24 October 2006
I urge you to see Al Gore's documentary 'An Inconvenient Truth'. It's both the scariest film you're likely to see and an inspiring call to action.
According to the film, Gore has been trying to get people to act on climate change for decades. As well as releasing this film - based around a lecture tour he's been giving for years - Gore is training up 1000 people to deliver the presentation themselves all over the world. He's taking this seriously, and so should we.
He's up against some stiff competition. According to his research, about half the reports in the media question the reality of climate change. He contrasts that with hundreds of papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals, not one of which questions the catastrophic environmental changes we're putting the planet through.
The film's greatest success is communicating the urgency of this problem. It shows how major cities and countries (including the Netherlands, and the site of the World Trade Centre) will be flooded if Greenland melts, something which the film paints as likely within the foreseeable future if things don't change. He compares photos of receding glaciers from today and thirty years ago. There's also desperate footage of a polar bear looking for ice solid enough to rest on. For the first time, bears are drowning.
The film also sounds a note of hope: we have the technology and tools to make a difference. And each one of us can make tiny changes that amount to a massive saving in greenhouse gasses.
The film is out now in cinemas, coming soon to buy on DVD and to rent from your favourite video club. Watch it. Be inspired. Save the planet.