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GreenCine Movie Talk
In The Theaters
I just saw it and boy does it...
318

This Time, the Sky Could Be Falling for Real
Topic by: JGereben
Posted: May 26, 2006 - 12:38 AM PDT
Last Reply: December 20, 2006 - 10:27 PM PST

page  1  2      prev | next
author topic: This Time, the Sky Could Be Falling for Real
JGereben
post #1  on May 26, 2006 - 12:38 AM PDT  
Is Al Gore is doing a Chicken Little act in "An Inconvenient Truth"? I wish he were. This stunning documentary about global warming is a well-reasoned, clearly-proven, intelligent, cogent, irresistible torrent of scientific data, in a curiously warm, engaging, often funny presentation. What an entertaining horror movie this is!

Unexpectedly, improbably, Gore is doing a Hitchcock act here, all affable and chummy... before scaring the hell out of the audience. And that he does, with charts, statistics, projections coming from hundreds of peer-reviewed studies, none challenged, while allowing how some 50% of mass-media treatment of global warming *is* subject to questions. There is even a cute animation segment about exaggerated global-warming claims.

There is no need to exaggerate. Unchallenged studies are showing an extraordinary rise in ocean temperatures, the disappearance of glaciers, the melting of the poles - and then Gore twists the knife with a series of graphics showing areas to be inundated by rising waters. In a flooded Manhattan of the future, Gore says, the site of the World Trade Center will be under water. "Terrorism," he says, without drama or overemphasis, "is not the only danger we must face."

The threatened catastrophy is not in the distant future. The US Geological Survey predicts that by 2030, Glacier National Park will have no glaciers left. In the last 30 years, 400,00 square miles of Arctic sea ice that have melted; polar bears today drown when they cannot find an ice floe to rest on. What has Congress done about global warming? Absolutely nothing.

Davis Guggenheim's documentary is based mostly on Gore's multimedia presentation on climate change, a lecture he has delivered hundreds of times in recent months. While Gore is managing the show with powerful efficiency, there is nothing dry or tired about it. The film is virtually flawless, even some of the cornier visuals fit in. Gore's personal remarks are affecting: the death of his sister from lung cancer, after lifelong smoking, forced the family - after generations of tobacco-growing in Tennessee - to quit the business. No overt statement is heard, but there is an inevitable comparison with the world's addiction to many activities directly contributing to climate change.

Political references are at a minimum. The only strong criticism of the Bush presidency is in the context of the Republican rejection of the Kyoto Treaty, making the US one of two countries in the world to do so (Australia is the other one). Following a huge list of countries paying at least lip service to the cause of climate control under the treaty, Gore shows a similarly large list of US cities where local government is taking measures not supported by Washington.

Gore is clear about the danger of being overwhelmed by the danger of what's happening, and he concludes the film by saying that going from denial to despair without pausing to see what can be done is the wrong course of action, or rather inaction. "Political will," Gore says, "is a renewable resource." Gently, but firmly, he calls for attention to a clear and present danger that cannot be ignored... even if faith-based denial of the evidence before us remains largely the order of the day, with all the comfort of darkness behind closed eyes. To take a peek, go to http://www.climatecrisis.net/.
Battie
post #2  on May 26, 2006 - 3:40 PM PDT  
> On May 26, 2006 - 12:38 AM PDT JGereben wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Is Al Gore is doing a Chicken Little act in "An Inconvenient Truth"? I wish he were. This stunning documentary about global warming is a well-reasoned, clearly-proven, intelligent, cogent, irresistible torrent of scientific data, in a curiously warm, engaging, often funny presentation. What an entertaining horror movie this is!
>
> Unexpectedly, improbably, Gore is doing a Hitchcock act here, all affable and chummy... before scaring the hell out of the audience. And that he does, with charts, statistics, projections coming from hundreds of peer-reviewed studies, none challenged, while allowing how some 50% of mass-media treatment of global warming *is* subject to questions. There is even a cute animation segment about exaggerated global-warming claims.
>
> There is no need to exaggerate. Unchallenged studies are showing an extraordinary rise in ocean temperatures, the disappearance of glaciers, the melting of the poles - and then Gore twists the knife with a series of graphics showing areas to be inundated by rising waters. In a flooded Manhattan of the future, Gore says, the site of the World Trade Center will be under water. "Terrorism," he says, without drama or overemphasis, "is not the only danger we must face."
>
> The threatened catastrophy is not in the distant future. The US Geological Survey predicts that by 2030, Glacier National Park will have no glaciers left. In the last 30 years, 400,00 square miles of Arctic sea ice that have melted; polar bears today drown when they cannot find an ice floe to rest on. What has Congress done about global warming? Absolutely nothing.
>
> Davis Guggenheim's documentary is based mostly on Gore's multimedia presentation on climate change, a lecture he has delivered hundreds of times in recent months. While Gore is managing the show with powerful efficiency, there is nothing dry or tired about it. The film is virtually flawless, even some of the cornier visuals fit in. Gore's personal remarks are affecting: the death of his sister from lung cancer, after lifelong smoking, forced the family - after generations of tobacco-growing in Tennessee - to quit the business. No overt statement is heard, but there is an inevitable comparison with the world's addiction to many activities directly contributing to climate change.
>
> Political references are at a minimum. The only strong criticism of the Bush presidency is in the context of the Republican rejection of the Kyoto Treaty, making the US one of two countries in the world to do so (Australia is the other one). Following a huge list of countries paying at least lip service to the cause of climate control under the treaty, Gore shows a similarly large list of US cities where local government is taking measures not supported by Washington.
>
> Gore is clear about the danger of being overwhelmed by the danger of what's happening, and he concludes the film by saying that going from denial to despair without pausing to see what can be done is the wrong course of action, or rather inaction. "Political will," Gore says, "is a renewable resource." Gently, but firmly, he calls for attention to a clear and present danger that cannot be ignored... even if faith-based denial of the evidence before us remains largely the order of the day, with all the comfort of darkness behind closed eyes. To take a peek, go to http://www.climatecrisis.net/.
> ---------------------------------

I actually want to see this movie, but I don't know when I'll get the chance or the money. :S
ALittlefield
post #3  on May 26, 2006 - 7:03 PM PDT  
The inevitable probelm with a film like this is that it's preaching to the converted; most people who should see it won't. Still, I'm glad it's out there; finally America seems to be joining the rest of the world in listening to the overwhelming majority of the scientific community. Oil companies can keep us ignorant for only so long, just like tobacco companies did with cigarettes.
radboy
post #4  on May 27, 2006 - 8:34 PM PDT  
> On May 26, 2006 - 7:03 PM PDT ALittlefield wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> The inevitable probelm with a film like this is that it's preaching to the converted; most people who should see it won't. Still, I'm glad it's out there; finally America seems to be joining the rest of the world in listening to the overwhelming majority of the scientific community. Oil companies can keep us ignorant for only so long, just like tobacco companies did with cigarettes.
> ---------------------------------

I ever so slightly disagree. When matters regarding the environment are brought to the attention of the american public they usually react in favor of the enviromental protections. It is the current and past Republican-cum-"Seven Sisters" and Halliburton who are doing their best to adopt a public posture of "nothing's wrong" and "global warming isn't". In otherwords, whereas I think the american public, at least in terms of environmental matters, has always been joined with the rest of the world it is our "government" which has resisted both the public and the world as well as engaging in a pronounced pattern of denial and duplicity against the public weal.

HOwever, you are right movies like these are rarely seen by the people who should see them and generally do preach to the choir.
hamano
post #5  on May 30, 2006 - 6:47 PM PDT  
Bush is watching "United 93" instead of this one...
radboy
post #6  on May 30, 2006 - 9:57 PM PDT  
> On May 30, 2006 - 6:47 PM PDT hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Bush is watching "United 93" instead of this one...
> ---------------------------------

I dunno, "United 93" is too well-crafted and intelligent for Bush to handle or understand. Also, even though it wasn't condemnatory of Mr. Bush it certainly didn't throw bouquets of praise his way and in my humble (me humble?) opinion it made him look bad overall.

hamano
post #7  on May 31, 2006 - 4:42 AM PDT  
> On May 30, 2006 - 9:57 PM PDT radboy wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> it made him look bad overall.

Apparently he wanted the PR opportunity badly enough to risk "looking bad"...
underdog
post #8  on May 31, 2006 - 1:00 PM PDT  
Btw, I deleted that other thread just because it was redundant. Left Hamano's other silly "psych!" thread though.

Meanwhile, I'm going to try to see this on Friday. Since I've been a student of the environmental issues for the last few years and have been waiting for someone to do something in the media on this other than snoozing.

Gore did pretty well on Fresh Air the other day...
hamano
post #9  on May 31, 2006 - 2:02 PM PDT  
If this warm trend is part of a natural long-term cycle that the earth goes through periodically (tropical -> ice age -> tropical) and we're just helping it along with human-generated greenhouse gases, by reducing our output aren't we just putting off the inevitable? And if we're just buying time by cutting our emmissions while we figure out a grander technological solution (giant "sun glasses" between the Sun and the Earth, a big machine that converts or counteracts greenhouse gases) won't we be committing to manipulating "nature" with possibly unforseen and disastrous results?
hamano
post #10  on May 31, 2006 - 2:13 PM PDT  
My current long-term solution:

Explode giant "smoke bombs" between the Earth and Sun to evenly shut out a very small percentage of sunlight.

My original plan was to stretch some kind of huge but super-thin mesh material but apparently it would be impossible to keep it in one place (relative to the earth) because of the pressure from solar wind... hmmm I guess the solar wind would disperse my gas pretty quickly, too.

But with the smoke bombs we can keep shooting up new ones as needed...
hamano
post #11  on May 31, 2006 - 2:15 PM PDT  
Ooh, how about floating a giant ring around the sun between the Earth and Venus? I bet it wouldn't have to be real wide to shut out enough of the sun to make a difference. And being a ring it'll stay in place despite the solar wind.
hamano
post #12  on May 31, 2006 - 2:18 PM PDT  
How about a ring of satellites around the sun between Venus and the Earth? Each is a "smoke generator"...
NLee
post #13  on May 31, 2006 - 2:39 PM PDT  
Anybody remembers the old TV series "Space 1999"? In the story, the moon was throw off its orbit due to explosion of nuclear waste dumps. So how about if we create a few small nuclear proplusions at some remote places like, oh I don't know, Iran and North Korea? That should push the Earth's orbit a few hundred miles farther from the Sun and cools it down a bit. It's worth a try!

Then again, since I'm only a Cliched Dissenting Republican who lives in New Hampshire (and I don't even ski), why should I even care about Global Warming? Let those damn Californians sweat!
woozy
post #14  on May 31, 2006 - 4:57 PM PDT  
> Then again, since I'm only a Cliched Dissenting Republican who lives in New Hampshire (and I don't even ski), why should I even care about Global Warming? Let those damn Californians sweat!
>
Because when we move, our first choice will be New Hampshire. I await your welcome wagon. I'll bring the cranberry bagels, arugala pizza, and wasabi glazed riced krispies squares. Howdy neighbor!
underdog
post #15  on May 31, 2006 - 5:19 PM PDT  
> On May 31, 2006 - 2:39 PM PDT NLee wrote:
> ---------------------------------
>
> Then again, since I'm only a Cliched Dissenting Republican who lives in New Hampshire (and I don't even ski), why should I even care about Global Warming? Let those damn Californians sweat!
>
> ---------------------------------

Global warming doesn't just mean everything gets hotter, literally - it can also refer to extreme climate change. Though in general it is referring to gradations of increasing temperature change. And with polar ice caps melting, it can also mean that snow pack is lessened or lasts a shorter period of time, which means melting snow and less revenue for ski resorts. Obviously, you knew this, but it isn't just Californians who are affected.

Heck, even a FoxNews reporter says everyone should see this film.
radboy
post #16  on May 31, 2006 - 9:04 PM PDT  
> On May 31, 2006 - 2:39 PM PDT NLee wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Anybody remembers the old TV series "Space 1999"? In the story, the moon was throw off its orbit due to explosion of nuclear waste dumps. So how about if we create a few small nuclear proplusions at some remote places like, oh I don't know, Iran and North Korea? That should push the Earth's orbit a few hundred miles farther from the Sun and cools it down a bit. It's worth a try!
>
> Then again, since I'm only a Cliched Dissenting Republican who lives in New Hampshire (and I don't even ski), why should I even care about Global Warming? Let those damn Californians sweat!
>
> ---------------------------------

I just got finished a while ago watching the almost complete "Space 1999" series (greencine does not have volumes 11 & 12 in their catalog) and recommend it so that everyone here can see what will happen when those pro-saddam forces unleash all those WMD's they've been so cleverly hiding.

Besides I thought that the way global warming worked was that the polar ice cap melts flooding the original 13 colonies which are turned into a sub-tropical zone of intense heat and humidity while California is turned into the new Alaskan Tundra. Unless of course, "the big one" hits which will make beach front property in Kansas very popular and profitable.

NLee
post #17  on May 31, 2006 - 10:04 PM PDT  
Or, if we can believe the scenarios in "The Day After Tomorrow", Global Warming will lead to invasion of Earth by the Crab People, who will fire freezing ray from outer space and kill everybody living above the Giant Penis on the American map....

Oh wait, maybe I got something mixed up here.
radboy
post #18  on June 1, 2006 - 12:28 AM PDT  
> On May 31, 2006 - 10:04 PM PDT NLee wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Or, if we can believe the scenarios in "The Day After Tomorrow", Global Warming will lead to invasion of Earth by the Crab People, who will fire freezing ray from outer space and kill everybody living above the Giant Penis on the American map....
>
> Oh wait, maybe I got something mixed up here.
> ---------------------------------

Between the two of us NLee sounds as if we should be able to churn out a new summer sci-fi blockbuster.
jeffs
post #19  on June 1, 2006 - 6:51 AM PDT  
> I dunno, "United 93" is too well-crafted and intelligent for Bush to handle or understand. Also, even though it wasn't condemnatory of Mr. Bush it certainly didn't throw bouquets of praise his way and in my humble (me humble?) opinion it made him look bad overall.
>

With an approval rating this low, just looking bad and not really bad might actually raise his numbers.
hamano
post #20  on June 1, 2006 - 8:09 AM PDT  
Still, maybe they should package Day After Tomorrow and Inconvenient Truth together as a double feature when the DVD comes out. Throw in March of the Penguins for a summer mini film festival...
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