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Plain and simple - all the negative comments here are from people that
simply haven't seen it. See the movie before you try to disprove points
that it's not trying to make. See the movie even if you think the globe
is in a cooling pattern for some reason (then you can debate the
evidence it lays out before you.) I for one have seen it, and it serves
not as a political soapbox, but simply a filmed version of a
presentation which Gore has been giving since for over 20 years - only
to pick up where he left off after conceding the last election.
The film is a call to arms for us to fix a fixable problem, explaining the few things each individual can do to bring CO2 levels back down to where they were pre-1970's - On a whole - the film views a little like a college lecture, because it essentially is one. But the topic discussed is imperative.
Don't get bogged down by anyone trying to turn the film into a political issue. It's a right or wrong issue, plain and simple.
Just the facts ma'am.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I just got out of a sneak preview of this film, and I must say that it
is the best movie I've seen in the last year. Go see it!
Whether you're a fan of Al Gore or not, he isn't really the issue here. He does a great job presenting the various forms of overwhelming evidence for global warming and mankind's link to it, but he doesn't do it in a political or spiteful way. He shows global temperature and atmospheric carbon patterns, and he shows that our last 20 years have been the highest by a longshot over the previous 600,000 years. Frankly, before seeing the film, I'd heard a lot of information about global warming being a myth, but this film dispels that notion with many independent pieces of evidence.
Even more importantly, it goes to show why we should care that global warming is occurring. As you may have seen in the trailer, if global warming continues at its current rate, the earth's coastlines will be flooded displacing tens of millions of people, it will increase the strength and frequency of hurricanes and tornadoes, it will irrevocably kill off many of the worlds glaciers, it will dry up lands interior to the coastline (like our heartland), and it will disrupt/kill species after species from polar bears to birds. These changes could occur in as short a time as ten to fifty years from NOW.
Lastly, he finishes with ways in which we can affect a change. It would be easy to see this film, get depressed about all the state of affairs, and throw up one's hands in despair, but the film offers us ways, big and small, to help reverse global warming's effects right now.
I urge you to see this film, you will not regret it.
... If you do not, and you have grandchildren, you should explain to
them why you decided not to." - Roger Ebert
After the closing credits to An Inconvenient Truth rolled, I walked out to my car in the theater's parking lot. LA's infamous haze hung low, crimson in the twilight. In the foreground a solitary grasshopper pump drew up oil that had laid dormant for hundreds of millions of years. If Supersize Me made the prospect of a Big Mac and fries a little less appealing, imagine the feeling of slipping into a six cylinder car for a three mile trip home.
Just the same, An Inconvenient Truth is not about blame. It's also not only about the problems that global warming poses. Instead, it sets aside the matter of "who's fault is it" and leaves the viewer with the desire to ask and answer the question of "what can I do?" The film (and companion website) does not fail to deliver: both offer practicable steps to take regarding the literal sea change facing the planet.
The movie presents evidence that, to me, was quite compelling. Is it incontrovertible? Not being an environmental scientist, I couldn't say. But it's telling that out of almost 1000 peer reviewed scientific journals the film examines on the topic of global warming, the matter was not questioned by one (though doubted in more than half of the popular literature written during the same time). It's also worth mentioning that while Al Gore hosts the film, this movie is not about him. And while he may have showed up for some six years ago as stiff and stodgy, in this context he is masterful in blending the informative with the entertaining.
Go see the film for yourself. Bring a friend. Trust me, you'll be glad to have carpooled.
Is Al Gore is doing a Chicken Little act in "An Inconvenient Truth"? I
wish he were. This stunning documentary about global warming is a
well-reasoned, clearly-proved, intelligent, cogent, irresistible
torrent of scientific data, in a curiously warm, engaging, often funny
presentation. What an entertaining horror movie this is! Unexpectedly,
improbably, Gore is doing a Hitchcock act here, all affable and
chummy... before scaring the hell out of the audience. And that he
does, with charts, statistics, projections coming from hundreds of
peer-reviewed studies, none challenged, while allowing how some 50% of
mass-media treatment of global warming *is* subject to questions. There
is even a cute animation segment about exaggerated global-warming
There is no need to exaggerate. Unchallenged studies are showing an extraordinary rise in ocean temperatures, the disappearance of glaciers, the melting of the poles - and then Gore twists the knife with a series of graphics showing areas to be inundated by rising waters. In a flooded Manhattan of the future, Gore says, the site of the World Trade Center will be under water. "Terrorism," he says, without drama or overemphasis, "is not the only danger we must face." The threatened catastrophe is not in the distant future. The US Geological Survey predicts that by 2030, Glacier National Park will have no glaciers left. In the last 30 years, 400,00 square miles of Arctic sea ice have melted; polar bears today drown when they cannot find an ice floe to rest on. What has Congress done about global warming? Absolutely nothing.
Davis Guggenheim's documentary is based mostly on Gore's multimedia presentation on climate change, a lecture he has delivered hundreds of times in recent months. While Gore is managing the show with powerful efficiency, there is nothing dry or tired about it. The film is virtually flawless, even some of the cornier visuals fit in. Gore's personal remarks are affecting: the death of his sister from lung cancer, after lifelong smoking, forced the family - after generations of tobacco-growing in Tennessee - to quit the business. No overt statement is heard, but there is an inevitable comparison with the world's addiction to many activities directly contributing to climate change.
Political references are at a minimum. The only strong criticism of the Bush presidency is in the context of the Republican rejection of the Kyoto Treaty, making the US one of two countries in the world to do so (Australia is the other one). Following a huge list of countries paying at least lip service to the cause of climate control under the treaty, Gore shows a similarly large list of US cities where local government is taking measures not supported by Washington.
Gore is clear about the danger of being overwhelmed by the danger of what's happening, and he concludes the film by saying that going from denial to despair without pausing to see what can be done is the wrong course of action, or rather inaction. "Political will," Gore says, "is a renewable resource." Gently, but firmly, he calls for attention to a clear and present danger that cannot be ignored... even if faith-based denial of the evidence before us remains largely the order of the day, with all the comfort of darkness behind closed eyes. An alternative is at http://www.climatecrisis.net/.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Let me start by saying that energy conservation and incentives to stop
pollution are A Good Thing.
Too bad the film isn't about that topic until the final credits are rolling.
Al Gore is on a mission; however, it's not to save the environment. He's on a mission to get elected president. He says he's retired, and opens with a comment of how he used to be the next president of the United States and continuously makes comments about his opponents administration. His tactics are scaring us into believing that he will save us; however, he doesn't even acknowledge the one technology that would actually reduce carbon emissions (nuclear power), except for showing the bomb.
Okay, first, about the 'facts':
-The graph of the 300,000 years of carbon dioxide and temperatures. Brilliant data, poorly interpreted. Gore smugly states the obvious 'fact' that the changing carbon dioxide is what changed the temperatures over the seven ice ages. He does not mention the possibility, or probability, that the changing ocean temperatures affected the gaseous solubility of the carbon dioxide in the ocean water and resulted in varied CO2 concentrations. Read that carefully, it is just as likely the temperature change over the known history caused a change in CO2, not the reverse.
Then he gets on a scissor lift to show the change in CO2 spiraling out of control, without acknowledging the zero of the concentration axis would be ten feet below the floor.
-The 'hockey stick' graph--Gore neglects to mention that the authors of that figure did not release their methods for analysis, nor did they release the raw data to others for critical analysis. Subsequent analysis had shown the data are sharply skewed to reflect a stronger contribution from recent temperatures.
Then there were tons of pictures showing the earth is getting warmer by the melting (see how beautiful they are) glaciers; however, there are no timestamps on them showing what season they are. Maybe they are permanently iced, maybe they aren't
Then he tugs on heartstrings. He shows pictures of the Antarctic glaciers melting, and follows up with a CGI polar bear swimming and drowning. Then he shows the World Trade Center memorial being flooded from Greenland ice melting. He barely acknowledges that those are absolute worst case scenario predictions.
It is probable that the global temperature is increasing, just like the temperatures increased before all of the other ice ages. And, it's true that the CO2 is increasing at this moment. Those are facts, but as I have seen dozens of times in my career as a chemical engineer, two variables trending does not define the dependence of one on the other, nor if there is a dependence, it does not define which variable is dependent.
In short, Gore oversimplified a global phenomenon that he does not understand, and tried to scare the world. If, because of this film, people drive slower and use less electricity, then the effect of the film is not bad overall, but to make those statements with such ignorant smugness is irresponsible.
That's why I gave it 5 out of 10 stars.
I thought that this was on the whole a good film - I can imagine it
being an EXCELLENT film for teachers to show to a class to explain
global warming, actually. It explains the facts very well, explains
away the objections that people have been hearing about from the media,
and is also pretty funny at times. The film basically consists of a
tour of Al Gore's climate change speeches around the world. It is, in
essence, one long speech in various cities around the world (Al Gore
says that he's given this presentation thousands of times), inter-cut
with some various other footage. The film starts off with a few
diagrams that many of you will probably have seen already, as well as a
rather famous Futurama clip. In fact, if you're well-versed in your
science, you'll probably already know much of what Al Gore talks about
(though probably not quite all) - this film is really for the general
public who doesn't quite know all of this, and also for those who might
have heard something about global warming here and there but want to
see exactly how all of the facts fit together.
As I said, a very good educational film. The problems come in the short but noticeable periods when the film tries to be a biography of Al Gore at the same time. Now, I don't know about you, but I was watching this to find out about global warming, not to find out what Al Gore thought about losing the 2000 election. I imagine that these are the bits that teachers will fast-forward over when they show this to their classes, since they don't really add anything to the film. I would have respected Al Gore a bit more if he hadn't tried to make this a film also (in a way) about himself. I guess it's to be expected, since he's a politician, but it's disappointing.
In closing, although it's not a perfect film, it's a pretty good one. It is THE film to watch if you want to find out about global warming (at least, I haven't heard of any better films out there). I don't really understand all of the "10" or "1" ratings on IMDb. It's not a "10" or "1" film. Even its biggest fans will have to admit that as a movie it could be a little tighter sometimes. I think it's good enough, but it's not perfect.
Before seeing this movie I thought that it might sway the debate on global warming. I assumed that the entire movie was going to be about global warming, and if it had been it would have been much more effective. While about two-thirds of it is about global warming, the other third is a promo for Al Gore--including footage of the contentious 2000 presidential election. As someone who is deeply concerned about the issue of global warming, I am disappointed because I think this diversion from the ostensible subject of the movie makes it much less effective as rhetoric. It has the immediate effect of alienating any republicans that may be in the audience, and global warming should not be seen as a partisan issue, or nothing will ever get done. I'm afraid that because of this the movie will mostly be "preaching to the choir." It still may be an effective tool for educating democrats that were previously uninformed on global warming. As a doctoral student in climate science, I can say that Gore mostly gets the science right, although he weakens the presentation by not pointing out which things are still open to debate.
It does touch a few interesting points.. But! - It fails to show
evidence of all the 'exclusive' studies shown. Who are the 'friends'
and 'small groups of scientists' that gathered this data? - What's up
with all the Al Gore biography going on there? Like how he liked
playing with the cows on the ranch or that his kid got hit by a car..
too bad but.. what does that have to do with the ozone layer?
I've seen MUCH better stuff, in much less time, on Discovery Channel.. I really don't understand why this has such a high score on IMDb. Unless you've been living under a rock, this 'documentary' shouldn't be any news to you... all this is old news... And all Al Gore is trying to do is get some popularity points. P.S. i'm not American so don't even try saying that i'm a bush fan :p
Something very strange happens when you talk about Global Warming:
science goes out the window and "belief" and "consensus" becomes the
topic of discussion.
It's because of that fact that I give a failing mark to Al Gore's documentary.
Instead of promoting intelligent discussion, he kept the debate at the level of "belief" and "consensus".
Of course, when you're trying to sell the world into spending trillions of dollars to "stop Global Warming" you may thing it's a problem to tell the scientific truth: we don't know how much of the current warming was caused by humans. Maybe none of it, maybe some of it, or maybe it has over-ceded the next Ice Age and we got really lucky not to have boiled the planet.
But the fact remains that we don't know.
so we're asked to "believe" in the "consensus". Never mind that any scientist that strays from the "consensus" is ostracized. Never mind that scientific inquiry is about straying from the consensus. Einstein didn't "believe" in the consensus, neither did Copernicus or Galileo.
So why so much scorn placed on those very researchers who would advance the field by asking the tough questions? If Global Warming is so incontrovertible, surely a few people testing that theory can't be so threatening.
What is going on here? That's the movie I was hoping Al Gore would have made. Istead, he chose to shore up his support with the true "believers" of the "consensus".
This is an aspect of Environmental Science 101 that everyone should
learn. If you aren't big into charts and graphs, you may have a hard
time sitting still by the end of the film, but that's the point. Cold,
Overall, a documentary worth seeing. The bits of animation are cute and eye-catching, and Gore's humor is appropriately dispersed throughout. I could have done without the Melissa Etheridge song at the end.
This isn't some platform Gore picked up in the last few years; this is something he has been fighting for his whole life, which gives him a credible and reliable voice in this issue and documentary. The best thing about Gore in this film is that he's straightforward without being blatantly alarmist, which is a welcome change from Moore.
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