An Inconvenient Truth

 
Directed by: Davis Guggenheim
Released: September 14, 2006
Grade: A

I’ll be upfront and say that this is an amazing film.  At the start of the year, I was largely oblivious to the issue of global warming.  I knew it was a problem but that’s about it.  Now, having seen An Inconvenient Truth, I am more informed and more concerned.  If you only get to see one movie this year, then make sure this is it.  There have been a handful of better films in 2006 but none will leave a more lasting impression.

Most people remember Al Gore as the former Vice President of the United States.  What many don’t know is that Gore has long been a lecturer on the effects of global warming.  He has delivered his famous speech over 1,000 times around the world in an effort to increase awareness and to help in its prevention.

Gore’s message is now being taken to a wider audience through the medium of film.  Directed by David Guggenheim, An Inconvenient Truth is a documentary which allows us to see Gore delivering his speech at a variety of locations.  Intermingled within the speech are clips providing background information on Gore and showing us how he first became so passionate about the issue.  Listening to Al Gore speak for 100 minutes may not sound like an appealing offer but trust me, you’ll be very interested in what he has to say.

To sum up what Gore has to say, the world is heating up as a result of the increased level of carbon in the atmosphere.  This has huge ramifications for us all.  We’ll see an increase in the number of tornadoes, cyclones and hurricanes (which get their energy from warm water).  We’ll see the sea level rise as the ice at the polar caps continues to melt.

Despite the fact that terrorism dominates media headlines, global warming is the biggest problem we face today.  We turn a blind eye however because it is a gradual process that we can’t really see.

When the film was released in the United States, it was savagely attacked by certain people within the media and the general public.  On his website, leading U.S. film critic Roger Ebert wrote that “I've received so many messages about my review… that, frankly, I don't see how the Answer Man can process them.”  Those that object think this a political film and a political issue.  They believe that global warming is an over-hyped issue and that scientists are making too much of it.

These people are wrong.  Scientists are in almost unanimous agreement about the seriousness of global warming.  People that tell you otherwise are usually not scientists and are either misinformed or have an agenda.  Back in May, I had the chance to hear Australian scientist Tim Flannery speak on the matter.  Flannery is an expert on the subject and in 2005 was honoured as Australian Humanist of the Year.  He provided the same facts and drew the same conclusions as those of Al Gore.  Flannery has no political agenda and quite frankly, I believe him.

I feel like I’m now defending this movie as opposed to giving it my usual detailed assessment.  It reminds me of my reviews of The Corporation, Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling For Columbine.  If you do want to criticise the film and my views on An Inconvenient Truth, then you need to (a) see the film, (b) do your research and then (c) send me an email.  If you’re not prepared to do steps (a) and (b), then I’ve no reason to listen to what you have to say at step (c).