OK. So I'm way behind a lot of people - including the Oscars voters, in finally seeing Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. It's a horrifying presentation, scary and fascinating. As a video producer I'm knocked out by the craft that makes such a dry topic so interesting. As some one who's always been politically involved, I'm mortified that this film still needs to exist and bewildered that I haven't been more drawn into this issue. It sounds crazy, but I've always been so obsessed with human rights and civil rights, education and integration, war peace and poverty, that I kind of left all this to someone else.
You can't watch this film, though, and remain untouched. A friend says that the research is too new, that other "natural" phenomena come in cycles and that we haven't had time to be certain that this is not just part of the next one. I respect this woman enormously but I watched this film, thinking of her, and of the power of modern technology compared to the "natural" impact that generated previous cycles and I can't make myself believe that this isn't an emergency.
I read a lot of science fiction, and much of it is dark and apocalyptic. Resource wars, water wars, data wars -- it is the future that causes the pain. But it's also the future that's made by us - and if even half of this film is true, we are permitting what appears to be a horrific future to emerge, despite our ability to prevent it. I've followed Al Gore a long time. I remember his honorable environmental advocacy all the way back to his days in the House. He's for real, using his position in the world to turn this huge air craft carrier of an issue around. In his film, he uses the history of the smoking issue (More Doctors Smoke Camels ads that ran just after the first Surgeon General's Report) ont he dangers of snoking, to prove that we can change minds.
He's won the Nobel Peace Prize for his commitment and impact. Some say the Nobel committee is just poliical and that this is a lefty-gesture. But I say hats off. Where else do we have political leaders consistently leading on an issue that has no personal reward, where the only "up side" is that we might stop cooking our planet? I haven't seen any latery.