The Blue Marble - Earth seen from space

An Inconvenient Sequel

An Inconvenient Sequel or Truth to Power is Al Gore’s new documentary following up on the world’s most famous slideshow presentation and climate change film ‘An Inconvenient Truth‘.

10 years later, we are already seeing some of the extreme climate events that were considered too much in 2006. We have seen the superhurricane in the Philippines, forest fire covering whole countries, routine flooding of Miami, hurricane Katrina and the rapid melting of glaciers everywhere.

These events provide the gloomy setting, where Al Gore once again tries to save the world amid fake news and morbid quotes from alternative sources that dispute the existence of climate change caused by humans.

Climate change and global warming both became hot topics on everybody’s mind after An Inconvenient Truth came out, but things didn’t go to plan, unfortunately. With Al Gore as the central character,  Truth to Power retraces what went wrong and how the climate movement can avoid being sidetracked again. And the stakes are higher, for time is running out fast.

An Inconvenient Sequel - Truth to Power

Trading solar panels for world stability

It’s not a trivial story when An Inconvenient Sequel portrays what happened after An Incovenient Truth came out. There’s a big emphasis on Al Gore and his work, with the negotiations for the Paris Climate Agreement taking up a huge chunk. It’s useful to have Al Gore as central character to lead you through the film. It’s impressive to see him negotiating with Indian ministers and the CEO of SolarCity to find some compromise between sustainability, profitability and the future of the planet. There are a few moments where he is presented as a near-Messiah and the idolatry becomes a bit tiring.

Change lightbulbs… and laws

The film can just about get away with it, since Al Gore is so adept at sharing his knowledge and because he’s asking such difficult questions that must not be ignored. His emphasis on not just changing lightbulbs but also changing laws is especially refreshing. Democracy has been hacked by big business. Companies that want to “treat the skies as open sewer” can currently do so indefinitely and for free.

Superstorm with thunder in the middle

There’s a need for different conversations. 

These are Al Gore’s arguments. We cannot have real change before we get together in big numbers and oppose the unconstrained pollution of our planet. The civil rights movement, abolition, suffragettes, and anti-apartheid were all successful because people got together and changed the conversation. It starts with people asking questions about why we are doing things in a certain way and slowly the momentum builds until we have real change.

Time to be inconvenient

Progress in sustainability has been halted in some areas, because our laws don’t reflect the severity climate change pose for future generations. Subsidies for fossil fuels have continued for too long. We have to make sure that our politicians hear our voices and act in the interest of the public good. It’s important that people step up, and the documentary repeatedly features Al Gore’s climate leadership programme. It certainly looks inspiring, but the emphasis on Al Gore is heavy (again). It’s not like he’s the only person in the climate movement.

But it is great how the film emphasises social and collective action. It really has to be applauded for its bold call for people to step forward and voice their opinion. There’s also plenty of inspiring stories about solar energy from Chile and India and some absurd quotes from climate change deniers that makes you laugh and then clench your teeth in worry.

An Inconvenient Sequel has many of the right elements, but I personally prefer Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything (dir. Avi Lewis) and Josh Fox’s How To Let Go Off The World. These films are both more passionate and less focused on just one person.

An Inconvenient Sequel is clearly created as a call to arms and for that it succeeded. I definitely left the cinema and felt like I should write my MP and ask her to do more for the climate. It is never easy to change things, but we have no alternative. It’s time to be inconvenient.

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