Friday, June 16, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

An Independent Truth is the single most important film of the 2006. Global Warming is real and it’s happening right in front of us - despite what the nice man who sold you your Hummer lead you to believe. In fact the signs are becoming so evident that the younger generation is looking to the older with increasing skepticism and questions on how they could let such a thing happen (and are still allowing it to continue). This is the first of two important documentaries that looks at the problems of our culture and solutions that are both being ignored by those with deep pockets who want to squeeze every last red cent out of the Oil Industry and the planet before even contemplating change (the second Who Killed the Electric Car? will be out by the end of the month).

Gore’s documentary is beautiful in its simplicity. He goes over the basics of the science of global warming (with an exceptionally funny cartoon from Futurama creator Matt Groening) and then gives visual evidence of the change in climate from different locations all over the globe. From mountains to valleys, from rain forests to the arctic, one thing is clear - humans are having a tremendous effect on our environment.

Gore spends time on the scientific data including how it is obtained, how it was used back in the 1960’s to correctly predict where we are today, and finally what it predicts for the future. He points out that scientists agree (despite what negative campaigns in the popular press would like you to believe) that Global Warming is real and getting worse. Gore not only makes his case (in devastating and sometimes slightly humorous fashion), but he does it in such a manner that you wonder just what’s wrong with those who still can’t accept the facts about Global Warming.

The film is centered on the presentation (or “slide show” as Gore calls it) that he has been doing for three decades in numerous cities all over the globe. This is a man that has travelled to the far reaches of the planet, forced the government to release “confidential” reports, and has studied and now taught about this issue for years. He is cool, calm and collected but also passionate and imploring about the need for this issue to be discussed and serious change to be brought about.

Throughout the film we are shown a little into Gore’s history and how his personal experiences and tragedies have shaped how he views the problem of Global Warming. At first these small snippets seem to take you away from the film’s main message, but the more you watch the more you understand how these experiences shaped Gore into the person who has spent half his life championing this cause.

In many ways the film is heart-wrenching and disturbing but it is not a doomsday scenario. Gore points out that we have what we need to stop these effects and scale back the damage we are causing to the environnment. It just takes time, effort, and political will (which as Gore states is a renewable resource in this country).

If you only see one film this year go see this one. I’ve seen it three times now. I’ve seen it with friends and relatives and I plan to take others with me to see it again. Gore’s message must be heard; its too important not to be. Whether Republican or Democrat, whether you like him or you don’t, if you care about the world you are living in and you can about what world you will leave to your children, then go see this film. It’s not a political attack ad. It’s not Gore’s attempt to begin a Presidential campaign. It’s deeply personal issue that effects every man, woman and child who lives on this planet. It’s a moral issue, and it needs to be addressed.

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