Inconvenient truth is a documentary that seeks to educate people about the cause and effect of global warming. It is about Al Gore, a former Vice President in U.S, who sets out to sensitize the public on the pending climate crisis because of global warming. The former Vice President was inspired by the need to put across a very important message in a way that every body could understand. The film has elicited praise and criticisms in equal measure. On one side, there are those who acclaim his work for telling of an impending crisis in a simple, straightforward, and light-hearted manner. On the other side, critics have labeled his work as factually inaccurate. This paper will summarize the cause and effect relationship of increased green houses gases in the other climate. It will also highlight the film’s criticism.
Using a Keeling curve, Al Gore shows that the levels of carbon dioxide have increased exponentially since 1958. This has led to global warming in which many glaciers around the world are diminishing. The increase in levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has led to an increase in temperature. Al Gore presents data to show that temperature has gone up at a high rate especially in 1996-2006. He further shows data to prove that the increase has resulted from human activities. He uses images from recent hurricanes to show that the increased levels of carbon dioxide correlates with increased natural disasters.
Al Gore attributes the melting of ice in the Antarctic to increased carbon dioxide emission (Subedi 34). The increase in levels of carbon dioxide is a result of human activities like pollution. He lauds the United States Clean Air Act that seeks to control human emission. If carbon dioxide levels continue to increase, he predicates an increase in natural catastrophes such as hurricanes and earthquake.
Critics have argued that the film has some scientific inaccuracies and it is exaggerated. A case in point is Al Gore’s assertion that global warming leads to natural catastrophes like hurricanes. Scientists have not established the connection between the two. For Al Gore to state it as factual without clear demonstration, he comes out as alarming. Additionally, it is factual that melting of glacier on mountains is a result of global warming. Al Gore attributes this particular melting to human causes and ignores what Subedi calls the “increased received solar radiation in the southern hemisphere due to changes in Earth’s orbital geometry” (76). In my opinion however, the film, in spite of minor scientific errors, relates a complex story in a simple manner. Human activities are contributing to pollution that leads to increase in rates of infections and global warming. I thus find it compelling.
Bill McKibben, a renowned environmentalist, has also delved into issues of global warming. He has authored many books on global warming and initiated campaigns to lobby congress to enact legislation on climate change. He believes that global warming is caused by carbon emissions mostly from human activities. He recommended for regulation of firms that use coal because they emit the largest volume of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. His argument is that the federal government can tame global warming by banning use of coal and creating green jobs.
McKibben’s writings and activities reveal that believed human activity to be the cause of global warming. It is for this reason that he opposed the Keystone XL project. He terms fossil fuel as “dirty fuel” and attacks the government decision (and indecision) to use fuels that have negative environmental effects on the long run. Most of Bill’s solutions are targeted to congress and the federal government (Van 54). The ‘Step it Up 2007’ campaign for instance was directed towards the congress to enact legislations curtailing carbon emissions. His subsequent campaign, 350.org was an appeal to the whole world to preserve civilization by discarding the use of fossil fuels.
McKibben is globally acclaimed but his proposals have also attracted criticism. Like mentioned earlier, his activities are focused more on lobbying the government and congress. Through his writings, he exudes the unique ability to appeal to emotional consciousness. While it may be contentious, I believe that research and proposal of scientific nature should appeal more to reason than to emotions. Additionally, I think that by concentrating his activities on government and congress, he has neglected the role of individuals in reducing carbon emission. A good focus, for instance, would be to appeal to people to use bicycles or gas-fuelled vehicles instead of fuel from fossil sources.
Like Al Gore, McKibben has concentrated on human activities that lead to carbon emission. I find their work and proposals convincing and I agree with them to a big extent. Al Gore’s appeal to the nonprofessional is phenomenal in spite of few scientific inaccuracies. His use of charts, graphs, images augurs well with audience from different background. McKibben work is also laudable. This explains his status as a respected authority on matters of environment.
Subedi, Binaya. Critical Global Perspectives: Rethinking Knowledge About Global Societies. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Pub, 2010. Print.
Van, Kooten G. C. Climate Change, Climate Science and Economics: Prospects for an Alternative Energy Future. Dordrecht: Springer, 2013. Internet resource.