Everyday Activist - An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2018 at 11:00 PM

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (Oscars 2018)

Movie Review by Everyday Activist X CalgaryMovies.com

The Unitarian Church held a screening of An Inconvenient Sequel a couple weeks ago. I had totally thought that this was one of their potluck films so I brought my bean dip with chips, skipped dinner preparing to pig out on desserts, only to find out event was led by a different group, which provided popcorn. Despite the setback, I enjoyed the follow up to the Oscar winner An Inconvenient Truth (available on Netflix), because many of the predictions it had made over ten years ago came true, such as the flooding of the World Trade Centre monument. Al Gore has flexed his political muscle to make some serious changes as well as hit the pavement to keep spreading the message that we have to change.

In my Chasing Coral review, I mentioned that the satellite used to help NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) was a project supported by Al Gore. During the Paris climate talks he manages to talk to the CEO of Solarcity, Lyndon Rive, into providing India with open source technology to build solar panels. Some of the shots of the solar panels on roofs in Africa, reminded me of a conversation I had with climber Alex Honnold. We had both gone to developing countries to install solar panels. I had mentioned to him this story about how we were in the middle of nowhere in the Andes and a man had the pole for his solar panel stolen. He couldn’t understand why we didn’t just cut holes in the roof and secure the panel as he did in Africa. Mind completely blown. For maximum efficiency the panels need to be mounted in the proper direction at the proper angle. In Peru that meant placing them 13 degrees north and in Calgary 51 degrees south. I didn’t quite believe Alex until I saw it in the movie.

Power generation is only one piece of the equation. Gore fleetingly mentions that agriculture is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gases. Simple activism to reduce food waste, eating more vegetables seasonally and locally gives consumers some power to make changes rather than concentrating it into the hands of the “privileged white man” to launch satellites and sweet talk CEOs. Solar panels have their own problems with low efficiency and reliance on rare metals. Wind generating stations wreck the landscape killing birds and bats. We still rely on fossil fuels to make these technologies. Because the climate crisis is hitting us now as Cape Town will run out of water, I understand why he wouldn’t mention these things, though other than attend his climate workshops people need other ways to contribute through simple lifestyle modification.

While I enjoyed the film, I wish it would have been less about how wonderful Al Gore’s activities are and more about climate justice. He briefly mentions how the war in Syria is partly due to climate change, people digging mass graves in India preparing for deaths from record high temperatures and shows footage of the floods in the Philippines, but again he doesn’t provide actionable items that anyone can do. Leo DiCaprio’s support of Cowspiracy gave people a way to help by changing their diet. Gore was worried about coal plants in India, the bigger panic would be if they all ate meat. With the strength of the other documentaries this year, I don’t think this one will repeat the success of its predecessor.

Calgary Showtimes: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power >


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