Monday, December 18, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

I don't know where you stand in relation to global warming - whether you are concerned about it, whether you believe it's an issue or whether you are even aware of it as a phenomenon. My own position was very middle-of-the-road until recently when I happened to see the film An Inconvenient Truth which is a documentary presented by the "former next president of the United States" Al Gore.

When I say that it is a documentary your eyes may glaze over and you want to file it away under David Attenborough-type documentaries. But you shouldn't, for two reasons. Firstly, Al Gore does, in my opinion, a tremendous job communicating the science of global warming in a way that is easily understood and stays with you beyond the closing titles. Secondly, the issues portrayed in the documentary just might be the most important that mankind has ever faced, relegating famines, wars, and localized natural disasters to the inconsequential.

Avoiding a climate crisis and the consequences that that entails is fundamentally not a technological challenge - we already have the technological means to prevent it - but a political and moral question. There would appear to be many big businesses with a vested interest in us believing that the scientists are merely scaremongering. However, does anyone remember the tobacco companies producing reports in the sixties rubbishing the idea of smoking being linked to cancer?

You should make up your own mind on this important issue, but viewing An Inconvenient Truth should be an essential part of that process. If you missed the film in the cinemas, you can get it now on DVD. Watch it and decide where you stand.

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