An Inconvenient Truth

We saw it tonight, and of course we loved it. Gore is funny and earnest and sincere and most importantly, completely human throughout. But what I fear will happen is this--the people who will see this film will be people like we are, relatively well-informed about the facts of global warming and pretty up on what we need to do in order to reverse the current trends. But we're not the ones who need to see it.

The people who need to see it are the 40-50% of Americans who actually believe there's a controversy, who have been led astray by the short-sighed and dishonest energy companies, their paid shills, and the Limbaughs who abet them for whatever reason they've chosen to do so. The dishonest people don't matter--one quote Gore uses in the film is from Upton Sinclair:

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on his not understanding it.
and that's the situation with shills in a nutshell. We're never going to convince them.

But all those people in the middle who are more interested in American Idol and Lost and who still believe that God created the world in 7 days because they don't understand evolution either can be reached with something like this, if only for this reason--it's impossible to deny the effects of global warming. No matter where you live on earth, you feel the effects of global warming, and the photos Gore uses only serve to drive the point home.

I'd like to say that this is a necessary film, but that word gets thrown around so casually in the world of art these days that it has become cheapened as a result, but there really is no other way to put it--this film is necessary in the sense that it has the potential to be an extraordinary teaching tool.

I like Gore, especially what he's become in the last 3 or 4 years, and I hope that he doesn't re-enter politics. I'd vote for him, no question, and probably even send him money in the primary season--but he's in the position where he can do so much more, now that he's freed from the need to pander to political constituencies. He's got the chance to be the bold liberal voice that Bill Clinton has never aspired to become. I hope he continues to make himself heard.

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