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an inconvenient truth

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it is said that familiarity breeds contempt. today i watched al gore’s award-winning documentary ‘an inconvenient truth’ for the second time. sure, i was familiar with the flow of the presentation as well as the dry wit of gore’s humour, but it was the facts presented – those cold, startling facts, that held my imagination captive and any contempt at bay. still, a lone crusader with a noble cause affords a certain kind of dignity, a dignity that commands attention. bolstered by the subtle gravity of his personality, al gore told the story of climate change, peppering it with warm anecdotes from his life, drawing a human link to hard environmental science.

not too long ago al gore wasn’t so alone in his mission. it was once the consensus of the scientific community that the activities of man did contribute to global warming. today, a line segregates the scientists, with one camp labeling the other ‘alarmists’, ‘prophets of doom’, even ‘hoaxers’. the other camp lamented the infiltration of the community and the influence of mega corporations on governments, companies with billions to lose if strict emissions regulations are enforced. i once read somewhere that money can so easily buy the principles of men, weakening his conscience, and in the case of governments their ‘political will’. the fact that the american government refuses to adopt the kyoto protocol till today is a case in point.

this film holds a message for everyone, with the pertinence of the issue at hand stretching across national boundaries. at the same time it holds a more direct message for the americans. despite the fact that america is one of the most technologically advanced (in terms of ‘green technology‘) countries in the world, it is also the largest contributor of greenhouse gases, far surpassing even india and china (even chinese car makers make more environmentally-friendly cars today). gore’s message to the americans is clear and powerful – if an administration takes priority on money over lives, then it has no business being in power.

near the end of his presentation, al gore spoke of how rectifying this problem has become the ‘moral obligation’ of this generation. if we push it aside, how then will we be remembered? learn and act.

for more of my thoughts, click here.

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