An Inconvenient Truth, directed by Davis Guggenheim, is a masterpiece that marries the issue of global warming with former the United States Vice President, Al Gore’s commitment in campaigning for mitigation measures to reduce global warming. Gore emerges as an environment exponent as he brings to light global warming information and facts in a very compelling way.
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The director says, “Gore presents a wide array of facts and information in a thoughtful and compelling way. “Al Gore strips his presentations of politics, laying out the facts for the audience to draw their own conclusions in a charming, funny and engaging style, and by the end has everyone on the edge of their seats, gripped by his haunting message” (Guggenheim).
Gore opens this movie on a light note by saying, “I am Al Gore; I used to be the next President of the United States” (Guggenheim). He then proceeds to present his global warming slideshows interlarded with scenes of how the issue of global warming worries him. He warns that “What is at stake is our ability to live on planet Earth, to have a future as a civilization” (Guggenheim). To support his claims, he puts forward the following evidence.
First, all that Gore presents is void of any scientific controversy, or so, he claims. His evidence starts by examining the spectacular melting of the Greenland ice and Antarctica. Gore posits that the direct effects of this meeting would be raised sea level by 20 feet in the next 100 years.
He supports this by showing how southern Manhattan Florida, Bangladesh Shanghai appears now because of this melting. Gore says, “Think of the impact of a couple hundred thousand refugees, and then imagine 100 million” (Guggenheim). This brings back the memories of New Orleanians crisis of 2005, which rendered many homeless; therefore, refugees.
Gore shows how mountain glaciers are quickly melting away around the world from Alaska in Europe to Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. Moreover, permafrost in Alaska and Siberia is dramatically thawing with temperatures rising by 3 degrees Celsius in Siberia for the last forty years. Gore attributes these changes to global warming even though some people argue that it is not associated with human activities. He goes ahead to show animated pictures of polar bears as they struggle to adapt to the changing Arctic Ocean environment.
According to Gore, more storms are on the way if people fail to deal with global warming now. He says the heat waves that leftover 35,000 people dead across Europe in 2003, is just but a tip of what is going to happen in the near future. In 2005, a monsoon storm brought 37 inches of rain in Mumbai India for 24 hours.
Gore concurs that such incidences have happened in the past where he quotes the 24-hour torrent in Texas in 1927. However, Gore notes that global warming is increasing the frequency of these occurrences. Gore says that the hottest 10 years in history occurred in the last 14 years. To illustrate the role of carbon dioxide in global warming, Gore draws a chart relating increasing levels of carbon dioxide to temperature increase using data obtained from Antarctica. However, Gore fails to support this relationship with any scientific proof.
According to Gore, global warming brings with it diseases like West Nile virus prevalent in the United States of America. Finally, Gore compares global warming doubters to the infamous ‘tobacco scientists’ who through their ‘paid’ studies questioned the relationship between smoking and lung cancer.
He insinuates that the same would be happening to those who doubt the relationship between human activities and global warming. He concludes by saying, “The world won’t ‘end’ overnight in 10 years, but a point will have been passed, and there will be an irreversible slide into destruction” (Guggenheim).
An Inconvenient Truth tackles the controversial issue of global warming whereby Al Gore tries to show the relationship between human activities and global warming through the use of data and peer-reviewed information. However, the inclusion of Al Gore’s litigious presidential elections in 2002 is out of place. He puts forward facts about global warming and as he says, whether critics dispute his claims or not; he has driven a point home.
Guggenheim, D. “An Inconvenient Truth.” IMDbPro, 2006.