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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth"

We recently saw the documentary film, "An Inconvenient Truth," which is narrated by Al Gore, former U. S. Senator from Tennessee, Vice-President, and Democratic candidate for President in 2000. It appears to be an expanded version of a presentation on global warming which Gore has been presenting all over the world. To summarize, we were impressed. There is an official website for this movie. Here's the Wikipedia article on the movie. The best web site, showing many of the graphics used in the movie, and, more or less, outlining the presentation, is here.

If you can't stand Gore, you won't be able to stand this movie, as he appears in it a lot, and is the narrator, when one is needed. He did take a couple of digs at the Republicans, but I wouldn't classify this as a partisan movie. It is a movie which, in dramatic fashion, sets forth the evidence that there really is such a thing as global warming, and that we need to do something about it. In spite of overwhelming scientific evidence, some politicians insist that there is reasonable doubt as to whether human activity is contributing to global warming. I don't believe that there is, and this movie dramatically confirms that, presenting several kinds of scientific evidence on the subject, and an analysis of scientific articles on the subject, showing that there is consensus among scientists. Gore also shoots down two other myths about global warming, namely that this is merely a cyclical phenomenon, and that cutting down on Carbon Dioxide emission has to mean loss of jobs.

Gore has never been a great orator, but he does well enough here to get his point across. His point is that Carbon Dioxide emissions are going up, that we are the main reason for that, that we need to do something about this, and that there are real and practical things that we can do. He seems to be very well informed on the subject. There is also a book with the same name.

This is not a Christian film. However, at the end, one of the admonitions is, for those who pray, to pray about this matter. Gore also says that dealing with global warming is an ethical matter.

This is not Gore's first book about environmental matters. Here is a quote from the previous one:
If it is possible to steer one's own course -- and I do believe it is -- then I am convinced that the place to start is with faith, which for me is akin to a kind of spiritual gyroscope that spins in its own circumference in a stabilizing harmony with what is inside and what is out. Of course, faith is just a word unless it is invested with personal meaning; my own faith is rooted in the unshakeable belief in God as creator and sustainer, a deeply personal interpretation of and relationship with Christ, and an awareness of a constant and holy spiritual presence in all people, all life, and all things. But I also want to affirm what people of faith from long ago apparently knew and that our civilization has obscured: that there is revelatory power in the world. This is the essence of faith: to make a surrendering decision to invest belief in a spiritual reality larger than ourselves. And I believe that faith is the primary force that enables us to choose meaning and direction and then hold to it despite all the buffeting chaos in life. - Al Gore, Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1992, page 367-368.
I recommend this film, and that its message be taken to heart.

Thanks for reading.

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