If you haven’t seen this movie yet, go see it now, or see it as soon as it comes out on DVD. Probably most people in the US have at least heard of this movie and Al Gore’s book by now. It’s a documentary in which Gore warns us about global warming. Everyone knows about global warming, but I have never heard anyone explain it so succinctly as Gore does in this movie. Gore is a good teacher, and very engaging in this movie.
Most of the movie is a presentation which he has done many times before, with graphs and all that. It is interspersed with voice-overs about Gore’s family’s tobacco farm (and how they kept growing tobacco even knowing the health hazards of smoking), the 2000 presidential race, the loss of Gore’s sister to lung cancer, and the near loss of his son in a car accident. These last three life events strengthened Gore’s commitment to the cause of saving the environment.
Gore disputes the notion that the weather we see today is part of a normal climate cycle. In looking at his data, you can see that it isn’t. Cities such as New York, Miami, etc., will be completely under water in a relatively short period of time, if we don’t do something to reverse the trend. The temperature will increase dramatically.
The oceans will warm up, which will lead to more intense storms, such as Hurricane Katrina or worse. The insect population will increase, which will cause diseases such as West Nile Virus to increase. Basically, the world would be in total chaos. Of course, the US is the greatest contributor of greenhouse gases in the world.
This is the scariest movie I have ever seen. Still, Gore’s message isn’t all doom and gloom. He reminds us of great things the United States has done before (putting a man on the moon, etc.), and says that we can overcome this problem. We have the knowledge we need to do so. What we need is the personal and political willpower. It doesn’t require drastically altering our lifestyle, by the way.
Furthermore, Gore debunks a common myth that we need to choose between a good economy and a healthy environment. For example, the car companies that are doing the best financially are the ones that offer cars with the best gas mileage. These are foreign car companies, not surprisingly. Also, of course, a good economy won’t help much if we ruin the planet.
All in all, the movie is mesmerizing and inspiring. At the end of the movie (during which an awesome song by Melissa Etheridge plays) several steps people can take to reduce greenhouse gases are listed. You can also visit the website, http://www.climatecrisis.net.