The follow up to Al Gore’s 2006 Oscar winning documentary finally makes its way into Australian cinemas this week. An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power serves as a “state of play” in the ongoing war to combat climate change, and once again features scenes of Gore meeting the men and women directly affected by rising global temperatures, intercut with a series of presentations the former Vice President makes to his steadily growing army of supporters.
Although the film often feels like the “Al Gore show”, it’s another powerful reminder (after last years Before The Flood) of just how dire this ongoing global crisis has now become, and provides enough ‘behind closed doors’ insights and compelling moments to make it worth a watch even for those who think they already know the facts. The following article contains some of the more insightful moments we gleaned from the film.
Gore’s Global Warming Telethon Coincided With The Paris Attacks
One of An Inconvenient Sequel’s more eerie moments comes when one a global live webcast hosted by Gore, coincides with the Paris terrorist attacks in 2015. ‘24 Hours of Reality and Live Earth’ was an all star live webcast that Gore staged in the lead up to the Paris Agreement, as a way of capitalizing on the forthcoming event and giving uninterrupted air-time to a topic that often gets shortchanged for ‘bigger’ news stories.
Sadly as we now know, terrorists had other plans on that November evening and facing a city wide lockdown and an uneasy atmosphere, the webcast was cancelled mid-program. The heartfelt speech Gore delivers to the studio crew of the webcast, moments before addressing his global audience, is both emotionally raw and compelling.
The Satellite That Almost Didn’t Happen
The 17-year journey to launch the Deep Space Climate Observatory into orbit is a personal story that bookends the film. The brainchild of Gore during his early career in Washington, Gore saw the benefit of a dedicated satellite that could monitor the energy outputted by the Earth into space, as well as provide the first real time photographs of the planet from space since the famous ‘Blue Marble’ shot was taken by the crew of Apollo 17 many moons ago.
Gore’s dream seemed all but lost when the Bush Administration came to power and subsequently squashed the satellite’s launch before it was successfully resurrected under President Barack Obama in 2015 as part of the SpaceX program. In the long and arduous journey of the DSCOVR satellite perfectly encapsulates the pain felt by Gore and Scientists the world over at just how long it takes to change public perceptions about climate change.
You Can Now Deliver Your Own Al Gore Powerpoint Presentation
The biggest problem in gaining global support in the fight against climate change has been reaching those that don’t understand the science, and not everyone can afford to drop the kind of coin required to attend one of Gore’s travelling seminars. So in his ongoing pursuit to win the hearts and minds of the general public, and accepting that people’s attention spans aren’t what they used to be, Gore has made available a ten minute version of his PowerPoint presentation for anyone to download, as a way of educating their family and friends about what climate change is and why the hell we should care about it.
It’s a novel idea, although the real test will be whether it will have any effect on the older generation of nay-sayers whose minds appear to be made up regardless of what facts are thrown into the mix.
The Unlikely Town That’s Putting The Rest Of America To Shame
One of the few optimistic moments in the film occurs when Gore visits Georgetown, Texas, which has recently made the jump to 100% renewable energy. And if that wasn’t unbelievable enough, the Mayor of said town also happens to be a red blooded Republican.
It’s a fascinating contradiction that gives hope for the future of renewables in the United States, and provides some of the film’s more humorous scenes, as Gore swallows his pride and poses for a photo in front of a Republican sign, all in the name of progress.
Al Gore Played A Pivotal Role In The Paris Agreement
Although Gore was only ever attending The Paris Agreement out of his own vested interest in the cause, it’s clear from the scenes we witness that his presence may have indeed impacted on the outcome. This is particularly true of India, who were one of the nations most reluctant to commit to renewable energy, due to its considerable population and disproportionate amount of wealth.
The scenes of back-room wheeling and dealing makes for compelling viewing, as we see Gore flexing his considerable negotiating muscle and calling in a few favours from his impressive list of contacts (in one scene he makes a passing comment about his good pal Elon Musk, using only his first name). In the end, it’s these talks with high profile tech companies that helped get India over the line, thus completing the final piece of the Paris puzzle. Of course, the fact that America, a wealthy first world country, were the ones to then pull out of the Paris Agreement adds a cruel footnote to these events.
AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER hits Australian cinemas on August 10.