An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore Essay

As a student of climate crisis, Al Gore has been an advocate for change in environmental policies for many years now. Al Gore says it succinctly in his book as he labels this as a truly planetary emergency. He imbues in the readers once again the ability to hear the warning cries of nature, and when, after many biologists notice over several years that something is amiss—first in their own local research terrain, and then, after comparing notes, all over the world—people still do not know how to interpret evidence or how to react, or even if we should react.

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            Al Gore states how people have alienated themselves from the natural world and except for a minority of people, no longer communicate or live in harmony with it. Not long ago, miners took canaries into coal mines with them. Gore’s book rekindles in us that we need nature. He posits that: “Many people today assume mistakenly that the Earth is so big that we humans cannot possibly have any major impact on the way our planet’s ecological system operates. That may have been true at one time, but it is not the case any more. We have grown so numerous and our technologies have become so powerful that we are now capable of having a significant influence on many parts of the Earth’s environment.”  (Gore, p. 22-25).

            The book is successful in the way it presents its facts. In the long run, we need to negotiate a new contract with nature, one that recognizes that if we are to survive, nature must survive. The most important trait the human species evolved is a large brain from which the mind emerged. It has gifted us with intelligence and foresight, abilities that must not be denied or downplayed. Gore uses humor to drive home his point like when he states that “Once upon a time, your refrigerator could kill you.” Gore explains this well in his book

“An Inconvenient Truth” succeeds after Gore’ s battle cry of a follow-up to another good book called “Earth in the Balance.” Gore was inspired by a series of multimedia presentations on global warming which he gave as he delivered his speeches around the world. He assembles leading scientists with photos, charts and other illustrations as well as personal anecdotes in order to drive home his point. The riveting book presents clearly the fact that global warming, when left unchecked will be disastrous.

            I like the book because it expounds on a lot of subjects leading to the main idea of global warming. This is a good book to recommend reading because it gives scientific facts about the climate changes. It will make the leaders of different countries take the problem seriously. There is a need for leaders with a vision. After reading the book, the public will grasp in a profound way the assumptions that scientists have made about the stability of the world we live in which are no longer valid. The essential change that will enable us to survive in the next century is one that we must make in the next 10 years.

            The crisis seems so immense, and the kind of political inaction that Lewis describes so stultifying, that it’s easy to feel powerless to do anything about it. But on this issue, we cannot afford to be disenfranchised by our own complacency. We are not merely onlookers in the ecological drama that is unfolding before our eyes. We must make our governments understand that cutting carbon dioxide emissions is the n umber one priority on our survival list. Energy experts who study the problem are quick to point out that the key is all of us as individuals.

            Indeed, the mandate for survival is broad, far-reaching and uncompromising. It embraces all aspects of our lives. Eliminating fossil fuels means nothing less than a massive shift from the use of cars to the use of public transit. It means a universal moratorium on the use of oil and coal and the substitution of natural gas as a transitional fuel. It means a worldwide adoption of alternative forms of energy from solar to thermal.

            It is important that people get to read this book. The earth is getting warmer and warmer. The carbon dioxide that has been dumped into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution has already guaranteed that the Earth will warm a degree or two in the next several decades. The crux of the problem is that once started, the warming is continuous. Al Gore does not hide any facts and tells it like it is. There is nothing that will hold the increase of greenhouse gases to a doubling, unless we stop their production.

            Evidence abound that man must act boldly in order to deal with the underlying causes of global warming. He states that there are more Hurricane Katrina’s to come, in both the Atlantic and the Pacific. He warns people that “Scientists have been using evermore accurate computer models that long ago predicted a much higher range of ocean temperatures as a result of man-made global warming. The actual ocean temperatures are completely consistent with what has been predicted, and they’re way above the range of natural variability.” (p. 78-94). Gore’s facts frighten readers to action. He claims that it is a true planetary emergency. In fact the two thousand scientists who are working in different countries hoping to forge a strong consensus that all the nations on Earth must work together to solve the crisis of global warming.

            Like the earliest human beings whose emerging consciousness and self-awareness posed questions about who they were, how they got there, and where they were going,  we must also inquire and search for those answers. To renegotiate our contract with nature, to alter our worldview, we need to work as a group. If our leaders among government, industry and workers really see that it is a matter of life and death, a matter of survival, then we will have to act. If the very stuff that we need to breathe, drink and eat hangs in the balance, can we continue to say that economic growth, profit, material goods or even political power are the bottom line?

            To recognize the crisis that lies ahead, Gore’s book peppers his text with illustrations and charts and figures and this makes readers think of new values and priorities  to an exhilarating challenge. After generations of increasing isolation from the natural world, we are encrusted with ideas and beliefs that have to be scraped away so we can return to the important fundamental questions about why we are here, what constitutes worthy goals, how we define progress. Priorities have to be rediscovered—love, belonging, family, community, sharing, a love of nature—values which the author highly treasure.

REFERENCES

Al Gore Sounds Global Warming Alert. 2006.

           http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=544197

Gore, Al. 2006. An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It

Ventrudo, D. 2006. Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’: A Life Altering Film.

            http://www.merliannews.com/artman/publish/article_867.shtml

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