Saturday, December 02, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth: Grade A


An Inconvenient Truth

Al Gore. Director=Davis Guggenheim; Editors: Jay Lash Cassidy & Dan Swietlik

Former vice president Al Gore gives a slide show with evidence for global warming, its consequences, and a call to action. It is a montage of lecture events; he says he’s given the talk thousands of times all over the world. There’s nothing new here for someone who is up to date on science, but the presentation is masterful. The centerpiece is a chart of atmospheric CO2 levels for the last 6,000 years (derived from ice cores) compared to atmospheric temperature. The two curves track each other precisely and rise exponentially, dramatically, unbelievably, almost straight up, since the industrial revolution. Stills and movie clips show polar ice sheets melting, and NYC being flooded by rising sea levels. There are also some clips of Gore’s autobiography, possibly to answer the question of why he should be the messenger, but also possibly because he is running for president in ’08. Politicians never miss a chance for self-aggrandizement. But I was convinced on both counts. He is a legitimate messenger and focused on this issue as a good candidate should be.

The film is extremely well-edited, saving Gore from himself. Whenever he speaks more than two sentences with the camera on him, he is boring as dirt. He can’t help it. He goes all stentorian, stating the obvious. The editors only let that happen a couple of times. As for the call to action, it is missing. The thrust of the movie is to demolish global warming skeptics, which it does, but as for what we can do about it, nothing is said. Maybe we are supposed to elect him to find out what the plan is.

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