Film of the Day - An Inconvenient Truth


Al Gore uses a scissor lift to make his point about a graph in An Inconvenient Truth

Al Gore uses a scissor lift to make his point about a graph in An Inconvenient Truth

 

A movie for every day of the year – a good one

 

 

16 September

 

 

Signing of the Montreal Protocol, 1987

 

On this day in 1987, the Montreal Protocol in Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed. It was designed to eliminate from use substances, largely chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were deemed to be damaging the atmosphere, most particularly by destroying ozone, which absorbs large amounts of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. It is the most universally ratified treaty in world history, Kofi Annan has called it “perhaps the single most successful international agreement to date”. Under the terms of the protocol, the use of CFCs – a propellant in aerosols, a coolant in fridges – was first pegged to 150 per cent of its 1986 level. Then, from 1994 it was limited to 25 per cent of the 1986 level. Finally, from 1996, CFC use was banned entirely. The protocol has been successful at least partly (possibly majorly) because there was access to cheap, non-harming alternatives. Since the ban, the annual minimum recorded values of ozone, as surveyed at the Antarctic, continued to fall for a few years but since 2000 there has been a gradual though significant reversal. It has been estimated by some scientists that the damage will have been repaired by 2050. Though it must be said that the hydrofluorocarbons (HCFC) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) we now use instead of CFC come with their own problems – not least their effect on global warming.

 

An Inconvenient Truth (2006, dir: Davis Guggenheim)

Having “invented the internet”, another of Al Gore’s great sins against the coalition of autistic conservatives, free market liberals and global megacorporations – who have no goal in common but stick together for reasons they need to reconsider – is his espousal of the theory of global warming. An Inconvenient Truth lays it out unequivocally through what is little more than a Powerpoint presentation, with Gore kicking off with a joke – “Hello, I’m Al Gore. I used to be the next president of the United States” – and ending with a song. Well, not quite, but he end with a call to arms that’s quite upbeat. Quite a feat when you consider what has been served up betweentimes. Which is a depressing series of statistics about the need to get the planet’s carbon emissions under control, otherwise kapowie. Gore busts a few myths as he goes – the big one being that the scientific community isn’t agreed on the idea of manmade global warming. And director Davis Guggenheim does a rare thing – he lets the words, the figures, the charts speak for themselves when necessary, using the pretty, distracting images only as a palate cleanser between courses. Even if you don’t agree with the thesis, this is a powerful film whose arguments, if you’re serious about being a denier rather than a kneejerk fellow traveller of the coalition mentioned above, you need to refute.

 

 

 

Why Watch?

 

  • A university-style Climate 101 lecture that people paid to see
  • Old-fashioned stump-pounding rhetoric at its best
  • 66% of people who have seen it say it has “changed their minds” about climate change
  • Even if you don’t buy the conclusions, it delivers facts by the entertaining trailerload

 

© Steve Morrissey 2013

 

 

An Inconvenient Truth – at Amazon

 

 

 

 

imdb poster An Inconvenient Truth
An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
Run time: 100 min
Rating: 7.6
Genres: Documentary
Director: Davis Guggenheim
Stars: Al Gore, Billy West, George Bush
Trivia: A documentary on Al Gore’s campaign to make the issue of global warming a recognized problem worldwide.
Storyline Director Davis Guggenheim eloquently weaves the science of global warming with Mr. Gore’s personal history and lifelong commitment to reversing the effects of global climate change.  A longtime advocate for the environment, Gore presents a wide array of facts and information in a thoughtful and compelling way.  “Al Gore strips his presentations of politics, laying out the facts for the audience to draw their own conclusions in a charming, funny and engaging style, and by the end has everyone on the edge of their seats, gripped by his haunting message,” said Guggenheim.  An Inconvenient Truth is not a story of despair but rather a rallying cry to protect the one earth we all share.  “It is now clear that we face a deepening global climate crisis that requires us to act boldly, quickly, and wisely,” said Gore.   Written by Plantation Productions
Plot Keywords: climate, global warming, global climate change, science, environment
Box Office Opening Weekend: $25,413 (Argentina) (24 November 2006)
Gross: $25,413 (Argentina) (24 November 2006)