"A Voice That Cannot Be Silenced"
A Review of "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power" by Nathan H. Box
Director: Bonni Cohen, Jon Shenk, Starring: Al Gore, Hilary Ashford-Ng, George W. Bush
Rating: 4 Stars, SHOWTIME!
In 2006, Al Gore took his slide deck on global warming to the masses via "An Inconvenient Truth." When he did, he brought the science behind climate change to the forefront. With "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power," he returns with a more personal story hoping to instill new faith and excitement for the oncoming energy revolution.
All great social movements usually coalesce around a single voice. These individuals are not alone in the struggle. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wasn't the only soul leading the battle for civil rights, yet his ability to synthesize the messaging made him the natural leader. The same can be said for Al Gore. With a doubt, there are countless individuals focused on climate change but the masses look to Mr. Gore for his leadership and messaging.
Within former Vice President Gore, we find a voice that cannot be silenced. For more than three decades, he has been a tireless advocate for our planet and those impacted by her changing weather patterns. There are many subtle differences between the original film and this version but the greatest is perhaps the focus on Mr. Gore. This backstage pass allows us to see his frustrations, setbacks, and joy for the battles won. The view was intimate and welcomed. It also made me long for a return to adults leading our country.
Beyond the focus on Mr. Gore, another theme emerged from the film. The Earth is our only home. When we look at the only planet we've ever known as our own, we can either feel paralyzing despair or we can continue fighting for real change that is being realized every single day. As I left the movie theater, I was filled with the latter. In fact, I was stunned at how far we've come and filled with hope for the miles before us.
My hope for the environment, the single most important issue to me in any election, has been through a roller coaster this year. From Trump's denial of climate science, his selection of Scott Pruitt to head the EPA, to his decision to leave the Paris Climate Agreement, I haven't had a lot of hope. In this film, the former Vice President recognizes my frustration and those who believe as we do yet he keeps working. In the midst of a failure of the US government, Gore, state/civic leaders, and other world leaders are pushing forward on an agenda of reducing the world's carbon footprint.
The last half of the film focuses on the Paris Climate Agreement. One of the great roadblocks that had to be dismantled for that agreement to go forth was the role of the developing world. Countries, such as India, are trying to move a vast amount of people from poverty to the middle class. To do this takes a tremendous amount of energy. Rightfully so, India looks at the west and thinks we've been allowed to pollute the environment for 150 years in order to secure a better world for our people. Now, with great privilege, we are preaching a sermon of environmental restraint. Naturally, these developing countries want the same advantage. For the Paris Climate Agreement to be reached, these countries had to have their concerns on energy answered before signing. From this film, we learn Mr. Gore had a tremendous amount of influence in getting India over the roadblock.
My favorite line of the movie was, "A nature hike through the Book of Revelations." The Vice President uttered these words in reference to the unpredictability of storms, shifting viruses, mass migrations, droughts, and famine. As he uttered those words, I couldn't help but think of America's role in the world. The last century saw an America that wasn't afraid to lead on Democracy. We pursued it to every corner of the globe. In doing so, we become the world's lone superpower. Now, the world faces a new challenge. We find ourselves as the destructors and tormentors of our own fate. In this moment, American political leadership is all but absent. This can be demoralizing and defeating but before you give up I challenge to see this movie. The great movements of history have always started in the streets and not from above. Now is the time to return to the streets.
Be good to each other,