Sunday, November 05, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth!

An Inconvenient Truth, is a documentary on Al Gore's campaign to make the issue of global warming a recognized problem worldwide. I had heard a lot about it from the media and had been searching for the film on the net. I got hold of it last week and downloaded it(illegally of course) and saw it 2 days ago. The way Al Gore presents the facts really made me stand up and take notice of what's happening to the world that we are living and how badly we have affected the balance of the earth.

The documentary is based largely on a multimedia presentation that Gore developed over many years as part of an educational campaign on global warming. The film premièred at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and opened in New York and Los Angeles on May 24,2006. It is the third-highest-grossing documentary in the United States to date. Both Gore and Paramount Classics, the film's distributor, have pledged proceeds from the film to further educational campaigns about climate change. The film, which opened at film festivals, was promoted with tag lines such as "A global warning", "We're all on thin ice", "By far the most terrifying film you will ever see", and "The scariest film this summer is one where you are the villain and the hero".

Rather than simply listing facts in a dry, mechanical manner, the film places its subject in an emotional—and moral—context, with dramatic plot elements. Sprinkled between the charts and graphs are moments of humour and emotion. Al Gore quotes many a personal incident that made him make this film, like his son's death, his sister suffering from cancer and so on.

Coming to the issue that the film handles;The vast majority of climate scientists around the world agree the climate is changing and the globe is warming. 2006 saw the hottest summer in 70 years and the first six months of '06 were the warmest on record - poised to break the record 2005 set of the warmest year on record - worldwide. In addition we are having record rainfall like that we had in Mumbai this year and the last year. Also there is an exceptional increase in the number of Hurricanes and Typhoons that have hit US and Japanese coastlines.

In spite of all this the USA is yet to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol now covers more than 160 countries globally and over 55% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Still USA is not adhering to this protocol simply because the USA thinks it will cause UNWANTED losses in the form of modernisation of factories and equipments to meet the new stricter emission norms. But they fail to realise that the future is looming upon us and the next ice age will rush onto us, unless we do something about the way we are ruining the planet. Only USA and Australia figure in the list of the so called "DEVELOPED" countries which are yet to ratify this protocol, which may save the earth for our children.

The Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, has refused to ratify the Agreement and has argued that the protocol would cost Australians jobs, due to countries with booming economies and massive populations such as China and India not having any reduction obligations. The United States, although a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, has neither ratified nor withdrawn from the protocol — though their one-time representative, Condoleezza Rice, remarked that the Protocol was "unacceptable" at the time it was presented to her. The protocol is non-binding over the United States unless ratified.

The documentary emphasises these point with SOLID FACTS, rather than scientists giving boring speeches and graphs and charts that make no sense, Al Gore puts the facts in very easy to understand numbers and graphs. He personally explains the melting of various glaciers and ice shelf's, with pictures, video's and audio content. The film includes many segments intended to refute critics who say that global warming is insignificant or unproven. For example, he discusses the risk of the collapse of a major ice sheet in Greenland or Antarctica, either of which could raise global sea levels by approximately 20 feet (6m), flooding coastal areas and producing 100 million refugees. The documentary shows the projected areas that could be submerged by the rise and includes areas like Kolkata and Bangladesh. Water from Greenland, because of its lower salinity, could halt the Gulf Stream current and quickly trigger dramatic local cooling in Northern Europe, pushing it into an ICE AGE.

Now all the scientists across the world have been unanimous when it comes to the fact that the green house gases are being emitted and they do alter the climate by causing unwanted heat to accumulate in the atmosphere. But then some do show reservations as to when the break even point will be attained. Such thoughts 1st came to my mind when i saw "The Day after Tomorrow".
That film really scared me and that was how i started to look for facts, as to how much truth is there in the film. But after some time i had dropped the topic and moved on, until i saw this documentary. The documentary and the film will really push any sceptic of the global warming program to take notice of what's happening around the world. The amount of data that has been collected over the years, the changes that are visible to naked eye all point to the fact that its coming to us much faster than we ever thought about it.

The documentary ends with Gore noting that if appropriate action is taken soon, the effects of global warming can be successfully reversed by releasing less carbon dioxide and growing more plants or trees. But then these are just small steps, major changes have to come in the upper echelons of power by changing government policies and laws.

Visit Climatecrisis for joining hands with the initiative and cut-down your GHG emissions by following the steps in the site for a better tomorrow!

1 comment:

aparna said...

hey.. good post.
this topic is very relevent nowadays. i think this issue is not taken up very seriously by many countries. just by signing the kyoto protocol doesnt not make it all. all the countries should work as soon as possible before things go out of hand. and the 2 nations not joining this venture sayin the 'no-use' reasons, actually are seeing jus the negative part of wht it is.