Guest Author - Lisbeth Cheever-Gessaman
Perhaps the greatest human right that can be extolled, beyond governments and societal beliefs; beyond religion and dogma, racism and prejudice, is the fundamental right to live. And in this generation, we face one of the most serious challenges that has ever faced the continuation of human existence - Global Warming. With the release of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report released last week, it seemed timely to review some of the more compelling media addressing this subject.
In Al Gore's unprecedented movie "An Inconvenient Truth", the subject of Global Warming and its imminent implications are presented in a non-political, compelling documentary which is heart-warming, honest and scientifically sound on every level. Regardless of your particular take on Gore and his politics, you'll be hard-pressed to leave this film feeling anything other than urgently inspired to take action and now, in whatever way that you are able..
One of the most jarring evidences presented are the comparison pictures of natural wonders such as Mt. Kilimanjaro and Glacier National Park thirty years ago and then today. When your eye takes in first hand the obvious correlation by the lack of snows left, and the chaotic falls of the million year old glaciers, it unsettles you in a way that abject facts and figures never can. It is estimated that within the decade, the Snows of Kilimanjaro will be no more and Glacier National Park will simply be nothing more than memory.
However, the movie does not simply settle for emotional impact - it rather exposes the devastating effects that global warming has had in our lifetime, using science to show the variations over thousands of years ago to present day. It tastefully, yet effectively demonstrates how the modern media has confused the truth by embracing corporate tactics of casting doubts and dispersions through the popular press as juxtaposed with the actual hard-fact consensus of world scientists. Where most people honestly believe that the issue of Global Warming is debatable at best and subject to political bias, the truth is that no scientist of any country disputes it as fact, nor the horrific impacts that it poses against mankind within our lifetime.
Not particularly noteworthy - and the only thing that put off was a strange Simpsonesque cartoon of sunbeams and greenhouse gasses. Although it delivered an important point, it seemed too silly and out of step with what was otherwise an intelligent and emotionally provocative piece of work.
The DVD itself, as noted on the website, is packaged to make the smallest possible environmental footprint - made of 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper, no excess materials, and absolutely no plastics. A portion of the proceeds from its sale benefit the bipartisan climate effort, The Alliance for Climate Protection.
Synchronistically, just this week, the Doomsday Clock was moved forward two minutes to 11:55, not because of terrorism or any new nuclear threat, but rather to reflect the urgent warnings of all scientists on the catastrophic risk of global warming.
I encourage everyone to rent or buy this DVD as a matter of personal conscience. Or, as Roger Ebert wrote, "In 39 years, I have never written these words in a movie review, but here they are: You owe it to yourself to see this film."