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An Inconvenient Truth

Documentary film
Rated PG

The movie An Inconvenient Truth, directed by Davis Guggenheim, is a 97 minute documentary based upon a lecture that one time US presidential candidate Al Gore has given over one thousand times in recent years around the globe.

It is an eclectic mix of science, pseudo-science, personal anecdote, political reminiscences and posturing, graphic and humorous examples and memorable images that explore the science, evidence and impact of global warming, and the window of opportunity to constructively respond.

Strongly influenced by his college professor Roger Revelle, Gore has pursued a campaign to address the build-up of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide that will have an impact upon global temperature and climate.

Ostracized as a mad extremist by his political opponents in the 1980s, Gore must now feel somewhat vindicated that he has not wasted the past thirty years of his life trying to get people to face up to the impact that humanity is having upon global temperature and climate.

With the passion, conviction and rhetorical skill of a focussed crusader, Gore seeks to change the climate of public opinion about climate change.

At times, Gore allows hyperbole to distort or exaggerate. For example, the massive shrinkage of Lake Chad in Africa and the Aral Sea in Asia are not simply the result of global warming.

Such hyperbole is perhaps understandable given the critical importance of the subject that Gore presents. However, with his two “canaries in the coal mine”, the Arctic and the Antarctic, Gore presents dramatic evidence – melting iceshelfs, threatened extinction of the polar bear and impacts upon ocean currents.

Much of what Gore has to say is corroborated by research by some 300 scientists working on the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment.

The material Gore presents is not new but, as a good rhetorician, Gore presents it for maximum impact and, as a consequence, global stewardship takes on a whole new perspective and urgency.

An Inconvenient Truth is an important documentary. If you miss it at the cinema, it is due for release on DVD later in the year.

Reviewed Douglas L. Jones