Silly me – I went into “An Inconvenient Truth” expecting a serious, provocative documentary on the damage created by global warming. Instead, I got a 96-minute commercial on the deification of Al Gore. Talk about a bait-and-switch!
Yes, the man who (in his words) used to be the next President of the United States is now on the big screen in this self-serving slop where he hosts a slide show lecture on how global warming occurs and what it is doing to the planet. Looking like a corpulent Zeppo Marx and displaying all of the lethargic personality that repeatedly underwhelmed the American voters, Gore’s lecture is among the least riveting stand-up routines to play the lecture circuit. If that’s not bad enough, all of the facts presented in this lecture have been reported widely before and there is not one iota of new information in this offering.
What is here, however, is the constant reminder of what a great man Al Gore is supposed to be. We get endless diversions into selected chapters of his biography, where he exploits family tragedies to show how sympathetic he is to the suffering of others (although his sister’s cigarette-fueled death from lung cancer and his son’s auto accident don’t relate to the ecological message). We see Gore looking very serious as he is tapping away on his laptop (the Apple logo is prominently displayed throughout the film), and we see him have supposedly serious discussions with Chinese scientists on their country’s pollution. There are also the obligatory (and, admittedly, deserved) potshots against Ronald Reagan and both Bush presidencies.
What is missing from “An Inconvenient Truth” is the inconvenient truth that global warming actually accelerated during the 1990s, when Gore was the number two man in the Clinton White House. The film also omits that the U.S. auto industry (including the auto workers union) have repeatedly and successfully fought against energy standards during the 1990s – and that Clinton and Gore never forced them to acquiesce since they were profiting from their financial campaign contributions.
Furthermore, Gore’s green politics has been shaded by smoky residue. Let me quote some passages from the “Al Gore Controversies” section of his Wikipedia biography:
“Gore was an ardent supporter of the Clinch River Breeder Reactor, and later of the Fast Flux Test Facility in the Hanford nuclear reservation. Gore’s efforts to secure an Endangered Species Act wavier for the Tellico Dam on the Little Tennessee River were said to have paved the way for the gutting of the ESA. According to David Brower, “This was the beginning of the end of the Endangered Species Act.” Environmentalists who considered Gore an environmental phony pointed to Gore’s persistent support of increased logging in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and elsewhere; Gore’s support of NAFTA despite public concerns about its environmental consequences; Gore’s support, as Vice-President, for the WTI hazardous waste incinerator in East Liverpool, Ohio (despite his having vowed during the 1992 campaign to oppose it); Gore’s engineering of what some environmentalists called a “missiles for dead whales” deal with Norway; Gore’s championing of a “pollution credits” system at the Kyoto Conference in December 1997; etc. These and other allegedly environmentally harmful actions attributed to Al Gore, as well as criticisms of Gore by various prominent environmentalists, are detailed in Chapter 13 of Al Gore: A User’s Manual, by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair. Although the Sierra Club endorsed Gore for President in July of 2000, the vote was not unanimous. There was some sentiment on the Club’s Board of Directors to endorse Ralph Nader in 2000, as some believed that Gore’s actual environmental record was deficient and that Gore had largely been only rhetorically pro-environment.”
There’s plenty more to read up on at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Gore_controversies.
“An Inconvenient Truth” is something you rarely see in movies today: a blatant intellectual fraud. Shame on all of the people involved in this travesty.