Al Gore – Smartest Man on the Planet?

Sunday, September 24, 2006
I just got back from a showing of Al Gore’s documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth”. Everyone should see this movie (just please walk, bike or take mass transit to get to the theatre). Before I get into my thoughts on the movie, I’d like to say one thing. Please support your smaller theatres. Here in Edmonton, two of the best theatres are the Princess and the Garneau. The Princess, where I saw AIT, had comfortable seats which were in great condition, a small screen and can only seat 100 people (Princess II). Their small concession stand was cheaper than the larger chains (as was the ticket price). Part way through the film, I needed a new drink (my pop was gone and the popcorn was super salty…yum! Big Improvement over my last theatre visit). I quickly made my way outside but there was noone at the concession. However, they had a big tub full of small bags of popcorn for a $1 which would be donated to the Terry Fox Foundation and their bottles of water were sitting on the counter. I thought this was a huge show of trust on behalf of the theatre. I grabbed a bottle and left $3 on the counter – a fifty cent tip. Heck it was worth it for the best theatre experience I’ve had in a long time. Plus, the bottled water they sell is Earth Water which is sold in support of the UNHCR (100% of net profits go to the organization). My only complaint about the theatre is that the seats should have been built in stadium style with each row being slightly lower than the one behind it. I had to move two seats over when a couple sat in front of me.

Ok, on to the movie. As I said above, I think EVERYONE should see this movie. It is a very important topic and has gotten pushed to bottom of the pile thanks to the US Government’s focus on fighting terrorism. Most of the documentary is filled with a slideshow presentation he has been doing for years which may sound odd but it made you feel like you part of the lecture audience and adds to the impact of his message. I have to admit that I was in tears during the first 5 minutes of this film and can only imagine what a wreck I would be if I was to hear his complete presentation in person. Part of it was Al Gore’s voice – it’s very soothing and comforting while still conveying a sense of desperation and sadness. However, he showed slides depicting the difference in various parts of the world due to global warming over the past hundred years. Mount Kilimanjaro, which has been calling for me to visit for the past 10 years, was devastating to me. As was the aerial views of the effect of slash and burn agriculture on the rainforests of South America.

One of his first lines, which I’m sure a lot of you have heard… “I’m Al Gore, and I used to be the next president of the United States”. Who knew Al was funny? You will when you see this movie, he has quite a few funny moments which I think certainly helps get his point across. He even used a short Simpsons-like cartoon set in the style of those wacky 1950s era black and white school films they used to make you watch in school to help “explain” what happens with global warming. It was hilarious. I won’t go into all the details about this film just that I feel it is very important and we MUST do something (at all levels – gov’t, personal, global) IMMEDIATELY to save the planet for our children and future generations. My only real complaint, and it’s not much of one, about An Inconvenient Truth is that Gore encourages us again and again to do something about global warming before its too late but doesn’t really tell us what we should be doing. During the credits at the end of the film, they do post messages about things individuals should do including using renewable, non-fossil fuel based sources of energy, taking mass transit (or walking/biking), etc. I think it would have had more of an impact if it had been included in the actual film rather than tacked on at the end. However, if you were one of the lucky ones to hear him speak, perhaps he discusses this more in his presentations or in one of his books.

Is it any wonder that the world is in crisis when he treat it like this:

(World's largest open pit diamond mine, Mirny, Russia)

A few years ago, I was having on online relationship (don’t judge me!) with a guy from Massachusetts. It was right before the American election – you know, the one where George W. lost but still became president. We were discussing which way to vote (hypothetically in my case): he was a diehard republican and I had considered myself a democrat. While doing some research into each of their platforms, I couldn’t find anything showing me exactly what Gore was standing for in his campaign and but could find official info on Bush’s platform. From what I had seen (and what was promised) and the fact that I felt Gore was avoiding the issues (yes, I was delusional at the time) and figured that, if I had the chance, I would have …. (oh god I’ll never live this down) … voted republican. Looking back, I was an idiot. And while my single vote wouldn’t have made a difference, I am glad that I wasn’t a part of putting Bush in power. Having been given the opportunity to see a side of Gore that I hadn’t before through this movie and his reemergence into the public eye, I wish that the electoral system in the states had actually worked like it should have during that election. I think the world would be a very different place if Gore had been allowed to become president. Hopefully, he will return to politics.

Blogger once again is being a BITCH and not letting me load pics - I don't know how I managed to get the one I did...

4 comments:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

This is a film I've been wanting to see since it was discussed on the Hour last season. I'll look for it here.
And how great to hear about your positive theatre experience. Especially the popcorn that didn't suck.

Wandering Coyote said...

I wanted to see this film, too, but you know what I was doing all summer. I hope it comes out on DVD soon. And, around here, I have no choice but to go to smaller theatres because that's all we have. But when I lived in Ottawa and Victoria, I frequently patronized the smaller, second run places.

Alun said...

I think it's only showing in the south over here. If I want to see this in the UK, the cheapest way for me to get a cinema showing it would be to fly out to Dublin and then to London.

Alun said...

I went to see it tonight. There's a local cinema showing for a few days making it a more convenient truth. There's not a lot new in it, but maybe that's because I've been paying attention to the debate. However it is extremely well presented. I think Al Gore does a very good job of presenting the science without being too simplistic.

I'm not sure it helps having Al Gore's name attached to it though as it does make it look like a party political issue when, as Gore himself says, it cuts across those boundaries. It'll be interesting if it hits American TV in 2007.

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