Monday, July 30, 2007

Inconvenient Truth

The film is about Al Gore's efforts to educate the public about global warming, with the goal of creating the political will necessary for the United States(which is the only country, with Australia, who didn't agree to reduce the carbon emision,1997 Kyoto Protocol), to take the lead in efforts to lower global carbon emissions. It is an inspiring film, and is decidedly non-partisan in its outlook (though there are a few subtle references to the Bush administration's lack of leadership on this and other environmental issues).

Much of the footage in Inconvenient Truth is of Al Gore giving a slideshow on the science of global warming. Sound boring? Well, yes, a little. But it is a very good slide show, in the vein of Carl Sagan (lots of beautiful imagery,include the picture of the earth, from other galaxy?, and the world only a dot on the universe, and some very slick graphics and digital animation)

. And it is interspersed with personal reflections from Gore that add a very nice human element. Gore in the classroom in 1968, listening to the great geochemist Roger Revelle describe the first few years of data on carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere. Gore on the family farm, talking about his father's tobacco business, and how he shut it down when his daughter (Al Gore's sister) got lung cancer. Gore on the campaign trail, and his disappointment at the Supreme Court decision. This isn't the "wooden" Gore of the 2000 campaign; he is clearly in his element here, talking about something he has cared deeply about for over 30 years.

The film includes many segments intended to refute critics who say that global warming is insignificant or unproven. For example, Gore discusses the risk of the collapse of a major ice sheet in Greenland or in West Antarctica, either of which could raise global sea levels by approximately 20 feet (6m), flooding coastal areas and producing 100 million refugees. Meltwater from Greenland, because of its lower salinity, could halt the Gulf Stream current and quickly trigger dramatic local cooling in Northern Europe.

The film examines annual temperature and CO2 levels for the past 650,000 years in Antarctic ice core samples.

— Al Gore in the opening monologue of An Inconvenient Truth.

You look at that river gently flowing by. You notice the leaves rustling with the wind. You hear the birds; you hear the tree frogs. In the distance you hear a cow. You feel the grass. The mud gives a little bit on the river bank. It’s quiet; it’s peaceful. And all of a sudden, it’s a gear shift inside you. And it’s like taking a deep breath and going, "Oh yeah, I forgot about this." ”

— Al Gore in the opening monologue of An Inconvenient Truth

Awards taken from wikipedia

The film has received a number of various awards worldwide.
Al Gore during the acceptance speech for "An Inconvenient Truth" with other members of the crew
Al Gore during the acceptance speech for "An Inconvenient Truth" with other members of the crew

* The film won the 2007 Academy Award for Documentary Feature[28] and Best Original Song for Melissa Etheridge's "I Need to Wake Up".[29] It is the first documentary to win a best original song Oscar.

* The film received special recognition from the Humanitas Prize, the first time the organization had handed out a Special Award in over 10 years.[30]

* 2007 Stanley Kramer Award - The Producers Guild of America; recognizes "work that dramatically illustrates provocative social issues".[31]

* The President’s Award 2007 - The Society for Technical Communication "for demonstrating that effective and understandable technical communication, when coupled with passion and vision, has the power to educate—and change—the world."[32]

* For his wide-reaching efforts to draw the world’s attention to the dangers of global warming including the Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore has been nominated with Canadian Inuit activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.[33]