Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth (2006)—his powerful documentary on global warming—justly helped earn him the Nobel Peace Prize of 2007. Now comes his An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, an engrossing presentation of power-point slides and video footage that updates the dynamics of planetary weather change.
Sadly, of course, those who most need to see the film won’t: global-warming deniers (who are beyond being “skeptics”). They avert their own gaze and mislead others (either because they are steeped in “confirmation bias” or because they take a might-makes-alt-right stance and are willing to spread fake news for political gain).
Nevertheless, much of the public will become informed when they see the film and witness what is actually happening around the world: the acceleration of ice melting, the flooding of coastal areas and the increase both in droughts and hitherto rare weather events. Gore stresses that, of the planet’s fifteen hottest years recorded, fourteen have occurred since 2001! No wonder America’s climate scientists are nearly unanimous that man-made climate change is real—not the 97% often cited, but at least 99.9%. (See James Lawrence Powell, “The Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming,” Skeptical Inquirer 39:6, Nov./Dec. 2015.)
The facts are not all bad: powerful technological advances in renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, are now on the rise—due to an increasingly enlightened public and greater affordability. (For example, my wife and I have converted to a local option whereby we obtain all of our home’s electrical energy from clean, renewable sources.)
An Inconvenient Sequel was filmed before Trump—in an anti-planetary act unprecedented in United States presidential history—announced he would withdraw the U.S. from the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change. Therefore the film has been slightly (but happily) upstaged by “America’s Pledge,” whereby many of the country’s states and cities, universities and businesses, scientists and other citizens, are taking action to resist Trump and to nevertheless meet the high goals of the Paris climate accord.
Go see An Inconvenient Sequel. You owe it to yourself and to future generations.
Rating: Three and a half wooden nickels (out of four)