Since being robbed of his proper place in the White House, former Vice President Al Gore has turned humanitarian crusader and delivered his urgent and authoritative lecture on global warming to more than a thousand audiences all over the world. Director Davis Guggenheim expands Gore’s highly polished multimedia lecture into dramatic form with personal footage of Gore that exemplifies his 40-year commitment to a subject that is consuming our Earth. Gore discharges party lines and embraces global warming as the “biggest moral challenge facing global civilization” in an imperative and frightening film that promises to shift the priorities of everyone who sees it.
Gore’s trademark stiffness fades as his deeply felt passion and well-informed knowledge of global warming reveals shocking facts about the rapidly diminishing state of our planet due to the vastly damaging effects of carbon dioxide that warms the earth’s surface by trapping solar heat in the atmosphere.
“By burning fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil and clearing forests, we have dramatically increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere and temperatures are rising,” he says. “Over the past 50 years, the average global temperature has increased at the fastest rate in recorded history.”
Panicked fear takes hold as photos of Africa’s snow-covered Kilimanjaro in 1970 compare to its current barren status. A photo of Boulder Glacier National Park taken in 1932 looks nothing like the one taken at the same spot in 1988.
Most distressing is a computer-generated map that shows the devastating flooding effect on all countries if global sea levels rise by more than 20 feet with the loss of shelf ice in Greenland and Antarctica where billions of gallons of water are currently melting every second.
The film undeniably shows that we have entered a period of catastrophic consequences that can only be reduced if we begin to act immediately to reduce carbon dioxide output. In the face of outrageous calamity, Gore remains optimistic in charting concise data to show how global warming can be tamed if we as global citizens act more responsibly in our daily lives. Actions like changing over to fluorescent light bulbs, driving less, recycling more, and planting trees are some of the examples given that anyone can do to help stop global warming. More information is available at www.climatecrisis.net.
“We have five to 10 years in which to turn back the impending dangers of global warming,” says Gore. After seeing this movie, you may ask yourself why Al Gore didn’t run on global warming as his singular platform issue for the 2004 election.
An Inconvenient Truth is a thoroughly convincing and educational film that points to a far more acute crisis than terrorism, and shows how we can fix the problem. Everyone in the world should see this movie now.
An Inconvenient Truth screens at 5 p.m. on June 18 at the MACC’s Castle Theater. MTW