By Helen Witte
“An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” a documentary produced by former Vice President Al Gore, is a sequel to his 2006 documentary on climate change in America, “An Inconvenient Truth.” “An Inconvenient Sequel” was shown at Simmons, in addition to other colleges throughout America, on Oct. 26. The film sparked a nation-wide discussion on the impact of climate change and what actions can be taken to address it. Al Gore then answered students’ questions about his film in a live-streamed interview.
The documentary addresses rising sea levels, renewable energy resources, the Paris climate agreement, and the impact of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Agreement in June 2017. In the beginning of the film, Gore visits the Arctic’s ice caps, which are melting due to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by cars, factories, and other carcinogens. Gore examines the melting ice caps raising global sea levels, emphasizing the fact that many islands and cities could be submerged within coming decades if people do not change their behavior to mitigate global warming.
Another impact of global warming addressed in the film is the increased number and intensity of hurricanes throughout the world. Gore travels to Florida and the Philippines to examine hurricanes’ impact in those areas. In Florida, roads were flooded, and in the Philippines, homes were lost, families were separated, and many died. Gore’s point in this segment is that many societies’s continued inaction on climate change will cause these devastating hurricanes to become the norm.
On a brighter note, the documentary focuses on what towns, cities, and nations are doing to address climate change. Part of that focus was on solar panels and wind farms, with some cities in the United States getting all of their power from these renewable energy sources. The film also features the California company SolarCity, and its efforts to make solar panels an affordable option for businesses and families.
The documentary ends with an in-depth account of the Paris Climate Agreement’s signing in 2016. Gore was invited, along with President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, to this event at the United Nations. The documentary portrays the struggle to get the agreement ratified, showing prolonged negotiations between the United States and India. However, It also highlighted the number of countries who agreed that this was the world’s most pressing problem today, and signed this agreement to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius and decrease their amount of greenhouse gas emissions.
During Gore’s interview, he recommended for college students to become a part of the solution for climate change. For more information and ways to get involved, please visit https://www.climaterealityproject.org.