All kidding aside, if you know anything about Al Gore, you know this is a subject he is extremely committed to and passionate about. Very passionate. And after five years of some of the worst, most harmful environmental policy to ever come out of Washington, DC, there is no better time for "An Inconvenient Truth".
I know many consider Gore to be less than a captivating speaker. But in "An Inconvenient Truth" he comes across as a different man because he is so passionate and committed to the subject of global warming, he comes across as a different man. Informed, knowledgeable, conversational and persuasive, if he were like this during the election, there would be no Florida Recount in our history books. Okay, so that didn't happen. But the result is that Gore, much like Clinton and Carter, are trying to do something with their status to help better the world. Gore has long been an environmental advocate and it shows. He knows the facts inside and out; people have provided him with statistics, graphs, charts and more, and he uses them in this presentation.
As Gore states, he has given the lecture more than a thousand times around the globe. Because of this, he is extremely comfortable addressing large audiences, giving them a lot of scientific research to digest. Remarkably, he makes it easy to understand, pointing out key facts, walking us through some of the more difficult to understand ideas and problems. He also knows when the audience needs a break and interjects humor here and there. At one point, he shows a spoof of an educational film animated by the people at "The Simpsons". At others, he makes fun of himself and his political ambitions and woes.
Davis Guggenheim, the filmmaker, has apparently presented Gore's lecture virtually intact. As Gore moves around on a dais, clicking for the next slide, he makes persuasive points. But he also reaches a couple of key points. When this happens, the filmmakers smartly pull back from the lecture, giving us a portrait of a few key moments in Gore's life. The argument he makes in his lecture is persuasive, intelligent and well thought out, but because we learn more about the man making the presentation, these points have even more resonance. Not only do these moments give us more details about Gore, they also provide a respite from the scientific data, allowing us to absorb what we have learned.
At one point, Gore states that the data is irrefutable and it appears to be. Remarkably, the filmmakers show footage of various people attacking Gore, or claiming the data he is presenting is not based in fact. Yet, we can see it for ourselves, right in front of us. And I am sure Gore could easily provide a bibliography of resources for us to check out all of the facts he uses. What would drive some of these people to attack Gore and this data? Some of the clips are from Gore's days as a Senator and Vice President, so some of that can be contributed to political parties trying to one-up each other. But currently, Gore does not hold political office, yet the current administration seems intent on giving every break to the worst polluters in the country, allowing them to make as much money as possible while they pollute and pollute and pollute. Gore shows a slide about this argument. Apparently, there is the thought good environmental policy will impact the economy. How do these same people explain the relationship between Toyota, Honda, Ford and GM? Toyota and Honda manufacture vehicles with far better gas mileage than their competitors and are much more successful because of it. An argument Gore makes very convincingly.
Thankfully, Gore stays away from political bias. More or less. A couple of times, he makes funny remarks about his failed run for the presidency, or he makes a pointed comment about the current administration, but by and large his comments are directed at us and what we should do to save our planet. The film isn't void of bias, but there could certainly have been a lot more. The fact the filmmaker and Gore showed some restraint makes his presentation even more persuasive.
The film ends with a series of `calls to action' as the credits begin. Frankly, these aren't needed because Gore's arguments are so convincing. But they are effective. As one call to action states "Urge everyone you know to see this film." Well, folks, that's what I am doing. Go and see this film. We need to do something before it is too late to do anything. Hopefully, this film will one day be viewed as a historical document of the beginning of a great change and not as a horror film.