As written for West End Magazine.
Image credit: Actual Films
More than a decade ago, An Inconvenient Truth delivered warnings of what was to come with climate change, backed up by unnerving research and examples from around the globe. Now, follow-up An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power is less of a warning and more an I-told-you-so.
As world climates change and severe weather patterns continue to disrupt the population, former US Vice President Al Gore revisits his warnings about what needs to be done to save the planet.
As with its predecessor, Truth to Power can be appealing to a wide audience. The story-telling style is mixed with various shots to add entertainment to education. Opening with audio clips of people saying that global warming is a hoax and decrying Al Gore, with flashing images of news headlines and scenic shots making it feel like another end-of-the-world disaster movie.
Part of the film devotes itself to following Gore directly as he travels around the world” speaking at summits, teaching people in seminars, visiting sites displaying harrowing evidence of climate change, or even sitting in his office, discussing with staff what needs to happen next. These more intimate moments give a personal feeling to the events, making it all seem much closer to home, rather than a huge overarching issues that cannot touch everyday people.
In contrast, other parts of the film featured wide, sweeping images of the earth with extremes and changing weather patterns, the shrinking size of glaciers and ice masses, and the new heights sea levels are reaching.
To back up these grandiose images and to justify his time spent educating the masses, Gore provides hard numbers. With graphs showing changes in temperature, rainfall, ice mass, and greenhouse gasses, the changes that have occurred in our lifetimes, and even over the last decade, are laid bare. In addition to the historical tracking, predictions are made as to how quickly the climate change situation is expected to deteriorate in the future. While predictions cannot always be trusted, what Gore has on his side with Truth to Power is the ability to revisit predictions made in An Inconvenient Truth in 2006, and then show how those events have played out and matched up.
Overall, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power has Gore’s focus shift from showing individuals the impact of climate change to showing them the importance of their votes in determining how the future of the planet is handled.