65. "RE: this is a movie by and partly about Al Gore" In response to In response to 20
DrNO- Since I appreciate your taking the time to respond thoughtfully to my comments on Easterbrook's article, I felt I should respond in kind to a few of the point you made. Some of these arguments have been made already by fellow supporters of the film, but I figured I should give a response as well. I think you and I agree that global warming is a legitimate issue, and that it deserves to be talked about in a way that will increase public awareness of the problem. We also agree that the best way to change policy and behavior in the necessary ways is to bring this message to an audience beyond the core environmentalists who already "get it". However, we disagree on the specific merits of Al Gore's documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" (check your local listings). I found the film compelling and believe it has the potential to: a. Change the minds of people who don't understand the issue AND b. Galvanize the movement that has already begun to take political action on the problem. The criticisms offered in your posts and Easterbrook's article have not changed my opinion about the film's potential to do these two things. I disagree with some of the ways you and Easterbrook have characterized the film, which I will describe below.
1. You say that "its easy to acknowledge that global warming exists." As Gore points out in the film, the US has NOT signed the Kyoto Accord, and a large proportion of mainstream media articles continue to perpetuate the false impression that "the jury is out" on the matter. While you and I may not need to be convinced of the problem, there are PLENTY of people for whom just hearing the scope of the problem is a real eye opener. And, while the film spends more time establishing the problem than it does describing the solution, it DOES also talk about realistic steps that our society can take to cut down carbon dioxide levels. As janey rightfully points out, this is one of the major take-home messages of the film, that we CAN take steps towards fixing this problem.
2. You complain that the film is too "political". In a sense, I agree, in that there are parts of the film seem to be there simply to glorify Gore, and stray momentarily from the more important message of the piece. However, I never felt that the movie allowed these biographical tidbits to sidetrack Gore's speech, which is an argument that really does transcend partisan politics. Although he does make mention of the current administration's refusal to address the science of global warming, I never felt that he was scapegoating Republicans. In fact, I thought he at least implicitly acknowledged that his own Clinton administration failed the world by not doing more to solve this crisis. I also walked away with the impression that the political roadblocks to addressing global warming are coming more from the energy industry than from either political party.
3. I don't believe Al Gore misuses the "worst case scenario" data in the film. The flooding cities are one piece of data out of a hundred, and I thought it was clear from the way he presented it that this was not some foregone conclusion, but one potential consequence. The flooding he describes is certainly much more plausible than the collapse of marriage at the hands of homosexuals, or the destruction of our nation's precious flag reserves at the hands of anti-patriotic arsons. But, as I said, I don't think this can be equated to the Republican scare tactics, because the message of the film is NOT "vote democrat" - not by a longshot.
4. Your point about Gore preaching to the choir is one that I agree with in part. I just don't think that it is any fault of his own. If Republicans who doubt the existence of global warming were to watch this documentary, I suspect they would rethink their position on the issue - it is just that persuasive. The fact that they stay away from this movie out of a knee-jerk reaction to its narrator says more about them than it does about the film. To continue to choose ignorance when the preponderance of evidence is so convincing is just inexcusable. And, if the movie's only impact is to get the choir to run out and preach to the rest of the world, I'd say that's still something of an accomplishment.
You've openly acknowledged that you haven't seen the documentary yet, and I urge you to check it out in spite of your reservations. If you walk out of the movie still convinced that Easterbrook's critique got it right, I'd be interested to hear your reasoning. Until you do see it, I'll echo the sentiments of others, and urge you not to perpetuate the notion that the movie is an overly partisan political piece. I just don't think it is.