Monday, October 02, 2006

Al Gore: One Man and his Powerpoint

I went to see 'An Inconvenient Truth' last night.

The film consists of clips of Gore's famous presentation on climate change interspersed with flashbacks to ex-next-president's life, from his farm upbringing to the hanging chads in 2000. The former sections are powerful, persuasive and chilling, the latter sentimental, going on mawkish. These bothered me, but just as I was beginning to believe that the whole thing was the longest party political broadcast in history, the two strands collided. Gore's father grew tobacco on his farm and continued to do so despite the 60s & 70s furore over the link with cancer. Then Gore's sister Nancy died of lung cancer. Al Gore Snr stopped growing the crop overnight.

The moral: sometimes we need to be shocked into action.

The presentation parts were very slick. Animations showed what the impact of global warming will be on the world's major cities and films showed ice sheets melting. Occasional cartoons lifted the mood while still pushing the point.

Gore demonstrated clearly that the 'natural cycles' argument is a myth - carbon dioxide has never hit its current concentration in the 650 000 years we can analyse using ice cores. The 'lack of scientific agreement' myth was punctured as well - a survey of peer reviewed papers on the subject found 0% doubting manmade climate change.

What the film is weaker on is practical action. A series of suggestions flashed up over the end credits, but that was that. Gore seems to be working on this and I'll post a small vid later.

The verdict: Even if you think you've seen it all before, Do Not Miss This Film.


At 4:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 5:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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