A decade ago, former Vice President Al Gore had one of the unlikeliest hit films of all time, An Inconvenient Truth. Now he’s back with a follow-up, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, which premiered in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.
In an interview with Stephen Colbert on CBS’s The Late Show Monday night, Gore joked, “And to young people in particular, I really recommend this movie as a date movie… it’s a hot date movie. It’s an amazingly hot date movie.”
But the truth is this movie is a great movie for anyone who cares about humanity and where we are headed. It tells the stories of the ups and downs of the climate movement, the Paris climate negotiations, and Gore’s own life — and it’s an emotional rollercoaster filled with moments of joy and despair.
Gore sense of humor and his humanity suffuse the new movie, one of the reasons it’s even better than the original. Indeed, for those who still think of the former vice president in terms of his media stereotype from the 2000 election — “stiff” and “wooden” — the movie will be quite a surprise. He has emerged as a world-class communicator.
The sequel also fixes the biggest flaw in the original, which was criticized for not enough focus on solutions. This film makes the new clean energy revolution a major focus.
For many activists, nothing is harder than staying motivated year after year in the face of the inevitable failures along the (too) slow road to social justice. But few progressives have had to face the disappointments and despair that Gore has, most infamously his controversial presidential defeat in 2000.
Yet Gore remains remarkably optimistic and filled with hope. Seeing how he is able to keep going decade after decade is an inspiring life lesson anyone can learn from.
One has to be a fool to be optimistic anymore about climate destabilization since the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is now, according to NASA’s and JPL’s May 2014 report, “unstoppable.” That means twenty feet of rapid global sea level rise is now unstoppable.
The state of California has a new report indicating we are going to see at least ten feet of that rapid sea level rise over the next 70 years. James Hansen’s team’s 2015 report indicates ten feet over the next, now 48 years.
In the US, our SAFSTOR nuclear reactor decommissioning procedure takes 60 years. Since most of the world’s coastal nuclear power facilities are sited at five feet above sea level, they are all going to be inundated in about 30 years causing fifty Fukushimas all at once!
I’m the only politician in the nation calling for initiation of immediate decommissioning this year of all the world’s coastal nukes. This is because, otherwise, we are on course to the destruction of civilization 30 years from now. We have to finally decide what to do with permanent nuclear waste storage if we want to clear the coasts of our nuclear nightmares. I bet Gore’s movie doesn’t talk about that!
Does he talk about how we will have to move and rebuild every ocean harbor in the world? Does he mention that 80 of the 100 biggest cities in the world will be inundated and destroyed by that first 20 feet of sea level rise? Does he discuss at all the relocation of all the world’s coastal civilization?
According to the state of California report, the Greenland ice sheet is on the verge of collapse too, adding another 20 feet to sea levels, and that is likely to shut down the great ocean conveyor belt that is driven by the sinking of very salty water in the North Atlantic current which is now diluting and slowing down.
Does Gore point out that all of the policymakers who got us here, by undermining our coastal national security for the benefit of the fossil fuel industries, are traitors?
If so, then he would have to call out Bill Clinton for sending him to Kyoto to gut the treaty, and call out himself for going along with it. (Instead, Clinton should have sent Gore out on an “Inconvenient Truth”-like national tour to explain this national security threat to all Americans.)
If not, then he is peddling false hope and covering up the greatest crimes in the history of humanity.