An Inconvenient Truth

Holly and I saw An Inconvenient Truth on Monday night, which was probably the most interesting presentation I've ever seen. While the theatre was pretty empty, I still heard a gasp a few times when Gore revealed his line graphs. No one ever gasps at my charts... My only gripe is that I'd have liked a little more footnoting in the film itself, and a little less "human interest" about Gore. Those are minor quibbles about a film that everyone should go see. If I was Al Gore, in a month, I'd release the film for free on the internet, allowing anyone with a broadband connection to watch it at their computer or download and burn a DVD. The message is that important.

I've also looked for some serious criticism of the film, and so far, I haven't found any that's very compelling. The basic conclusions are that all the data points to a warming of the planet and a decrease in the amount of ice. These changes could be very dangerous for humans, possibly even catastrophic, and unless action is taken soon to change some of our behaviors, we may doom the future of millions of others.

One gripe I have with all those that claim to debate "Global Warming" is that they never specify criteria that would indicate Global Warming. How much carbon dioxide would cause global warming? How much ice should there be in Greenland? It makes you wonder if they're all just counting on the rapture to whisk them away, so they don't have to worry about it...

In any case, go see the movie, as Roger Ebert says:

In 39 years, I have never written these words in a movie review, but here they are: You owe it to yourself to see this film. If you do not, and you have grandchildren, you should explain to them why you decided not to.

Gore successfully frames the issue not as a political one, but as a moral choice. Do we have an obligation to reduce emissions causing global warming to preserve the planet for the future? If so, we need to start now. Those who choose to frame global warming as a "debate" rather than a fact are choosing greed over morality, in the same way that tobacco companies have tried to frame the link between cigarettes and cancer as a "debate" for the last 50 years, when the science has been overwhelmingly clear.