It has been one of the most polarizing movies of cinematic history, and it didn’t even feature Brad Pitt. Rather, Al Gore, for the majority of An Inconvenient Truth, stood in front of a crowd of people – or journaled from the road – and told people that global warming was bad, and that we had done it.
From that moment on, the global warming debate waged hotter and longer than ever before.
Some have said that science plays no part in what Gore decided to impart to us. Others contended that while he may have put an emotional spin on it, there was still plenty of validated science in there. Regardless of what you believe, you can’t deny that global warming is now on everyone’s lips thanks to what Gore did.
So it’s nice to see scientists come out, not in heated attack of the movie, but rather, in calm scientific debate; the way it should be.
Last year’s September Springer’s GeoJournal journal (I feel stupid saying that word twice) saw six different scientists take another look at An Inconvenient Truth. They all agreed that the movie did a good job of raising the level of debate and public awareness, but they also frown on Gore’s use of individual events, such as Hurricane Katrina, as his main proof of global warming.
Of the six authors, only David Legates, the Delaware State Climatologist, and an associate professor at the University of Delaware, is ultimately against everything that Al Gore states in the movie. He is best known for his opposition to the consensus scientific opinion on climate change, and as one of the signers of the Oregon petition.
Four of the six authors all conclude that while the movie contains small factual errors – such as omitting that, while humans are probably responsible for global warming, there are possible climate variations that could explain for the current warming – what it has done for the level of debate is worthwhile.
Steven Quiring, from Texas A&M University, who wrote the issues introduction, concluded that while scientists may not be entirely happy with Al Gore’s methods, and his lack of scientific backing, ‘An Inconvenient Truth has had a much greater impact on public opinion and public awareness of global climate change than any scientific paper or report.’
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