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June 13, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

One thing is for certain: If Al Gore comes back to run for President in '08 and wins, we will have the most Powerpoint-skilled presidency in history!

Mr. Gore shows off his skills with the slideshow in the new global warming thriller An Inconvenient Truth. The movie is currently playing in theaters, though I think it would fit a little better on the Discovery Network or PBS. Let's face it, I prefer my big-screen entertainments a little less "lecture-y".

This movie suffers from too much educational content and too little action and humor (though, thankfully, there is some of the latter). As they were basically making a "concert film" of an Al Gore global warming scarefest, the filmmakers tried to break up the lecture with short vignettes about Al Gore's past or action shots of Gore creating his slides. The pieces about Gore himself seemed out of place (save one anecdote about the cancer death of his sister) and the action shots and ponderous close-ups of Gore with the weight of the quickly-heating world on his shoulders seemed ridiculous.

Having said all that, I highly recommend seeing the movie. The content of Gore's lecture is fascinating, at times frightening, and of vast importance. What Gore does, with expertly created graphics, is provide the clearest explanation I have heard of why the Earth is getting warmer and what could happen if it continues. Hint: If your grandchildren have children, tell them not to bother having kids of their own.

Although there are flaws, including a few overtly manipulative moments. (Lingering on Hurricane Katrina is bad, showing a sad computer-animated polar bear feebly attempting to climb the last remaining square foot of floating ice is worse.) Also, when one hears about the ice ages and warming going back millions of years, once can't help consider whether the human race is at the precipice of extinction -- a wholly natural event. In this case, it would have been nice to hear of any species that have approached extinction and managed to make their way out of it (though I don't think any other species has quite the tools we have to affect such an escape, nor the vision to see it coming.)

The movie mostly avoids politics, though not completely. Understandable, since I'm sure a full-length lecture could be made on the current administration's horrific track record on global warming (which amounts, sadly, to selling out the entire planet for the short-term profits of a few industries). However, this is definitely not going to be sweeping Gore back into power. It makes him appear to be the one-issue man he was accused of being in 1992, even if he is right about that one issue.

In conclusion, this is a movie everyone should be made to watch. I know I've learned my lesson (he says, as he embarks on a 7,000 mile gasoline-powered drive across country).

Posted by JoshHornik at June 13, 2006 02:56 PM


I'm pretty sure I've seen a few articles about Al Gore's use of Apple's Macintosh Keynote application for his presentations, NOT PowerPoint.

Posted by: Dad at June 13, 2006 03:55 PM

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