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12-28-2006, 12:01 AM
An Inconvenient Truth – a film by Davis Guggenheim

The old joke goes something like this, “If you believe that, I have some lovely swampland in Florida I’d like to sell you.” (Also substitute ‘part ownership of the Brooklyn Bridge) How poignant and ironic that past humor will be when the southern tip of Florida resides under water. All that expensive beachfront property will vanish seemingly over night if Al Gore’s dire predictions for the future come to pass.

Who’s to say they won’t? The oil companies and their paid cronies? The recent ongoing scandal involving the National Science Teachers Association prove just how far they intend to go before giving up a monopoly on their precious commodity. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laurie-david/crooked-curriculum-oil-c_b_35829.html) The teaching organization rejected free copies of “An Inconvenient Truth” choosing instead to ship 20,000 copies of a 10-part series on the importance of managing global energy with oil, donated by Conoco-Phillips. The NSTA also accepted a $400,000 contribution from the same corporation, some calling it a bribe.

My Christmas list was short this year. I wanted this DVD. I brought my 11 year old son into my home theater room to watch the film with me. Surprisingly, the educational film kept his attention, though the biographical parts tended to slow the progress of the intended message. The parallel story between the message and the messenger I found to be enlightening, showing the true motivation behind Gore’s involvement and long term commitment. This also added credibility to the message. I believe Mouton wrote that he felt the filmmakers put a political bias into the film that distracted from the principle message. However, I saw it differently.

I believe the filmmaker wanted to remove the political bias from the messenger by showing influences in Gore’s life that made this issue paramount in his mind, starting with his earliest family experiences as well as those from college. He wanted to advance the idea that excessive human development is directly responsible for the decline in our global ecosystem. Gore’s filmed lecture has arrived in time to give us a sense of proportion on the seriousness of the problem and dose of what is real, hence the emphasis in the title, truth.

The DVD should be required viewing. Just like learning to read or write, we must wake up to being caretakers of this garden we live in before it becomes unlivable. First you will notice how thin the package is. The sparse paper packaging is in large part due to the fact the film’s creators wish to have a minimal environmental impact. Included in the extra features is an update by Al Gore with additional slides and factual information supporting his opinions. His folksy casual manner helps to make Mr. Gore easy on the eyes and ears. Rather than some scientist crying the end of the world, he gently tells us “70 millions tons of carbon dioxide are dumped into the atmosphere every day.”

Also included in special features is a behind-the-scenes short (showing the sound stage set) and two audio commentaries by director Guggenheim and the producers (the second, sharing several stories about Gore). Both sets of tracks are informative as to the level of their involvement. One story on the second track relates to Gore running off to New Orleans during the shoot to help rescue people during Katrina and then refusing to be interviewed on camera to take credit (he would rather the press focus on the issue than him).

North Carolina is overrun (as many coastal states are) with developers creating oceanfront communities, million-dollar houses or condos for retirees wishing to buy into these long-term ventures. I couldn’t think of any longer term investment with a poorer return unless it was buying shares of stock in Hummer.

oscar jubis
12-28-2006, 12:20 AM
Superb post, cinemabon. My daughter and I loved this doc and are interested in the dvd extras you describe. My wife and son want to watch it. Sounds like the Jubises next family movie.

12-28-2006, 02:49 PM
As usual, Oscar, you've struck the proverbial nail on the head. Enjoy!

01-04-2007, 11:22 PM
2006 now goes down in the record books as the hottest year on record topping 2005 which held the dubious honor for one year. Frightening, isn't it? So far, the winter of 2006-2007 is the mildest on record. This could have devastating effects on the permafrost in Canada if it doesn't freeze hard enough.

I noticed that ABC (owned by Disney) attempted to blame El Nino for the weather (as happened in the past). However scientists around the globe are in complete agreement this time that the burning of fossil fuel, not El Nino (with the squiggly line above the 'N'), is to blame for the temperature rise. Yes, every time you get in the car and take a spin to look at the pretty fall colors, you are contributing to their demise. Unfortunately, we will continue down a reckless path toward self destruction without any destructive WMD threat hanging over our heads. Instead, our own stupidity will do us in (as a species). Thanks, Mr. Ford, for giving us the means to our end. So much for evolution creating 'intelligence.'

I'm certain Gore is both pleased to be vindicated by the latest facts but probably even more concerned for the planet's well being.