The other night I had the opportunity to watch Al Gore’s award-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth in a downloaded format. I’ll be honest – even though I don’t like Al Gore too much, I thought that he did a great job narrating this documentary and teaching the “lesson” of the documentary. Now, whether or not I agree 100% with his message is another story that we’ll get to in a minute. But in terms of whether or not this documentary should have won the Oscar? Oh yeah – it was a job well done by all involved.
The documentary is basically Al Gore giving a lecture with some interesting charts and graphs on a huge projection screen. This is intermingled with scenes from Al’s research and his 2000 campaign for the United States Presidency. Okay, this is the first area where I’ll take issue with Gore – it seemed at times that he included an unnecessary political commentary (specifically about his loss in 2000). Listen, we know that he doesn’t like President Bush and we know that while he won the national popular vote, he actually lost the Florida vote by a mere 543 and that’s all he needed to win the election.
If Al Gore was sitting next to me, I’d say something like, “Bro, you lost the election. Get over it.” Contrary to popular extremist belief, there was no foul play and FOX News didn’t somehow make President Bush win the election (in fact, the truth is they hurt his chances at winning by releasing information about his drunk driving record the weekend before the election). But I know the extremists don’t want facts to get in the way of a good anti-Bush story, so we’ll leave that where it lies…
Back to the documentary – I liked the message that Al Gore presented towards the end of the film. He essentially said, “Hey, we goofed up and we heated up the earth. But all is not lost – we CAN do something about it and YOU can do something about it. This is what you can do…” and then he proceeds to list out a bunch of things that we can do as a worldwide community, a nation, and individuals to change the earth’s climate. Some far-right or anti-Gore thinkers stop at this point and complain about the science and how Al Gore is lying about certain facts and that he exaggerates other facts. Well, I admit that it sounds more like he is telling a story that he just so happens to have science to fit as opposed to letting the science tell a story, but I guess I just neglect to see a problem with his methods.
In other words, most of what he is saying is true, even if it’s not to the extreme that he presents it as. You can’t lie or exaggerate basic facts like, “the earth’s atmosphere is made up of chemicals A and B.” Comments like that are just comments on scientifically proven facts. Now, can he exaggerate when he says that New York City will be under water in a few decades? Sure. That’s probably a bit much and I don’t believe that enough research has been done on enough variable-based situations to prove that we’ll be losing the wealthiest island in the world by 2050. But is the overall message worth over-inflating a point like this?
Is it so bad that people start to conserve more energy? Isn’t that a good thing? In fact, this is a nonpartisan issue. Republicans, Democrats, and Independents can all agree that energy efficiency is something that we all need to be concerned about, whether you define that efficiency as better gas mileage, creating less carbon emissions, or recycling. This is an issue that everyone can – and does – get behind.
So do I think you should go out and get a copy of this movie? Sure, I’d recommend watching it. Maybe I wouldn’t put this in the “must buy” column and I probably wouldn’t put it in the “see at all costs” column, but it was a good documentary. Job well done by Al Gore…now if he could just get over the fact that he lost in 2000, he might be less despicable!