Rarely has a movie had as strong an impact on me as An Inconvenient Truth. Rarely have I seen a movie get as many good reviews as this one. All the more remarkable then that it’s just a relatively low-budget film of a guy giving a lecture.
I don’t want to focus on the climate change message of the movie though. I want to comment on Al Gore’s optimism in the face of the evidence he presents. This truly is a man who comes over as a glass-half-full kinda guy. I brought away two revelations from the film: firstly, that whilst the economic system that created climate change might be flawed, and perhaps the corporations which support that system, the people who work for those corporations aren’t evil. He quotes Upton Sinclair (although I thought he said Mark Twain): “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it”.
Secondly, he says there is no point in going “straight from denial to despair without pausing on the intermediate step of actually doing something about the problem”. And he’s right. He says: “Future generations may well have occasion to ask themselves. “What were our parents thinking? Why didn’t they wake up when they had a chance?” We have to hear that question from them, now.”
The film is, of course, totally one-sided. But it has a right to be. I’ve searched around the internet looking for a seriously constructive poor review of the film, but nearly every criticism I can find is little more than kneejerk ranting from those opposed to Gore’s party in his political career. I still feel uncomfortable with the fact that an environmental activist held the No.2 position in the US Government for eight years and yet the country is still way ahead of anyone else in killing off the planet, but my American friends patiently explain that it takes more than one man to move political sentiment in the USA. You certainly get the impression from the film that Gore has exhausted that avenue and is now trying another way to get his message across.
Like many people, if I had the money, I’d buy the DVD of this and post it through every letterbox in the world. In the meantime, there’s a full transcript here.