Jump to content

An Inconvenient Truth (Al Gore)


LC

Recommended Posts

You know, I've always been an Al Gore fan (my disclaimer), but I'm even more of an admirer after finally seeing An Inconvenient Truth --- his hard, cold look at global warming. I even bought a copy of it on DVD.

It's the kind of thing where, you watch it and then you can't sleep for a couple of nights. What struck me is that there's no political agenda and no ranting and raving --- it's a fact-based look at what humans have done to the planet... and what everyone can do to prevent a pretty startling trend. (Did you know that 10 of the hottest years, worldwide, ever measured have come in the past 14 years? And 2007 probably will make it 11 out of the past 15 years.)

The U.S., not surprisingly, is the biggest "contributor" to global warming, and we're so far behind every other nation in terms of emission control and automobile "makeovers" that it's not even funny....

Anyway, if you don't know much about global warming, or even if you do, I recommend that you rent or borrow or buy or steal An Inconvenient Truth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 258
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I hate to be a "doom & gloom" type, but I have no doubt that what that DVD claims is true. We are not willing to, as a nation or even as one worldwide people, face the facts.

And the big problem is indeed the US. We followed the lead of Europe in centuries past, industrialized further and further with no heed for the planet. Now not only do we keep polluting, but as a total act of hypocrocy, we try to get developing countries to not develop or to limit their development so that the rain forest can survive and so we can keep from doing greater harm to mother Earth... all the while we still do irreperable harm to her...

I suspect that some within our government know some terrible secrets that they will not share... secrets that would perhaps make it so we would no longer worry about long term damages to our planet... secrets so terrible that they are content to allow our economy to flourish in the short term and keep us fat, happy, and content... and focused on the wrong issues that threaten us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw "Inconvenient truth" when it came out, and what irked me to no end was when I brought it up with friends who were Republicans...who dismissed everything in it as "crap" (usually without even seeing it!)because it was Al Gore. You would have thought that it was a new Michael Moore film we were discussing....and, as Al says in the flick, "this isn't a political issue!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The good of the planet is always a "political issue" because it's easier to go on about "liberal tree-huggers" than it is to realize that some of your conservative money-people are to blame for much of the global warming problems.

There have probably always been things that have endangered the earth, but global warming is the one that is mostly "our" fault.

But recognizing that it is our fault without changing the things that we do... it's like my father for the past twenty years acknowledging that it was "his fault" for smoking but never being able (or willing) to do what it took to stop. Now he's dead (and he no longer smokes.)

Of course we're all to blame and it doesn't stop us from enjoying our lives. I still take hot showers and probably have my heat too high in the winter and my air too cold in the summer. I still drive two or three blocks to the store instead of walking or riding a bike.

But as I said before, is global warming our worst and our most imminent danger? It's certainly the most obvious and most vocal at this time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

JohnO,

Sadly, I've heard the same thing from Republicans. Because it's Al Gore, they seem to think, "Oh, that's Democrat posturing." Well, it's not. If they'd take an hour to watch the film, they'd realize it's a lot bigger than that...

Actually, a Republican friend did come over the other day so his daughter could play with mine, and he watched An Inconvenient Truth. He was actually riveted --- and I was surprised. What got to him most was the data on melting glaciers and ice caps --- and, even more so, the effect that they ultimately will have around the world. (Think Katrina in Manhattan... or Florida's coasts becoming part of the ocean.)

--LC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh! I thought you already saw it.... It's well worth your time.

I liked what you said above: "The big problem is indeed the U.S. We followed the lead of Europe in centuries past, industrialized further and further with no heed for the planet."

Yep, and the facts spell it out: The U.S. is a major culprit. We've inherited our lifestyles and conveniences and tendencies, and we enjoy 'em even though we're aware that global warming could be a major problem for future generations. Do we care? A lot of us do, of course, but too many people still don't. We have enough other pressures in life (kids' educations, gas prices, food prices, mortgages, car problems, health problems). So it's easy to ignore something so "huge" and seemingly out of our reach.

The beauty of An Inconvenient Truth (and it really is well-written and well-filmed) is that it's not all doom and gloom.... It's not a big "we're screwed; we better start building arks" message.

Gore spells out the problems, but also offers reasonable ways to turn around the "baking" of earth, and he lays 'em out at the end of the movie.

One of the simple things that struck me involved changing just one or two light bulbs in your house to those new fluorescent ones.... If everyone in America did that, it would be the same as taking something like a million cars off the road.

It's also worth noting that the film is entertaining.... Al Gore -- yes, Al Gore --- does have a sense of humor! He's very witty, and the fact that he studied journalism shines through....

Anyway, good going, Paulie!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not having read the book or seen the movie, does anyone address the idea that this might just be a fluctuation of the normal warming/cooling trends of the last several million years, and that we haven't been looking at a large enough sample (in years) to really say what we're trending to? Or would that be to inconvenient for the book/movie? Kirk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tim, that's exactly what JohnO was talking about above: "What irked me to no end was when I brought it up with friends who were Republicans...who dismissed everything in it as "crap" (usually without even seeing it!)because it was Al Gore."

Kirk, yep, the movie addresses normal warming/cooling trends, and uses real data to prove that the past few decades ain't normal.

Really, see the movie. If you're a Republican, or if you hate Al Gore for whatever reason, just forget who made the film and pay attention to the data. It's worth every penny of a $4 DVD rental....

(Again, my disclaimer: I'm a Gore fan, and see him as very intelligent and open-minded.... It never bothered me that he can't dance!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey LC, I just saw the preview for this movie on another rental I'm watching and thought of you. I have always viewed Gore as extremely intelligent and I like the way he communicates. His academic approach is solid sales speak. He doesn't just make statements. He goes on to tell what makes each statement true, what the result will be AND how it's going to affect us. After just watching the movie preview, I imagine laying in bed in Massachusetts, you might be thinking "I've got to learn to swim better!" wink

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree, the documentary was well done and made you think (and lose sleep).

As for politicians or anyone else thinking global warming is a farce, I can't imagine they'd have to look much further than their own back yards to see the truth. I've lived in this city for 52 of my 53 years, and for the first 25 years, our winters were horribly snowy and ski resorts almost never had to use artificially made snow. This year the ski resorts have nothing BUT artificial snow, some didn't even open until this weekend, and they used to open in late October-early November.

I remember walking to school down the centers of shoveled sidewalks where the snowpiles on the sides were WAY over my head for 3 straight months. I haven't seen snow like that in ages (not that I'm complaining, I hate the stuff). So far this winter, we have had a grand total of THREE TENTHS OF AN INCH of snow. There are still houseflies around, and you see an occasional ant on your sidewalk... last weekend I cleared dead leaves from my little garden and to my astonishment, found my Columbine had started to bloom under the dead leaves. And it's strong, healthy growth, not sparse or sickly looking. It shouldn't look like this in January, in fact, in January, I shouldn't have it at all. Dandelions are growing, and 20 miles from me cherry blossoms are budding. Bears are walking around all over the place, when they should be in deep hibernation. Anyone who sees all this in NE Pennsylvania in mid-January and doesn't think "what's going on here?", and feel at least mildly disturbed by it is just acting like an Ostrich with its head in the sand.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey LC, I just saw the preview for this movie on another rental I'm watching and thought of you. I have always viewed Gore as extremely intelligent and I like the way he communicates. His academic approach is solid sales speak. He doesn't just make statements. He goes on to tell what makes each statement true, what the result will be AND how it's going to affect us. After just watching the movie preview, I imagine laying in bed in Massachusetts, you might be thinking "I've got to learn to swim better!" wink

Yeah, Mellie, the thought has crossed my mind! But... I do live around 40 miles west of Boston, so at least I'd have more of a chance to climb into my ark than those on the coast would.... smile

Re: Al Gore.... You nailed it. I've always had the same impression: He's easy to understand and clearly a strong writer and communicator.

I've been POed for 8 years that Gore got "robbed" of the 2000 election, but honestly, after seeing this movie, I'm actually glad he hasn't been in the hot seat of the Oval Office. How could he ever have completed it? As it is, his movie has done tons of good --- and it's still got momentum. Check out these stories about a Gore appearance selling out a 10,000-seat arena in notoriously red-state Idaho ($5 per ticket):

http://www.kbcitv.com/news/local/5137736.html

http://www.idahostatesman.com/101/story/67083.html

Gore says in the film that he doesn't know any other way to communicate his message than person by person, family by family. So he's doing it....

The best thing about An Inconvenient Truth is that when you watch it, you can't help but want to learn more about global warming and other environmental issues. At least, that's how I feel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree, the documentary was well done and made you think (and lose sleep).

As for politicians or anyone else thinking global warming is a farce, I can't imagine they'd have to look much further than their own back yards to see the truth.

Julia, our New England winter has been very similar. Snow? Uh-uh. We've had zero. I feel like I'm back in Virginia! Granted, I loved the winters there (1993-1999), but it ain't supposed to be like that here....

After seeing An Inconvenient Truth, I'm finding myself hoping for a raging Nor'easter or two. I don't want any bears walking around my backyard thinking it's May... when it's the middle of January!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Same here in California - blossoming flowers, insects buzzing around and no snow in our mountains in the middle of January. Ice on puddles here in my hometown is something I remember when I was a kid, but haven't seen in years. Truly terrifying. And people talk about how lovely the warm weather is at this time of year - wonder what they'll think of it in just a few years?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know that every time we start to talk seriously (in the media) about global warming, there will suddenly be a cold-snap and all those who like to wag their fingers at the idea will jump up to remind us that it can't be global warming if we're having a blizzard.

How little do they know...

I suspect that if we were all a little less "global"... if we didn't see the whole world in ways that were not possible except for a scant few, we'd be more in tune with the happenings in our own back yards... now we don't really recognize what is normal because we have the internetand the weather channel telling us where it's snowing and where it's raining and where it's not... and it's possible we don't even realize what's happening in our own town, trend-wise, because of our global attentions...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

California is a joke in this regard, they make all these rigorous and severe environmental laws for everyone and they cant even keep their farms practicing sound farming methods that arent going to poison the Country with E.Coli! What sense does it make to make the laws so rigorous and yet you cant even get the basics accomplished environmentally??

It's an inconvenient truth that Al Gore IS NOT above political posturing, scoring political brownie points so it's reasonable for everyone to question the motives of his campaign to save the world from Global warming, as well as his motives for creating the internet!! And global warming is not a closed discussion although some of the damage has clearly been done. The fact of the matter is that the era of about 1630-1850 was refered to as the mini-Ice Age I believe. Seasons, waters, air, etc. were affected deeply in this period of time and everything tended towards being colder!! Its not all completely clear though progressive politicians want everyone to believe it is. Its a sure vote getter. I do believe the Earth, in all its ghosis as an organism, will work to correct the effects of global warming and it's by-products and that there will be serious outcomes as a result of the correction process. Another cold phase should be the outcome of the Earth eventually making adjustments to the current warming phases. These types of "corrections" certainly will make the recent Tsunami or hurricaine Katrina seem very minor indeed. Theres

trouble ahead but the potential for major, major earthquakes also loom on the horrizon. The point being is that there are all types of natural threats to mankind also that have nothing to do with global warming but perhaps its not as trendy to worry about those particular problems??

We live as though we are above Nature. Above our own Natures, and also as though Man's Nature is always superior to that of the Planet or other organisms. In the end Nature will have the last word whether its via Global Warming, or through the expanding Universe collapsing back on itself in a miniscule dot only to subsequently disappear into dense nothingness. Nothing Al Gore can do, even limiting the carbon dioxide emissions of his laborious speeches, will keep this from occuring.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a view from outside the U.S....

I have seen An Inconvenient Truth. It is scary indeed. Most importantly for those who haven't seen it, I didn't see one Republican v. Democrat dispute. The world (and the USA in particular, as the world's biggest polluter) has been moving towards this situation for many years, through all kinds of administrations. This transcends party politics.

What I will say is that there is a dangerous "trend" today...and that is to dismiss something without even watching/reading/understanding it. You cannot rely on Fox (or this website) to tell you whether an argument has merit or not.

So, rather than tell you what to think...I will merely "suggest" that everybody posting to this discussion should watch the movie. Ignore it at your peril.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ras-Wine, your cynical side comes out (surprise, LC!) when you bring up the "scoring political points" issue. Yours is an invalid point because Gore is not looking for votes --- he's not running for office of any kind! (although I sure wish he were). Read a little about him: He didn't do the film to scrounge up votes, or to win an Oscar, or to look like an all-around good guy. The environment has always been his pet issue, going back to his college years. What is so hard, Ras-Wine, about believing that Gore put years into An Inconvenient Truth because he's passionate about the cause? Man, you're cynical....

I also have a comment about this point you made: "There's trouble ahead but the potential for major, major earthquakes also looms on the horizon. The point being is that there are all types of natural threats to mankind also that have nothing to do with global warming but perhaps it's not as trendy to worry about those particular problems?"

No one is saying we shouldn't worry about earthquakes and natural threats that are unrelated to our effect on the planet. In fact, aren't all new buildings in cities in earthquake-prone regions constructed to withstand major quakes? And haven't many older buildings been retro-fitted? No one is saying we should ignore those threats; Al Gore is just saying: Think about what we can do to help alleviate threats caused at least in part by the human population.

Or, you can keep being cynical... and keep your head in the sand.

PS: That "Al Gore invented the Internet" thing is an old, tired joke. The truth is, he never said he "invented" the Internet. Before the 2000 election, he was giving an interview and talking about his support, in Congress, of the Internet as it was getting off the ground. The word "invented" came from some sloppy writer at Wired News; once he stuck the word into a story, it snowballed. It really wasn't fair. But that's how the media can twist and distort.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a view from outside the U.S....

I have seen An Inconvenient Truth. It is scary indeed. Most importantly for those who haven't seen it, I didn't see one Republican v. Democrat dispute....

[T]here is a dangerous "trend" today...and that is to dismiss something without even watching/reading/understanding it. You cannot rely on Fox (or this website) to tell you whether an argument has merit or not.

So, rather than tell you what to think...I will merely "suggest" that everybody posting to this discussion should watch the movie. Ignore it at your peril.

Thank you, Pierre.... That's really all I was getting at. People should check their party biases at the door, and just watch the movie.

Thank you!

--Larry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, that "I invented the internet" joke is old and lame and has been proven false (that he said it, not that he did it... wink ) many times over.

And some people just won't get over the fact that Al is and was a Democrat. I remember his first run for president when he was talking about these issues... And though the issues intrigued me at the time, it wasn't enough to garner my support.

Better late to the table than never to the table... since there is still a table to come to thus far...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LC, I dont doubt Al Gores sincerity but I would not be surprised to see him run in 2008, especially if he receives notareity through some type of oscar for this documentary. Many political pundits believe he's lining up to do this very thing. So, in this regard, he may be lining up his constituency and his "fan -base." Time will tell.

LC, I think alot of people are essentially ignoring all sorts of threats to humankind because these threats dont have the political notareity or the good will associated to them that "global warming" does. I dont think its cynical at all to be aware of this based upon the facts. The political dimensions, and economic issues, related to global warming are MASSIVE, as is the case with any problem threatening humankind, and to put our heads in the sand on that fact is counterproductive. It is the political and economic issues that keep more good from being done on this matter regardless of the collective goodwill across political parties "on the surface" as it were.

My point really wasnt as cynical as it was fatalistic in this case. If man doesnt correct many things, including greehouse gases, Nature as a whole will have it's say. Nature will attempt to make the corrections. The difficulty I have with the whole Global Warming landscape is that world progressive politics seem to want to treat the worst emissions offenders in the world too easily and force some of the countries, who have made the greatest improvements in the past twenty years in air and water quality,to carry the burden going forward. I cant take any Global Warming program seriously that doesnt force China, Brazil, Russia, and India do more to change their practices and their huge contributions to the global problem.

I dont think we should keep our head in the sand here or at least no more than we currently do about world poverty, hunger, wars, earthquakes, meteors striking the earth, AIDS, rogue nuclear weapons, or any other serious threats to humankind. Its a fact of history that sometimes man, regrettably, learns the hard way. Sometimes the fact that situations are potentially unavoidable makes it all the more tragic but I wouldnt myself bet on mankind reversing the effects of greenhouse gases before Nature takes a good crack at the problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, even though I haven't seen the movie yet...

I'm wondering if the global warming has something to do with the seasons being shall we say, mixed up? Here it is January and up until this weekend we've had spring like conditions - the flowers, birds, animals of all types are wondering if it's spring yet. Then this weekend we get slammed with an artic blast of freezing rain, sleet and snow.

There could possibly be a trickle down effect - the seasons are mixed up. People are going to the doctor because they get sick when the temps are up and down like a yo-yo. The doctor gives them a prescription for whatever they need, the drug makers are raking in the $$$. The more the drug makers manufacture, the more they pollute the air? Does this make sense?

HT

Link to comment
Share on other sites

raspberrywine, I don't think anybody is advocating sticking our heads in the sand over earthquakes and meteors, but we have far less contol over those than we do over global warming.

I kind have an eye on the April 13, 2029 asteroid pass... Astronomers Gear Up for Historic Asteroid Pass in 2029 (if I live that long of course) as that asteroid pass will be close enough to the earth to pass below our satelites!

Of course we all have seen the science fiction and disaster movies. The huge asteroid is headed directly for earth and we have to find some way to divert it... but when one is coming this close, I have to wonder... especially since we are always discovering newer and newer junk in space... what if some other speeding asteroid, meteor, or comet... or just some space junk... were to happen across the path of this asteroid... maybe nudge it just a bit from behind... and steer it closer to us?

Talk about global warming...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Announcements


×
×
  • Create New...