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With Jim Sabatini


An Inconvenient Truth

An Inconvenient Truth

Rated: PG 
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: May 24, 2006 Released by: Paramount Classics

A politically active documentary called An Inconvenient Truth is a cautionary look at global climate change enhanced by the environmental acumen of former Vice President Al Gore.

The environment is something quite personal to Gore, and after 30 years researching and studying it, he makes a compelling intellectual lecture in Davis Guggenheim's technically sharp picture without rebuttal. It could be a valuable educational tool or motivator for students, even in elementary school, as they will be more affected by anthropogenic atmospheric problems.

Gore has a charisma and sense of humor here that may surprise some of his naysayers, even his backers, like when he tells a story of a teacher and student, the teacher now being an adviser in the present administration. There's no naming of Bush, though Gore gets his jabs in effectively, to a high degree through a multimedia presentation that doesn't make him out to be a preachy professor.

The very impressive slide show reveals the US to be the highest producer of CO2, amplified by a humorous Simpson-esque cartoon. The average temperature on Earth continually rises, the highest being in 2005. Hurricane experts predict this year won't be as damaging as last year, but with the atmosphere heating up as the sun's rays can't penetrated the gases, the potential for superstorms can only go up. Oceans will rise as glaciers recede and ice caps melt. It may not be quite like The Day After Tomorrow, but smoggy areas with get smoggier as heat waves gradually increase around the globe.

The inciteful discussion of an alarming trend also has relevance to the current crisis of ever-rising gas and oil prices. There's no clear explanation of where the predominant supply of greenhouse gas comes from; obviously if automobiles aren't the number one reason than they are surely next in line. The engine efficiencies of cars produced in the US don't compare to the ones in China, though more automobile manufacturers are providing more hybrid models.

Will environmental tinkering damage the economy? An Inconvenient Truth shows us in a succinct, resonant way, as Gore explains that nothing new need to be invented. Look also at what the rapidly advancing world population has when it comes to meeting demands for food and water supplies.

Gore gives the topic a personal touch in showing how he became enamored with the world around him going back to when he lived on a farm. From a home-movie perspective we see why his father stopped growing tobacco and how his son Chris nearly died. "How should I spend my time on this earth?" is acted upon in a way by a protective man out for more than damage control on what to him is more a moral issue than a political one.

  Frank Chris Tony Jim Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
An Inconvenient Truth       B+   B+   B+

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