliest days of global warming science (Gore was in the classroom of the professor who first measured CO2 emissions on a regular basis) were fascinating. I also enjoyed seeing how the White House and the U.S. goverment generally at times has suppressed the writings and opinions of scientists.
Footnote: There was a trailer for a fascinating documentary entitled “Who Killed the Electric Car” that ties in well with the Gore film. Frankly, it looks even more interesting than An Inconvenient Truth. I’ll try and catch that one when it comes out and review it for you.