Movie Review

An Inconvenient Truth Review

An Inconvenient Truth (2006)

‘An Inconvenient Truth’

By far the most terrifying film you will ever see.

A documentary on Al Gore’s campaign to make the issue of global warming a recognized problem worldwide.
Category: Documentary

Release date: 2006-01-24
Run time: 100 minute / 1:40
Budget: $1,000,000
Revenue: $46,243,000
Director: Davis Guggenheim
Writer: Davis Guggenheim
Website: http://www.climatecrisis.net/
Production Companies : Lawrence Bender Productions, Participant Media
Production Country: United States of America

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Who is the chubby, aging baby boomer waddling through airport after empty airport, wearily tugging along his 2-piece luggage roller? Hey, it’s not Michael Moore (again). Why, for heaven’s sake, it’s none other than a bored, disgruntled Al Gore, Jr. – the Man Who Personally Believes He Coulda/Woulda/Shoulda Been King! Well, at least Saturday Night Live believed him. Instead of ruling the Western World with a Green Fist, he’s starred in a new movie persuading us to stop using up so much energy. Meanwhile, Al Gore Jr. cruises about foreign capitals in one gas-guzzling, chauffeured Mercedes after another, pondering one very deep thought after another while solemnly tapping away on his Mac Powerbook. Earth to Al Gore: Actor Steven Seagal already nailed down the slick but glazed ‘poseur look’ about nine movies ago.

Is “An Inconvenient Truth” a documentary about Global Warming, or Al Gore’s microphone-grabbing, spotlight-snatching platform to whine about, and revisit, his presidential election loss, six years ago? Is former Veep Gore really hoping to educate film audiences about the very serious dangers of carbon dioxide emissions, greenhouse gases and abrupt climate change, or conniving to create a multi-media white paper for the Democratic Party’s energy agenda? We’re not sure, actually. Perhaps, it is because Al Gore, and the film’s executive producer Davis Guggenheim, were themselves confused as to the direction in which they were heading with this narcissistic political propaganda.

C’mon, a former high-profile Vice President of the United States shuffling through airport security like the rest of us hoi polloi? If so, then why didn’t the alarm bells go off? For those who missed it, in one scene Gore wore a belt buckle the size of a small dish, when passing through the airport’s metal detector. And it didn’t screech? Right! Or how about the scene where a pompous Al Gore (sans bodyguards) was hailing a cab in Manhattan, but no one recognized him? Well, perhaps that part was realistic. Who really cares about Al? Was the former #2 man doing a for-the-people inspirational routine, along the lines of “He Walks Among Us,” so that we’d buy his punch line about self-sacrifice at the end of the movie?

The man, who at one time claimed to have invented the Internet, more carefully documented his alleged 30-year personal campaign to help bring Global Warming to a screeching halt. Amazingly, he didn’t include footnotes with his film speech. We’re sure Gore was anticipating the “I invented the Internet” jokes and dutifully prepared his track record for audiences. He shamelessly dredged up memories of his old Harvard science professor, Roger Revelle, whom he once called into congressional hearings to have the scientist warn about CO2 emissions and rising water temperatures.

How seriously can we take ‘Scientist’ Al Gore? In a Washington Post article (March 19, 2000), Al’s grades and scores were questioned, during the presidential campaign, and the assistant headmaster at Gore’s private school, St. Albans, reportedly “chuckled at (Gore’s) science results.” He had scored so poorly.

Gore’s one constant, his glibness, manifests in this quasi-documentary. Mostly it’s a political infomercial, but for whatever reason Gore was so fervently pitching and hyping Al Gore was never made clear. He hasn’t quite grasped how serious the earth’s climactic changes could impact our civilization, other than flicking through multiple photos of receding glaciers and a few other tidbits. Gore mentions we might have 100 million refugees if sea levels rise, as if those many would actually survive. In contrast, Dr. Lovelock, author of “The Revenge of Gaia,” is forecasting the demise of billions of people under the same “earth is melting” scenario. Whom do we believe? We vote Lovelock, not Gore. After all, the politician admits, in a recent Rolling Stone magazine interview, Lovelock has forgotten more science than Gore has ever learned.

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Whatever gravity the poseur portrayed during his supercilious narration, and in his deep-thinking (but awkward) poses, Gore nullified these moments with clumsy flashbacks to the 2000 presidential campaign. (Well, Gore reportedly did a lot of drugs in college, so we guess he’s entitled to his flashbacks.) While he claimed in his movie to have moved on, the man still sounded downright bitter during this pre-campaigning film farce. His movie oozes contempt for the man who defeated him, and offers the same ill will toward anyone distantly related – family, business or otherwise – to the man who is now President of the United States. For those who helped keep him out of the White House or dissed him? He repays his enemies in a way only a screenwriter could: Gore adds his enemies to his movie.

Gore’s rapid-fire “subliminal images” are cleverly aimed at Florida and the 2000 presidential campaign. Take that Senator Katherine Harris! Guess which state gets submerged first when the polar ice caps melt? You got it, Florida. Of all the lakes in the world which are drying up, Gore selects Lake Chad. For those who have forgotten, it was the notorious “chads,” which cost Gore the presidency. Darn it Al, will you let it go? It’s been six years, you know. You LOST the election!

Film goers should wonder why an ex-tobacco farmer, and erstwhile U.S. presidential candidate (going 0 for 2 on presidential campaigns), has only NOW come out against fossil fuels because of Global Warming. What’s his agenda? To educate the public? If that is the case, then the filmmakers should have focused on the matter at hand – the earth is getting hotter, and we need a solution. Dr. James Lovelock’s mandate is simple: Nuclear energy is the single solution. Listen up, Hillary Clinton – you might have enjoyed Al’s ramblings, and said so in your pretentious New York Press Club speech last May, but where is Gore’s actual solution to the Global Warming crisis?

The self-righteous Al Jr. offers no solution in his movie. Even when asked by an audience in China for his solution, Gore spouts non-sequiturs – political rhetoric, but no word of a solution. The movie director deftly cuts away before Al can look even sillier, while we wonder why Al offered no solution.

The film shows images of a nuclear reactor, a wind farm and running water. Was the blustering Al or his bewildered movie director hoping the audience would choose a solution for them? At least Ross Perot, in his infomercials, had some solution for the ills then facing America. Al has none. Zippo. Nada. Just join Al’s crusade and start driving a hybrid car. Or did he mean a bicycle? After all, in one scene, Al boasts about the Chinese riding their bicycles and flashes a dated photo showing this. Wake up, Al, last we heard, the Chinese were driving Beemers and Benzes, not bicycles. Bikes are reserved for environmentalist weenies who can’t find a real job.

Al seems to be pro-nuclear, but claims there are problems with proliferation and waste disposal. In an interview with Australia’s The Age newspaper, published in November 2005, Gore told the reporter he was not “reflexively against” nuclear energy. Wearing his hat as a fund manager for the Generation Fund, he told the newspaper that investing in uranium mining comes down to sustainability. In another interview with “Grist Magazine’s” David Roberts, published in May of this year, Gore responded to questioning about the nuclear energy renaissance, saying, “ I doubt nuclear power will play a much larger role than it does now.” How’s that for naiveté in the context of dozens of countries having already announced their plans to advance their nuclear energy programs?

Perhaps, Gore will begin touting renewables, as Hillary Clinton has done on behalf of lapdog/energy guru Amory Lovins. We asked third-term Wyoming legislator, David R. Miller, who is also president of a U.S. uranium development company, Strathmore Minerals, about the madness over renewables becoming a serious factor for baseload electricity generation. Miller told us, “We were 100 percent renewable 300 years ago, 50 percent renewable 100 years ago and 30 percent renewable 50 years ago. Now, we are less than 10 percent renewable and shrinking fast.”

About nuclear energy, Miller added, “It nearly unlimited. We are learning to use better technology to make purer energy to do more for us.” Miller’s rebuttal on Al Gore’s message was emphatic, “Those that preach about saving the earth should practice what they speak, but the loudest voices are those that consume the most.” Miller pointed out, “Only the rich and idle have time to rail against too much consumption. But they want you to stop the consuming, not them.”

One could look deeper to better understand Al Gore’s ambiguity toward any solution. For example, is Al Gore’s family still a large shareholder of Occidental Petroleum? After all, his father took a consultancy with a subsidiary of the multi-national oil firm, upon leaving the U.S. Senate in 1970. Just in time to cash in on the oil embargo of 1973, Al Gore’s dad was paid $500,000 per year for his services. Al Gore Sr. also served as a company director. Why was Al Gore’s father on such great terms with Armand Hammer, the founder of Occidental Petroleum? Hammer was a good buddy of Josef Stalin and his Kremlin successors. Hammer’s dad introduced Little Armand to Stalin, who helped him build the Hammer Empire. All this in return for one small favor: Julius Hammer founded the U.S. Communist Party.

Have the sins of the father visited the son? For the past thirty or forty years, Al Gore has allegedly received a “mining royalty” check from Occidental Petroleum for zinc ore discovered on the Gore family property. Reportedly, Al has been paid about $20,000 annually for mining rights to the property. But, that’s just chump change. Long before the Buddhist Temple fund-raising fiasco in Los Angeles, Al Gore was involved in dubious political financings.

We didn’t look that much more deeply into Al Gore. Truthfully, why bother? Gore’s remorse appears rigged; his acting is pathetic. For example, his sister died of lung cancer, before the family stopped growing tobacco. He makes a really big deal about this in his movie (despite his own alleged chain-smoking habits as a college student). But he failed to mention he continued receiving royalties from his tobacco farm for years after his sister died.

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Gore also forgot his vivid 1988 presidential election campaign speeches, defending tobacco farmers in the southern United States. Imagine Mr. Clean telling tobacco farmers about how he, himself, tilled the soil with his bare hands and picked dem dar tobacco leaves wit his own fingers! Our research shows Gore continued accepting campaign donations from tobacco companies until at least 1990. Instead of being truthful with his audience, Gore mentioned in passing that the reason he ran for President in 1988 was to give Global Warming some exposure. Hypocrisy or ambivalence? You decide.

In his film, Gore claimed to have changed the way he performed his congressional duties after his six-year old son was hit by a car and nearly died. Throughout his movie, Gore uses every personal tragedy to play upon the audience’s heart strings. What does that have to do with Global Warming? Nothing, but it aids and abets an otherwise insincere politician to better sell his purported sincerity concerning abrupt climate change. The message is good; the messenger needs to take up a new hobby. Like unsuccessfully running for president again so he can finally get his just deserves: “Strike Three, you’re outa here!”

Why pay good money to get bored out of your skull with this blasé movie? Save the $7 to $10 (or more) on “Al Gore’s Inconvenient Infomercial” by reading the same stuff for no charge whatsoever (and without the deep-thinking, brooding ex-politician who spends nearly all of his 100 minutes preaching in your face). Kevin Bambrough and Eric Sprott wrote a detailed report, covering a great deal, if not more than what the Gore movie attempted to discuss.

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