Former US Vice President Al Gore was in Toronto recently to host a pre-screening of his new movie An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. Along with many other Climate Reality Leaders previously trained by Mr. Gore, I was in attendance for this special screening.
An Inconvenient Sequel is a follow-up, a decade later, to An Inconvenient Truth, the groundbreaking and award-winning 2006 film with Mr. Gore that made climate change a household word. The sequel shows how his life, and the world, have changed in the past decade. It shows the lines on the charts of his presentation only going higher and higher. It shows the devastating natural disasters that have resulted, in particular on the poorest and most vulnerable nations who in many cases have contributed the least to climate change. Most importantly, it shows what actions the world has already taken to mitigate climate change and transition to renewable energy.
One of the director duo, Jon Shenk, stated that Gore “has devoted most of his life to educating people about the climate crisis. He is the closest thing we have to the Lorax from Dr. Seuss’s children’s book. He speaks for the trees, and for the planet.” The message of the film is unequivocal: we must act now to survive.
Mr. Gore’s tenacity, dedication, and graciousness left me in awe. His passion was contagious and radiated throughout the rooms where he delivered talks and training sessions. The film shows his experience, connections, and oratorical gifts working from his very first Climate Reality Training in a small tent with approximately 50 people, up to COP21 in Paris, where he courageously brokers a make-or-break climate deal after learning that India plans to open almost 400 coal power plants. With huge consequences at stake, he arranges with his friends at California-based SolarCity to provide affordable solar technology to India in place of coal. We need more Earth superhero actions like that!
The reality of climate change is not going away, but I came away from An Inconvenient Sequel feeling reassured by Mr. Gore’s hope and optimism. Sustainable energy is now much more available, dependable, and affordable than it was a decade ago. Jurisdictions all around the world, from North American cities to entire countries like Germany, Costa Rica and Chile, now generate 100% of their electricity from renewable resources on many days each year. Humanity is resourceful and ingenious. We can roll up our sleeves, and unite to figure out how to stop climate change for good.
After the showing in Toronto, we were fortunate to listen to a Q&A with Al Gore, Producer Jeff Skoll, and Canada’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna. McKenna responded to a question regarding what individuals can do to make a difference. She enthusiastically responded that everyone must continue to speak up and let the government know what we want.
The by-line to the movie is “Be Inconvenient” which urged me to go out there and let people know what the movie showed me and how to make a difference. As the movie’s sub-title Truth to Power indicates, when you know the truth you will be empowered to act. There is also a website you can go to and declare your inconvenient self.
I recommend the movie for everyone. As Mr. Gore says – “It makes for a hot date – really hot”. Once you have made your “Be Inconvenient” pledge, I invite you to visit Parvati.org and sign the petition for Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary, an urgently needed peace park that keeps the planet cool for the wellbeing of all.
To watch a compelling trailer of the movie go here.
Uttama Anderson is an environmentalist, art therapist and an avid tree hugger living in Toronto, Ontario. Her passion and focus is on creating the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary to keep the planet healthy.