A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

An Inconvenient Truth

April 22, 2011

An Inconvenient Truth

Happy Earth Day fellow Earthians. This year we decided to watch a decidedly Earth-friendly movie that we had been postponing because it’s frankly a kind of heavy movie about issues we have little influence over. I’ve watched it before (it was of those movies I watched over the course of several lunch breaks at Blockbuster when it first came out) but Amanda has never had the heart to watch it because she knew just how depressing it would be.

This is, of course, the first ever Oscar winning Powerpoint presentation. (Okay, technically not Powerpoint – he uses Apple’s Keynote and not Microsoft’s Powerpoint.) Environmentalist, entrepreneur, and politician Al Gore (better known for his many guest appearances on Futurama) makes the case here that human society is destroying the planet we inhabit. That if we continue to live as we have been living the place we inhabit will become inimical to human life.

There’s really not much movie here to review. We see Al showing his very well produced slide show interspersed with more personal introspection on his own personal journey. He talks about his family, growing up on a farm, nearly losing his son, and his political career. It’s a sort of strange juxtaposition of cerebral thought provoking lecture and humanising autobiography. It seems odd that in the midst of this heartfelt plea to save the very Earth itself Al takes the time to try and talk about his own personal experiences. I think it must be because Al himself is a strange juxtaposition of politician and activist. He still has that desire for public acceptance and validation that must necessarily be part of any politician’s personality and it’s mixed with his role as a serious minded environmentalist with a mission.

When I watch this movie it’s not for Al Gore though. It’s for his message. I consider myself an environmentalist. I consider myself in touch with the planet, for all that I have sequestered myself indoors for most of my adult life and spend more time in video games than in the woods. I still believe that as stuarts of the planet we have a responsibility to keep it green. Not so much for future generations, since I don’t particularly intend to spawn any, but out of a simple love for the planet and out of fond memories of hiking in the Sierra mountains in my youth.

On the other hand there’s a fatalist side of me that says we have passed the point of no return and that massive environmental change is inevitable at this point. I still make a concerted effort to be green and conserve where I can, but it sometimes seems to me that the powers that be care more about lining their pockets than about saving the hundreds of thousands of lives that will be imperiled by the environmental changes that are already well under way. I don’t think that any sane person will be able to deny that global warming is a simple fact of life in the coming decades. Already summers are becoming more and more excruciatingly hot. There’s more moisture in the warm air which has resulted in ridiculous amounts of snowfall in the northeast part of the US where we live this last winter. How long is it before the surface of the planet becomes so inhospitable to human life that we all retreat indoors or underground? It’s like living in a very slow moving disaster movie.

My immediate reaction on first seeing this movie was to replace all the lightbulbs in our apartment, over the course of a couple months, with compact fluorescents. We use reusable bags when we shop for groceries. I have begun to buy LED lightbulbs as well – expensive as they are – because they use one hundredth of the power of old incandescent bulbs. I’d say that by volume about two thirds of our garbage is separated to be recycled. I have promised myself that my next car will be either a hybrid or an all electric car. I will eagerly pay more for electricity generated by the Cape Wind project if it ever gets constructed. My dearest wish is to live off the grid in a self sufficient manner, generating my own electricity from solar and wind power – though that’s pretty much a daydream and not a realistic goal.

So, yes, I do believe that we as humans are having an impact on the planet. I’m not convinced that there’s anything that can be done to stop it, but I’m willing to try. If only more people felt as I do, but it seems that they do not.

This movie is five years old now. I’d be curious to see what updates Al has made to his presentation in that time. I wonder if he plans to make a sequel? Inconvenient Truth II: Truthier Electric Boogaloo.

April 22, 2011 - Posted by | daily reviews | ,

1 Comment »

  1. Inconvenient Truth II: Is Anyone Listening??

    Comment by Doc Wheat | April 23, 2011 | Reply

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