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An Inconvenient Truth
Alex Steffen, 3 May 06

Team Worldchanging got a chance to see a sneak preview of An Inconvenient Truth last night. We all left stunned.

An Inconvenient Truth is mostly footage of Al Gore giving his now-famous lecture on why we know climate change is real, here and serious. It's not flashy, but AIT is the most important film of the year. We believe that this film will change the American debate on climate change, and that will change everything.

This movie will change the American debate on climate, if people get a chance to see it. But in order for them to see it, it needs to do well its first weekend. If you are an American and read this site, it is your duty to go see this film the weekend it opens.

Last weekend, the movie R.V. took in $16.4 million, making it the top-grossing film in America. That's not that much money: if every person who reads this blog went to see AIT on the opening weekend, and brought three friends, this film would very likely open as the number one film in the country -- and that means other theaters will show it, and more people will talk about it, and climate change may well wind up where it ought to be: at the top of our national agenda. (Obviously the third of us who live outside the US will have longer trips to the theater... but you get the point.)

But why should Worldchangers, who have a variety of concerns, invest themselves in the success of a movie about carbon measurements, melting ice caps and worsening hurricanes? Al Gore himself answered that question at last night's screening: because the same frozen moral perspective that prevents us from addressing climate change makes us see all sorts of other planetary challenges -- from poverty to HIV/AIDS to genocide to corruption -- as insolvable problems, rather than as artifacts of a broken political system, problems we lack only the will, not the means, to solve. Somewhere, the ice jam has got to melt. Some time, we have to warm to the possibility of a future which is sustainable, prosperous and fair to all. An Inconvenient Truth may help build a bright green future.

(Thanks to our friends at Climate Solutions and Participant!)
(Archive on climate change)

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I'll watch out for it on June 2nd when it opens in Toronto. It's interesting that (from the clips in the preview) the film demonstrates that you needn't believe that human actions are causing global warming to understand that we need to act to prevent/mitigate further catastrophes. I hope that widens the film's appeal: here comes the true terror.
There's an interesting essay on why U.S. Homeland Security should reallocate spending from 'guessing the terrorists next move' to emergency response here:
As the author says, whether we fear disaster from 'Acts of God' or acts of terrorists, federal $$ is best spent on emergency response.

Posted by: Margaret on 3 May 06

Nicely done website for the movie, with a showings list and the opportunity to pledge to see the flick:

Posted by: Shiva Polefka on 3 May 06

I had the opportunity to watch it at a screening in San Francisco and was impressed. Gore showed genuine passion about the environment that I saw in folks like Ray Anderson (of Interface). It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if Katrina was in 1999 and this film came out in 2000 what the impact it would have made in the political landscape.

also Alex you noted that the 1/3 readers from outside the US will have longer trips. did you see the study released today showing that due to rising gas prices it's cheaper to fly than drive (I have a NY to London flight for $250 next week). For all you UK readers, can you say weekend in NY?

Posted by: Cameron Sinclair on 3 May 06

Cameron, this Gore is the same guy who wrote Earth in Balance in 1993. He's always had this passion. Unfortunately, the American public wasn't ready for him; it really did take a Cat 5 hurricane wiping an American city off the map before they would really be ready. In that respect your comment/question about Katrina in 1999 is well taken - but we are still left here and now with convicing another 30 to 40% of Americans that Gore is right as are the scientists whose works underpin his opinion. They cared little enough about science the first time they voted for the current administration, only reinforcing it the second time along with the damage done by jettisoning science.

Posted by: Rayne on 3 May 06

Here's hoping for screens in Winnipeg....

Posted by: Rod Edwards on 3 May 06

Thanks for the outstanding review and call to action. The Newsweek interview with Al Gore about the movie is well worth a read as well:

Posted by: Bill Perkins on 3 May 06

On the off chance that someone from ClimateCrisis is reading these comments ... I went to the site and for firefox/ubuntu it is broken. The pledge form doesn't load and there's no showing info. There isn't even any contact info for them.

Posted by: Phil Mitchell on 4 May 06

Since that, uh, well-done site is in Flash, I thought a deep link to the theatre listing might be useful:

Posted by: Jeremy Dunck on 4 May 06

The movie certainly intrigues me, and the call to action here is compelling. However, I'm worried that it will be a partisan shill. I never saw Fahrenheit 911 b/c, while it may have exposed some truths, it appeared to be more stark partisanship with little that would actually move us forward in a constructive manner. I have not heard or seen anything about Inconvenient Truth to make me think that it will be like this... except for the fact that there's a known partisan politician leading the film. What do you guys think? Is this a movie featuring a smart guy who used to be a politician, or a movie featuring a smart politician?

Posted by: Stephen A. Fuqua on 4 May 06

Well, Stephen, the movie makes a real attempt to not be all that partisan, and Gore himself spoke at length about the fact that this *used* to be a bi-partisan issue, but there's just no getting around the fact that the current American administration and their more conservative allies in Congress are the most reactionary politicians on the planet when it comes to this issue.

That said, this is no Michael Moore film.

Posted by: Alex Steffen on 4 May 06

Thanks Alex.

Posted by: Stephen A. Fuqua on 4 May 06



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