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'Inconvenient' Climate for Al Gore's Sequel

Aug. 15, 2017
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The drip, drip of melting glaciers continues, the ice flows are cracking in the warmer-than-usual seawater and the ocean laps at the curbstones of coastal Florida towns. The climate change pictured in Al Gore’s Oscar-winning 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, has only worsened along with America’s political climate. Temperatures are rising and a hothead with a preschooler’s understanding of science occupies the White House. 

An Inconvenient Sequel

Al Gore

Directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk

Rated PG

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power comes at a crucial time for the climate crisis. The deniers are louder than ever, even though denying the long-term human impact on the world’s weather is akin to believing that the Earth is flat and the sun revolves around the Earth. The professional liars at Fox News keep spewing crap, guffawing about global warming every time a cold front passes through; the Koch brothers continue to fund corrupt politicians and crank academics; the world keeps spinning toward disaster. 

The message of An Inconvenient Sequel is simple: 14 out of the 15 hottest years on record have occurred since 2001. The result of rising mercury is felt in a new “storm of the century” every other month, widespread flooding alternating with droughts, wild fires consuming woods and fields. It’s not about polar bears, even though they might be the first to go. It’s about us. 

The problem with An Inconvenient Sequel isn’t the message but the prominence given to the messenger. Gore has worked hard at raising awareness of the issue but he has become an issue. At moments, An Inconvenient Sequel threatens to become a commercial for Gore at a time when the fight to reverse climate change must be seen as a movement in which Gore can play a welcome part. The declining conditions of the world’s climate, and its disastrous potential for civilization and even human life, is, as Gore stresses, one of the great ethical and spiritual issues of our time. It demands the wisest strategies and the shrewdest tactics.

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