An Inconvenient Truth

There is agreement among the world’s experts, scientists and concerned citizenry, while a few nay-sayers balk and bawl, over the urgency of the cause and the outcome if nothing about the ecological state of mankind changes. The message is clear and concise. Global warning is real. It is caused by human activity and mankind must halt and reverse the trend before the earth becomes unlivable for human beings.

There is heated debate over Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. Parent groups try to keep it out of schools although it is now an established part of curriculum in many educational institutions. Lobbyists, some politicians and most all of the big oil corporations call it “the greatest hoax ever perpetuated on the American people. “

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Whatever an individual's personal beliefs are the intelligent thing to do is set aside Al Gore’s politics, his dissenting critics and watch the film.

He stands before an audience with dramatic visuals playing in the background. The picture evolves from “Earthrise” taken by the first American astronauts to later space photographs taken showing the clear shrinkage of the glaciers and lakes, the recession of shorelines and the melting snow caps.

The statistics are jaw-dropping in their conclusion. The 10 warmest years in history were out of the last fifteen. South America was held in the thrall of its first hurricane. Typhoons pound Japan as hurricanes rip through the southern and northeast sections of the United States. Carbon dioxide levels are higher than previously thought and the cyclic rotation of highs and lows of carbon dioxide is gone and the levels rise higher and higher each year.

The primary cause of man-made global warming is the burning of fossil fuels. Even early attempts at changing the course of fossil fuel usage have been fraught with obstacles. U. S. President Jimmy Carter began an energy campaign during his tenure, going so far as to have the White House fitted with solar panels. His successor, Ronald Reagan had them taken off. After Thomas Edison and Henry Ford met, they had initially planned to use Edison's nickel iron battery to power affordable and efficient cars for the mass market that would be recharged by home wind turbines. In fact, electric cars were the wave of the future in the 1900‘s, but Edison advised Ford to go with gas and Henry Ford began developing the gas-driven, combustible engine.

Therefore, energy taken from stores that go back over millions of years in the form of gas, coal and oil are being released suddenly. It has a pass-along effect, with melting glaciers unable to reflect sunlight leaving it to be absorbed by sea water, which in turn warms the water, creating hurricanes and other natural catastrophes of ever-increasing strength and devastation.

Al Gore goes on to explain the disinformation started in the 1990s by energy industries were successful in turning the dissemination of information into a debate and forestalling efforts to change the way people live.

"The world won't 'end' overnight in 10 years," Gore says. "But a point will have been passed, and there will be an irreversible slide into destruction."

An Inconvenient Truth may be the most important film of the century as it outlines the causes and effects of global warming. In today’s atmosphere, luckily, it appears more and more people are turning to alternative sources of energy to save our planet.

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