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Arts & Entertainment
An Inconvenient Truth
by Mark Thompson & Robert Doyle
July 5, 2006 
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Two summers ago, in 2004, the press heraldedThe Day After Tomorrow as the film with the potential to seriously impact the outcome of the election. Of course that was before Tomorrow opened – and became one of the summer’s biggest bombs. And we all know what happened in November.

Now, two summers later, An Inconvenient Truth has arrived with graphics more real and haunting than most CGI-laden popcorn-blockbusters. Just as with Hurricane Katrina last summer, this documentary directed by Davis Guggenheim (but more often referred to as “Al Gore’s movie”) might well be the alarm clock that wakes an oversleeping populace.

Please let it be so – for it’s nearly impossible to sit through Gore’s compelling recitations about global warming and all its attendant calamities without feeling seriously nauseous that we have allowed ourselves to come this close to the brink. The facts and graphs are sobering, but as suits a visual medium, it’s the photographs which are often nearly heartbreaking. So much catastrophe: floods, droughts, epidemics, heat waves, hurricanes and typhoons. A litany of disaster, and even more sobering to acknowledge that it’s happened in our lifetime. The sixty to eighty years we are given on this planet – and this is what we have done with our time?

As Gore makes clear, no longer do we have the luxury of imagining global warming to be only a political issue. Any moral being on this planet should understand that the only political issue is believing that nothing should be done. In point of fact, we already possess everything we need to alter the march to complete planetary destruction – and primary amongst them is the moral obligation to do so.

What saves An Inconvenient Truth from being a doomsayer’s apocalyptic tale is Gore’s focus on the future and his belief that once we are aware of the problem, we will work together to solve it. With knowledge comes power – and responsibility – and for all those who have ever been inspired by the planet’s beauty, whether from high atop Kilimanjaro or deep in Patagonia, or merely alongside the river which runs through the back forty, the time is now. We owe it to Earth.