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“An Inconvenient Truth” movie reivew

July 27, 2006

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
- Upton Sinclair

You wouldn’t think a movie about a politician giving a slide show could possibly be interesting.  But I saw An Inconvenient Truth on Thursday and darned if it didn’t turn out to be really well done and very interesting indeed…

As a side-note, it is the best PowerPoint presentation I have ever seen.  Being at a university, I’ve suffered through quite a few, most absolutely terrible.  But if you give presentations in your job, and if you use PowerPoint, I encourage you to see this movie to get an idea of how well it can be done.  (Yes, I know Gore uses Apple’s ‘Keynote’ but it is a very similar product.  The same principles would apply to either)

I now realize that much of my opinion about Al Gore was formed by things that other people said about him.  He was, after all, a science buff in a Senate dominated by lawyers and party loyalists.  And when he stepped in front of a camera, his handlers were coaching and prompting him so much that he really didn’t come through very well.  That all changes with this movie. 

If you have been following actual science about global warming (as opposed to popular media) you know by now that working scientists are pretty much in agreement on the reality and the cause. Gore does a wonderful job of cutting through the popular-media crap to bring this to the screen in an understandable form. 

He answers popular criticisms of global warming theory with data and clear exposition, rather than with invective and indignation.  Michael Moore could learn a lot from the ex-next.  On second thought, no; he probably couldn’t.  He would complain the rational approach was cramping his style.

Gore illuminates the comparison of loss,  as in the way his family only quit growing tobacco after his sister died of lung cancer.  When something unimaginably awful is coming, and we know it, we just don’t want to face it and take action ahead of time.  So much easier to pretend that everything is OK.

He also clarifies exactly what we stand to lose.  A little more carbon dioxide, a few degrees warmer, so what?  Well here’s ‘so what’…

The movie ends on a hopeful note that while time is extremely short, a combination of several changes can reverse the increase in greenhouse gasses.  He also provides an example that – inexplicably – I had not thought of; the ozone layer.  Today our ozone layer is on the mend because the science was clear, governments acted, and the problem was solved. 

At the end of the movie, according to the newspaper review, he makes good use of the credits-rolling time.  But unfortunately (conditioned by years of boring credits) I had already left the theater when they began to roll.  No big deal; I will probably see it again. 

Commenters, please be sure to note if you have seen the movie.

Categories: Movies, Reviews
  1. July 27, 2006 at 18:32 | #1

    I saw the movie last Friday, the 21st I believe.  And man, I was so impressed I wrote a post that night on it.  The movie was phenomenal and DOF, you did another fantastic job summing up a movie. 

    And yes the movie did make great use on the credits by telling people the things they can do to help.  And it wasn’t just boring monotonous stuff, they actually had really witty comments.  I write as I always do about this film, everyone must go see it.  Please everyone go see it.  If you cannot afford it or do not want to spend the money, then go here: Share The Truth.  If you have already seen it, you can donate so that others can go see it.

  2. July 31, 2006 at 02:55 | #2

    Thanks for this review – I enjoyed it. Having just seen a preview of the film over here (it hasn’t yet come out in Australia), I really enjoyed it, despite the US-focus. You missed out not staying for the credits, they were clever, playful and informative.

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