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A Convenient Look At The Truth

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CORTEZ, David

English 90

Mr. Disbrow

April 09, 2008

A Convenient Look at the Truth

“You look at that river gently flowing by. You notice the leaves rustling with the wind. You hear the birds; you hear the tree frogs. In the distance you hear a cow. You feel the grass. The mud gives a little bit on the river bank. It’s quiet; it’s peaceful. And all of a sudden, it’s a gear shift inside you. And it’s like taking a deep breath and going... 'Oh yeah, I forgot about this'. ”

вЂ" Al Gore in the opening monologue of An Inconvenient Truth

An Inconvenient Truth focuses on Al Gore and his travels, to support his efforts on educating the public about the severity of the climate crisis. It weaves in events that changed his world view, including his college education, his sister’s death, and his son’s near-fatal car accident. For comic effect, Gore even intersperses cartoons to explain how global warming works. In the slide show Gore reviews the scientific opinion on climate change, discusses the politics and economics of global warming and describes the consequences he believes will be produced if COÐ'І emissions are not significantly reduced in the future. The statements provided in Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth, provide a credible presentation on the threat of global warming.

Many ask what scientific methods does Gore use in his presentation. Gore presents specific data that supports his presentation including: the Keeling Curve, which measures COÐ'І emissions, photographic proof of receding glaciers, temperatures recordings and a survey dated in 2004 of 928 peer reviewed articles. Although it is hard to determine something as simple as the weather, how can we have any confidence in the projections based for the climate a hundred years from now? The answer is simple. Climate and weather are different. Weather refers to temperature, precipitation, and storms on a given day in a particular place. Climate reflects a long term average over a sometimes very large area, such as a continent or even the entire planet. Journalist Ronald Bailey argued in the libertarian magazine Reason “That although gore gets [the science] more right than wrong” he exaggerates the risks. This may be true, but by exaggerating risks, Gore brings out a negative or worst case scenario if the information goes on deaf ears.

Another question is, why does Gore so intensely defend the issue of global warming? Gore became intrigued by the topic of global warming when he took a course at Harvard University with Professor Roger Revelle, one of the first scientists to measure COÐ'І in the atmosphere. Later when Gore went into congress, he initiated the first congressional hearing on the subject, and brought in climate scientists and began talking to politicians about the issue. He thought once his peers heard the compelling evidence, they would be driven to action. Ultimately though, the process was a slow one. According to the article Global Warming’s Real Inconvenient Truth, on the website washingtonpost.com, author Robert J. Samuelson states” the real truth is that we don’t know enough to relieve global warming, and вЂ"barring major technological breakthroughsвЂ"we cant do much about it.” As vice-president during the Clinton Administration, Gore pushed to implement a carbon tax, and was only partially implemented in 1993. According to Wikipedia.org gore helped broker the Kyoto Protocol, a treaty designed to curb greenhouse emissions. However it was not ratified in the United States after a 95 to 0 vote in the senate. During his 2000 presidential campaign, Gore ran in part to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. After his defeat in the election gore refocused his attention on the topic at hand: global warming and its prevention. He edited and compiled a slideshow, which he began to feature as a multimedia presentation around the U.S. and the world.

According to a nytimes.com article titled It’s About Laws, Not Light Bulbs, an editorial published in April 2008, “The issue of climate change is now in a sad state of political and legislative suspension awaiting an election, a new president and a new congress.” this brings in a call to action for our new leaders. Who will be the one to bring us into the free front of climate revolution? Who really knows, but we’ll wait and se com election time. The documentary has been well received in many parts of the world and is credited for further awareness of global warming. Despite its success, some political leaders are less keen on embracing the film as a matter-of-fact necessity. According to Robert J. Samuelson in a wasingtonpost.com article titled Global Warming’s Real Inconvenient Truth “No Government will adapt draconian restrictions on economic growth and personal freedom that might curb global warming. The result is grandstanding of the Kyoto Protocol. It allowed countries that joined to castigate those that

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