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An Inconvenient Truth Gets Oscar

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Last night's Oscars ceremony vividly demonstrates that global warming is on the minds of everyone in Hollywood - but it's just a plot point compared to its political backstory.

The "documentary" praised by Academy voters, An Inconvenient Truth, has racked up big box office, thanks largely to the presence of former Vice President Al Gore. In the film Gore argues that human activity is the prime contributor to global warming, and attributes disasters like Hurricane Katrina to us - to our cars, our factories, our lives. Gore, on hand for the ceremony, pleaded with audiences after the film won the award for Best Documentary, that global warming isn't a Republican issue, or a Democratic issue, but a moral one.

Only, it isn't. Global warming has passed out of the realm of political and logical discussion. It's up there now with abortion, gun control and Clarence Thomas - we've lost any ability to talk about it rationally as Americans because of the sides that have been drawn. It's only a moral issue if you're on the wrong side - presumably, for Gore, if you don't accept his logic or his hypothesis.

A slick, anti-glamourous piece of propaganda, Truth is at its core like those laughable personal hygiene movies played for your edification in eighth grade. Critic Tom Shales says it's little more than Gore delivering a lecture on what he believes global warming will do to the Earth. But it's more insidious than that. In its best light, Truth puts another nail in the coffin of the documentary as an impartial snapshot of a historical moment. I've seen big chunks of the film on YouTube and not one second I've seen has been devoted to the possibility that man is not responsible for global warming. There's no balance - and for me, no credibility.

Worse, its indirect but clanking condemnation of the Bush Administration is a tired echo of the 2000 election, which Gore lost. This film clearly would not have been made had Gore won the Electoral College - and Hollywood, indignant in its hatred for Bush for whatever reason, has hoodwinked Gore into becoming their public face.

In that way, the film really serves as an extension of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 - a slick weapon to draw again George Bush. It's telling that the joke by host Ellen DeGeneres that got the most applause was one that played on Gore's popular vote tally in 2000 - an election he lost because the American electorate does not directly elect its presidents. How many attendees at the ceremony would have applauded a film that dispelled the global-warming hypothesis? None - because that movie never will be made. How many would have laughed at an election joke made at Gore's expense?

Hollywood likes to pat itself on the back, but the irony of the awards couldn't have escaped them. Thousands of celebrities and assistants and stylists flown in from around the world to congratulate themselves for their own work. Limousines idling for hours so that perfect entrances could be stage. Not hours, but weeks of car trips, plane flights, round-the-clock and round-the-world shipping, all devoted to planning the perfect image for four hours of bloated television. Which will be nominated itself for an Emmy award.

A real contribution to "saving the Earth" might be to save us all from the kind of one-sided polemics the real Truth wouldn't have anything to do with.
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Comments (13)
  1. Bravo!!
     
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  2. You seem to be missing the point. In identifying the causes of global warming, Al Gore is not trying to place blame; he's just trying to get your attention. The people who are most knowledgeable in this field assert that global warming exists, and that they are mostly sure that mankind is the cause of the current trend. Period. Pointing fingers is not going to help, so let's try some logic. Does global warming exist? If "no", forget about it. If "yes", is it a good thing for us? If "yes", do nothing. If "no" , figure out what we can do about it. If we can do nothing about it, seek out your path to God; we're screwed. If we can do something about it, let's figure out the solution with the lowest cost-to-benefit ratio, because at this point in the decision-making process, doing nothing would be stupid. Let's begin a dialogue.
    Think of it this way: Think of being on a ship. The ship is on fire, and for other reasons, is starting to sink. You're getting ready to abandon ship. This will, unfortunately, put you in a much more hostile environment, and your survival is problematical. The odds, however bad, are higher than zero, though, which would be your survival odds if you stayed aboard the vessel.
    We are worse off than my hypothetical cruise passenger. We cannot jump into the sea; there is no sea. All we have is this Earth. If we screw it up, or allowed it to become screwed up, we have just joined the vast majority of species who have become extinct. We will, however, have the dubious distinction of being the only species who might have escaped that fate, but chose to do nothing.
    Bob K
     
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  3. For someone who has self admittedly not seen the documentary, he has a lot to say.
     
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  4. Not credible because it didn't present the "possibility that man is not responsible for global warming. There’s no balance"

    Nicely put, I suppose it wouldn't be credible to you had someone made a film documenting the Earth is actually revolving around the Sun when no "balance" can be presented to the ones who think otherwise.

    You are such a hack. 99% of the scientist concluded that Global Warming accelerated by the actions of humans, and the other 1% are bought and paid for my the oil and auto industries. It is a concensus amoung the scientific community.

    Take a page from the tobaco industry, the only "scientists" who don't believe it is addictive are the ones working for the industry.

    YOU HAVE NO CREDIBILITY. You are a typical Republican hack.
     
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  5. Great article... and I like your use of pointing out the irony and hypocrisy at the end... especially how they pat themselves on the back.... the whole Hollywood Oscar thing is just frustrating to me because its sickening. Thanks for writng that, I wish more people could see how out of touch Hollywood really is with the American people.
     
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  6. Hi Marty:
    Documentary movies are by nature that of a lecture. Every National Geographic special is a documentary lecturing us on plants or fish or reptiles or something. Your comments are divided between well founded and bias, your personal bias. Geez, that what Al Gore did, told us about his view and his bias'. So what? Take a few minutes Marty, catch your breath and relax. Then build a bridge and get over it. Oh yeah, don't do anything rash now like buy a hybrid.
    Regards,
    John Flood
    Dublin, Ireland
     
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  7. Here's the part you want, considering the idea that every scientist in the world is wrong and the laws of chemistry and physics suddenly are overturned. Gore did not spend any time arguing for the other side, just as Columbus never wasted a second after his trip to the Indies to argue that the world was flat. That's how science works. Real scientists do not waste their time studying rejected hypotheses.

    The evidence and logic for global warming has been strong for 30 years and has gotten stronger, despite the hoping of the auto and fossil fuel industries.

    So, what if we all were wrong?
    We will become much more efficient and have new technologies that allow us to have less impact on the earth. We also will not be dependent on oil companies and radical dictators to make our economy work. Just like Columbus was actually wrong that he had reached India, we probably will learn a bunch of stuff that we did not know. What we are unlikely to learn is that theories that were made 30 years ago and tested and refined ever since are wrong.

    You can either stay in denial or start working towards a solution, but the rest of the world will leave you in the dust with other luddites if you stay in denial.

    People have said that Gore ruined it by mentioning politics, but those details needed to be in to tell his story. And Bush and Cheney are in the pockets of the industries that currently profit from the inconvenient truth. So, why should Gore leave the truth out, because you don't like it? That would be immoral.
     
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  8. I cannot believe that after all of the scietific proof that has been provided by men of science,other than Al Gore, that anyone could write an article as jaded and ignorant as this. At this juncture in history, that there is anyone left to support George Bush's draconian approach to the enviroment is nothing less than appalling. This has nothing to do with Hollywood or partisan politics...but everything to do with our future and the future of our children.
     
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  9. Your "impartial" review shows the same prejudice you whine about, but with only personal feelings to back you up vs. the preponderance of empirical fact demonstrated in An Inconvenient Truth as backed by many HUNDREDS of climate scientists. Once again the public is supposed to concede to an uninformed "Decider" with issues instead of fact.
     
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  10. Well said Marty, I was beginning to think that I was the only one who thought this whole global warming thing was nonsense. There seems to be no balance in this debate. When someone stands up to argue the possibility that mankind isn’t the responsibility of global warming, the GW fanatics refuse to look at the facts (or to be more specific, the lack of facts that support GW), and instead rail on that person for ‘hating Earth’ or some other nonsense.

    And what’s worse, the uninformed public who doesn’t want to sort things out for themselves can’t help but be swept up in the avalanche of media and political propaganda. This same uninformed mass will start clamoring for something to be done, and many political careers will be made on these ‘Inaccurate Truthes’. Tax dollars will be wasted and the Earth won’t be any better off because of it. Shameful really.

    But don’t get me wrong, I’m all for cleaner emissions and tighter fuel economy standards. Just look at the smog over L.A. on a hot day and you’ll quickly realize that there are real benefits to cleaner cars and alternative fuels, not to mention the national security benefits that would be realized. Not all opponents of the notion of global warming want to drive 3-ton V-8 SUV’s as their grocery getters.

    When will people wise up, put away their pig-headedness, and have a real debate on these issues?
     
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  11. If the truth did in fact evade Mr. Gore, so has it evaded Mssrs. Padgett and Smith. Your "Convenient Fiction" every bit as one-sided as "Inconvenient Truth". The major difference... unlike Mr. Gore, neither of you put forth a shred of evidence to support your points of view.

    Common sense tells us that a century of harvesting hydrocarbons from the earth and converting them to heat energy yields a net transfer of CO2 into the atmosphere. Is hydrocarbon consumption the only, or even the largest source of CO2 in earth's atmosphere?... No. Is it today a significant enough addition to naturally occuring CO2 in the atmosphere to change earth's climate?... We don't know. Does ANYONE have the scientific evidence to dismiss CO2 emissions from human hydrocarbon consumption as negligible?... Hell no.

    So... enough already with the totally predictable, Detroit centric, 180 degree opposition to anything Al Gore (and the European Union) have to say about global warming. You advocate balanced points of view, and "a real debate" of the issues?

    Let's hear some.
     
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  12. There is no need for debate. You see the benefits from reducing emissions so let's stop talking about it and start doing it. There is no downside to the environment to do so and it will in fact stimulate economic growth as new eco-friendly technologies are developed. Not only that, but efficiency helps everybody, (except perhaps for the utility/oil companies) as it means we all have to spend less money on fuel/electricity. If I had driven a mid-size SUV instead of a 4 cylinder mid-sized car all these years, I would have spent twice as much on gas and it would amount to more than $150,000 extra for me at retirement! (That's based on saving $100 a month for 40 years with a 5% return).

    We only have one planet earth and it's not an experiment, let's impact it as little as possible. It's just common sense.
     
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  13. Ignorant Liberals with their new religion "global warming". 30 years ago they were saying global cooling.
     
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