21 May 2006
The former U.S. vice president Al Gore started promoting his new environmental film “Inconvenient Truth” at the Cannes Film Festival Saturday May 20th. The 94 minutes documentary focuses on convincing people about the reality of global warming that is traceable to human activity. The film which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, Utah in January will open in U.S theaters on Wednesday 24th May. Directed by Davis Guggenheim, this documentary by Al Gore is seen by analysts as going to have a significant impact on public opinion as well as influencing those that take political decisions. The 58- year old politician and intellectual is increasingly becoming more of an activist on issues that affect humankind globally.
In a review of the film during its premiere at Sundance, Caroline Libresco (feature film programmer) wrote; “[Al Gore] has built a visually mesmerizing presentation designed to disabuse doubters of the notion that climate change is debatable. Gore indisputably correlates CO2 emissions with exponentially rising temperatures, already responsible for dramatic climactic shifts like ice-cap melting, drought and rising sea levels”.
Since losing to George W Bush in the 2000 presidential elections, Gore has been busy delivering lectures around the world on global warming. He speaks with passion and conviction on this topic on which he has become an authority. He repeatedly reminds his audience that the hottest 10 years in more than a century have all occurred since 1990. He hopes that his message will get to the Bush administration that has refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol (treaty to control greenhouse gases that are responsible for global warming). “I even believe there is a chance that within the next two years, even Bush and (vice president) Dick Cheney will be forced to change their position on this crisis. One can only attempt to create one’s own reality for so long. Reality proper has a way of insisting itself upon you.” Said Gore.
Sensing the possible effect of the Gore film on public opinion, the conservative (U.S based) Competitive Enterprise Institute, is fighting back with counter advertisement. The television ads that will air in many U.S cities through May 28th are aimed at swaying a portion of public opinion that these neo-cons fear may be influenced by the film to become disciples of the high profile Gore. “These fuels that produce CO2 have freed us from a world of back-breaking labor, lighting up our lives, allowing us to create and move the things we need, the people we love. Now some politicians want to label carbon dioxide a pollutant. Imagine if they succeed – what would our lives be like then?” Part of the ad says.
The neo-cons certainly have an uphill task as many people in the world are living the practical reality of what Gore is preaching. Besides, Gore is not just anybody. Here is someone that has been at the helm of power in the U.S and has put in more than thirty years working on these issues. His book, Earth In The Balance: Ecology and The Human Spirit has been described as one of the best books ever written by a politician. The book focuses on global plagues, how we got entangled with them and it also suggests a way out. In 2005 Gore received a lifetime achievement award for three decades of contributions to the Internet. As vice president to Bill Clinton, Gore introduced a federal program to connect all schools and libraries to the Internet. This Harvard-educated multi-talented intellectual has lectured in many universities.
The world should better listen to the ‘Inconvenient Truth’ because the man telling the story has a rich profile and is credible.
Njei Moses Timah