The follow up to his 2006 climate change documentary An Inconvenient Truth, this Inconvenient Sequel sees Al Gore find threads of optimism and pessimism in the face of ongoing climate change.
The Al Gore-driven An Inconvenient Truth ended on an optimistic note as he hopes that humanity will rise to the challenge of global warming or climate change or whatever you want to call it, and work together to prevent some of the worst case scenarios from happening. Now, 11 years later, many of them are already here, whether Andrew Bolt or other infamous deniers believe it or not, and yet Gore is depicted as still trying to remain positive, although there are moments when he seems almost ready to pack it in and give up the fight. But, as he says, we can’t succumb to despair as it’s paralysing.
Opening amusingly and bravely with a montage of negative and nasty responses to the original documentary, with Gore called a crackpot and a liar and so forth, we then get into the expected and pretty unnerving sequences where undeniable (like it or not) proof is offered of the ongoing effects of climate change. He travels to Greenland with co-director Bonni Cohen and co-director/cinematographer Jon Shenk and witnesses glaciers “exploding” (there’s no other word for it). After asking where all that water is going to wind up, he’s then seen in Miami, where the tide just keeps on coming in – and coming in.
Again, Gore attempts to keep upbeat, and it’s hard not to like the guy, even if an interlude showing him at the family ranch and remembering his late and much-loved parents is a little cute. He’s very conscious of his critics but his followers are shown to be increasing in number, or at least they were in the first two-thirds or so of the material here, as many nations of the world united throughout 2015 and 2016 and committed to the Paris Agreement, with even America signing on (and there are glimpses of a most Presidential-looking Obama from what seems like an awfully long time ago).
Dread and gloom kick in, however, when you realise that Trump (who’s seen and heard from time to time before he ran for the top job last year) is going to get elected and withdraw support from the agreement. Because, after all, climate change is a hoax and he needs to keep jobs in America and he doesn’t like Paris anyway and let’s make America great again and there was no collusion with Russia and whatever else he was thinking that day.
The true highlights here, of course, are when Gore conclusively demonstrates that climate change denying and deliberate disinformation is directly linked to vested financial interests, and that many of those in power (as the title suggests) around this hotter and hotter world stand to make big money if they persist in claiming that the scientists are wrong and there’s nothing to worry about. Watch now as those very fat cats set about destroying Gore and his sequel.
Rated PG. An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power is in cinemas now.