Monday, June 12, 2006

Plenty of Truth in "Inconvenient Truth"

This past Friday, I had the pleasure of watching the documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," which focuses on the very real effects that global warming has had on our environment and our lives, and what will inevitably happen if nothing is done about this universal issue. After taking time off to recover from his controversial loss in the 2000 Presidential Elections, former Vice-President Al Gore began to dedicate his time to lead a campaign to reduce carbon dioxide emissions globally and get the US Government to pass legislation that will do much to reduce America's share of pollution in the world. The movie itself, directed by Davis Guggenheim, follows Al Gore as he gives lectures in cities around the world detailing the science behind global warming, showing real-life evidence of its existence and does it in such a way that practically anyone with eyeballs can understand. And trust me when I say his argument is VERY convincing (and surprisingly, it's not boring in the least bit). When I left the movie, I felt like I wanted to grab everyone by the neck and tell them personally to make efforts to reduce their wasteful consumption and to go and watch the movie to find out how. It really is a powerful work.

Al Gore, while he does take the time to bash the Bush Administration every once in awhile, doesn't stoop to the level of making the entire movie a political piece pitting Democrats vs. Republicans in his effort to get the importance of environmental awareness across. Yes, he does take the time in the movie to paint himself as the ultimate environmental crusader during his political career, but considering that much of it is true, it certainly isn't without merit. As he said in the movie, global warming isn't a political issue, but rather it's the biggest moral issue facing human civilization. And because of this, he makes it very clear that all people, no matter their political affiliation, need to take steps to reduce pollution, or else, we won't have much of a life left to live.

The biggest evidence that we are currently seeing the consequence of increased carbon dioxide emissions? Last summer's hurricane season. And Al Gore makes the bulletproof argument that its only going to get worse REAL soon if nothing is done about our emissions.

Critics have universally acclaimed this movie and have marked it as a "must-see." And, after seeing it myself, I happen to agree. Go out, see this movie, and take personal steps to foster change. Trust me, you certainly won't regret it. If anything, you'll most certainly regret it if you don't.

For more information, check out the movie's website.


Blogger Robert said...

If the hurricane argument is the best there is, that's not very encouraging.

1:43 PM  
Blogger djkibblesnbits said...

Hurricanes are only one piece of the puzzle that prove that humans have had a severe impact on the environment, according to the movie and to scientists all over the world. I saw the article you linked and decided to take you seriously, and did my own research. Utilizing the resources I still thankfully have at SU, I scoured the science databases and found:

1) Not a single scientific article that disagreed with the fact that global warming has been caused by human environmental policy.

2) 3 articles, that have been peer reviewed by almost 1000 scientists that point to a direct correlation between CO2 levels, and severe weather patterns in the last few decades. ALL agree with the findings.

3) So-called "expert" Dr. James O'Brien scientific expertise is limited to oil drilling... (hmmm...)

and finally...

4) (Didn't have to look in the science articles for this one) The article you linked was published in 2004. The record 2005 hurricane/typhoon season hadn't occurred yet.

Yes, the Earth changes over time, but certainly the kinds of changes that have been happening over the past few decades have previously taken place over thousands of years. Something is definitely up, and the evidence shows that humans are affecting these changes.

I can't link any of these articles because you need to have an institutional account to gain access. I'm sure, however, if you wanted to see for yourself, your local library should have access to these same articles.

Watch the movie, first, and then tell me what you think. There's nothing wrong with being skeptical, but certainly, it's hard to remain so in light of all the evidence.

PS: I even looked at "" and personally worked through a lot of the arguments they use against the movie. Some of the points that they make are directly refuted by both the movie AND by these same scientific articles.

You really need to watch the movie to see what I mean.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

I'm not saying that humans aren't having an impact. Here are some tenets for each point:

1. Burden of proof is on the people making the claim, not on an absense of articles refuting it.

2. Correlation does not mean causation. Just because two things appear to move together (CO2 levels and hurricane activity), it doesn't mean that one is the cause of the other.

3. Doesn't answer the challenges of the claims that higher overall temperatures stabilize weather patterns rather than disrupt them. Weather instability patterns appear with temperature and pressure variation because that's what causes the air to move. What about the other scientists?

4. The fact that the article was written in the year before Katrina is meaningless. One year of data is not a trend nor does it refute the points made in the article. You can't point to one isolated hurricane season and claim it as evidence and ignore evidence to the contrary. Throughout history storm cycles have varied quite a bit.

I realize you can't link to the studies but you can certainly name them.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Shanon Donnelly said...

Having seen the movie, I'd say that the hurricane argument wasn't the one that hit home.

For me, the biggest impaced came from he images of disappearing glaciers and the loss we're currently seeing in Artic and Antarctic ice sheets.

Now, you can say there's no connection, but hey, here's a thought--let's try reducing emissions and see what happens.

Sure worked great to cut chlorofluorocarbons, which, yes, means we now have less of a hole in the ozone.

And it does seem like there's a lot less to loose (as in everything) by cutting cabon emissions with more efficient energy.

4:41 PM  

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