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An inconvenient truth

Duration: 1h36m

IMDB rating: 7.4/10

Language: English

Director:  Davis Guggenheim

Released date: 24 May 2006

Genre: Documentary

Main idea: Global warming and its impacts on the planet

Cast: Al Gore

Former Vice President of the United States, Al Gore, presents the science and the alarming impacts of global warming. Gore explains that the first (and very famous) picture of planet Earth from space (called “Earthrise”), taken by the Apollo crew, was the driving force leading to dramatic changes, since it led to the creation of the modern environmental movement.

Through numerous graphs, slides and pictures that he has collected throughout the years, he pinpoints the science behind global warming and its effects on the planet and everyday life. Gore demonstrates the multifaceted impact of global warming to the environment. Due to global warming, there is more flooding while at the same time, there are also more droughts due to increased precipitation. The Arctic and Greenland are melting, increasing sea levels. Coral reefs are bleaching causing species loss. The abovementioned impacts are all due to anthropogenic activities.

While he is a political figure in the United States, he emphasizes that the issue is moral and not political. The documentary is more focused on the political and social aspects of the United States.

Maps of the world will have to be redrawn, as global warming melts the Greenland ice cap, inundating coasts and major cities.

Sir David King (Chief Scientific Adviser to Tony Blair, at the time of the film)

Gore clarifies that there are three factors that enhance the collision between our civilization and the earth: 1. population, 2. old habits and old technologies and 3. our way of thinking.

Future generations may ask themselves “what were our parents thinking? Why didn’t they wake up when they had a chance?”. We have to hear that question from them, now.

 Al Gore

Al Gore clarifies several assumptions that people have concerning global warming, such as:

  1. “The earth is too big. Humankind cannot possibly have any lasting harmful impact on the earth’s environment”. As he emphasizes, the most vulnerable part of the earth’s ecological system is the atmosphere. It is vulnerable because it is very thin and human activities are capable of changing its composition.
  2. “There is disagreement about the science of the existence of global warming”. This argument is created by a small group of people so as to create doubt.
  3. “Do we have to choose between the economy and the environment?”. Al Gore replies that this is a false choice firstly because if we do not have a planet, human species will disappear and if we do the right thing, we will create a lot of wealth and additional jobs.
  4. “If we accept that this problem is real, maybe it’s just too big to do anything about”. As he highlights we can actually do something about the problem.

Each one of us is a cause of global warming but each of us can make choices to change that, with the things we buy, the electricity we use, the cars we drive, we can make choices to bring our individual carbon emissions to zero. The solutions are in our hands.

Al Gore

Why you should see this film?

This documentary explains in a lot of details the science behind global warming, without any prior scientific knowledge needed. The film is more focused on the United States; however, numerous examples of how human activities affect the planet are still valid in all of the countries.