Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Horrors of An Inconvenient Truth

"By far the most terrifying film you will ever see."

This is the tagline used by one of the most controversial documentary films to date. Its title: An Inconvenient Truth.

I missed watching the movie when it first came out in movie theaters in the middle of this year. However, the buzz about it was just so strong it made me curious enough to consider buying a DVD. When this movie garnered two Oscars and a Golden Globe, it made me even more curious. Then when I found out that former US Vice President Al Gore -- the main character in this movie -- won the highly-prestigious 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, I made it top priority to get myself a copy of the movie ASAP.

An Inconvenient Truth didn't have spectacular special effects, nor did it have a stellar cast of characters. In fact, this film was simply a slide show presentation made by Al Gore pertaining to the worsening problem of global warming. Yes, it's quite "academe schmacademe" as an officemate of mine would put it -- so to those of little or no minds, better stick to watching dense superhero movies or risk getting a nosebleed from too much brain activity.

Watching An Inconvenient Truth not only made me realize how large a threat we people are to our own habitat. It also made me look back at the 2000 polls and consider this philosophical question: could a vast majority of Americans have been so wrong in choosing who to sit in the White House?

I could only theorize how much better the world would've been had American voters chosen Al Gore over the incumbent president. US foreign and economic policies would change under the Gore administration. Instead of American taxpayers' money getting siphoned off toward military reinforcements in the so-called "war on terrorism," it could be realigned toward science and technology so that the world can better address the problem of global warming.

With this new focus in American policies, a trickle-down effect could ensue:
  • The US could have taken part in ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, and our country would have taken a stronger stand in the global thrust to save our planet.

  • More studies and breakthroughs can be made in the area of finding and harnessing more cost-effective sources of energy instead of continuing our overdependence on fossil-based fuels.

  • There would be more concentration into the study of nuclear power as a source of energy instead of using this phenomenal power as a means for creating weapons of mass destruction.

  • The US will probably be lessening its interference in the affairs of the Middle East and other countries. In effect, lesser military troops will be deployed overseas and countries like Iraq will have more elbow room to decide on their respective fates.

  • The US can organize and/or more actively participate in international conventions pertaining to climate change and other environmental issues. Considering our nation's influence as a so-called superpower, we can easily bring countries together to rally behind moves to curtail the effects of global warming.
  • Since Gore emphasized in An Inconvenient Truth that there simply cannot be a choice between economics and the environment, I'm sure that he will personally see to it that all present economic policies will have to be rethought and -- if needed -- rewritten, taking into account the current status of the environment.

  • The "war on terrorism" could've been the "war against global warming," and more countries could've been more eager to participate in the latter.

  • There would be stricter laws for companies, groups, or individuals who continue to contribute to the devastation of the environment, and America could set an example so that other countries can do the same.

  • This may be a longshot, but considering Gore's emphasis on saving the environment rather than on meddling in other countries' affairs, there is a possibility that 9/11 may not have happened.

  • Disaster preparedness and the installation of more improved early warning devices would be considered top priority, and the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, the California wildfires, and other calamities could be kept at a minimum.

But alas, all we could do now is to dream of "what-ifs" with regret because many Americans were apparently impressed by George Bush's savvy talk and empty promises as compared to Al Gore's doomsday warnings that the sky is falling.


Why is America so intent on glossing over the fact that global warming is a real threat and not just a theory conjured in a science laboratory? Is it because of a cover-up by the present administration to hide the fact that the US is the biggest contributor of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere -- and that there are no clear indications that they are doing something about it?

This is the "inconvenient truth" -- in fact, one of many inconvenient truths -- that Al Gore exposed through this documentary film. He noted that the situation will only get worse in the next 50 years or so, and only if we all accept this as a fact and do something about it can we avert this environmental crisis. And he made his point clear through well-researched data, graphs, statistics, photos, and mini-movies. Memorable segments included the Futurama segment that explained in the most basic terms how global warming occurs, as well as the 3D segment depicting a swimming polar bear looking for solid ice to climb on. Al Gore's voice was heard over the 3D segment, explaining that there already have been reports of drowned polar bears because they grew exhausted from swimming for miles and not finding ice masses to climb onto.

Al Gore himself has already come up with his own book with the same title to complement the movie, and it has already landed on the New York Times bestseller list in the paperback non-fiction category. In fact, as of July 2, 2006, it snatched the No. 1 spot in the said list. (See: Wikipedia for
An Inconvenient Truth)

I'm seriously thinking of letting the teachers at my
daughter's school borrow my DVD of An Inconvenient Truth so that they can organize a film showing there. I guess this is my way of helping Al Gore in his personal crusade to save our environment. This is truly a must-see movie that would surely jolt us into action.

But like I said earlier, if you do have the brains (and the concern) of a pea, then go rent a superhero movie instead. And bring George Bush with you.

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