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Film review: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

Film

Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth alerted people to the disastrous consequences of climate change on our planet. A decade later, he's still fighting to turn back the tide.

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Many were converted to the cause by the former US vice-president’s original film, but others regarded it as an extreme, emotional distortion of the truth. Unfortunately, instead of uniting the planet’s population, the issue of climate change seems to continue to divide us.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power shows extreme weather events such as floods, fires and droughts in a range of countries, including dramatic footage of polar ice caps melting.

It stresses that the seas are warming and there are countries in danger of flooding, particularly in the developing world, but unfortunately some people in affluent countries are likely to be concerned only when they are affected either economically or environmentally.

A good deal of the documentary focuses on the Paris climate accord and the number of countries that ratified the agreement, from which Donald Trump decided the US would withdraw.

However, Gore takes a slightly different tack in this documentary from the first one, as he promotes positive measures that can be taken to improve the health of the planet rather than simply fear-mongering.

The conservative Republican mayor of Georgetown, for example, is working towards his city relying 100 per cent on renewables – a decision based purely on economics – while India is being leant money to help it to invest in renewable energy instead than coal.

There are, of course, climate change deniers, as well as individuals and companies with vested interests in fossil fuels who have the finance to mount major campaigns against the development of renewable energy. As seen during South Australia’s blackout last year, there is enormous emotion surrounding the issue, which isn’t helped by opportunistic politicians.

There is no doubt that extreme weather events are occurring, and that there have been drought and floods throughout history. The question is how often these events are occurring now, how much damage they are doing and if there is a pattern of irreversible events.

A particularly interesting sequence in An Inconvenient Sequel is the description of severe droughts that affected Syria and led to an initial wave of refugees before the war there.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power is a convincing and persuasive piece of cinema.  As Gore suggests, if humans are contributing to climate change because of the massive pollution for which we are all responsible, surely we should be doing whatever we can to leave the planet in good condition for future generations.

 

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