An Inconvenient Truth, by Davis Guggenheim

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The evidence that we have reached an ecological tipping point is incontrovertible. Davis Guggenheim’s An Inconvenient Truth presents the current situation of our environment, as well as its potential future, by utilizing footage from Al Gore’s traveling slideshow presentation interspersed with interviews of the man who “used to be the next president of the United States of America.” While Gore may give this self-description jokingly, this is undoubtedly a political film, not lacking political bias. At its core however, this is a film that addresses a lack of government honesty and responsibility. This is a film that forces the viewer to question why they have not been informed of carbon dioxide emissions before. While an abundance of scientific research is used to back the once controversial idea of global climate change, the film is also teeming with personal stories from Al Gore. Guggenheim uses Gore’s experiences to allegorize larger issues, as well as to make the former vice president relatable and credible. However, the use of a figure of Gore’s stature comes at a price: biased interviews and manifesting large scale environmental problems in the politician-turned-activists forces skeptics to associate an ominous, indiscriminate issue with Democrat Al Gore and the liberal agenda. Al Gore as An Inconvenient Truth’s spokesperson for global warming is, undoubtedly, a double-edged sword.

Throughout the film, Guggenheim develops the technique of using heavy ideas to evoke an emotional response. After Al Gore awkwardly dabbles in romanticism, describing the effect of standing in nature, the film essential begins with the former vice president bringing the attention of the audience to a pale, blue dot in a space probe image taken ...

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...r tenable. Davis Guggenheim, in cooperation with Al Gore, makes it very clear that global climate change will leave no corner of the biosphere unaffected. While Gore communicates that a change has to be made, he does little to explain what the normal citizen can do. Gore’s status makes him an excellent figure for publicity and credibility regarding the issue, however, the political undertones of the film are sometimes so poignant and pervasive that they dilute the call to action that may have previously been mustered. Had the film steered clear of political elements and remained purely scientific, global climate change may not have become a partisan issue. While Gore is an exceptional activist, dedicated environmentalist, and unexpectedly witty lecturer, he is not the scientist that An Inconvenient Truth needed, nor the scientist that global climate change needed.

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