On March 28, Paramount Pictures released one of the first trailers for Truth to Power, the sequel to Al Gore’s 2006 Academy Award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Watch it here for yourself:
The reactions on social media have been mixed. While some have condemned the movie as another ploy by Gore to reel in millions of dollars in profit through his fear-mongering blockbuster antics, others have praised the trailer’s release, insisting that it couldn’t have come at a better time.
As someone who loves the outdoors, it’s easier to agree with those supporting the latter argument, especially with President Donald Trump’s recently clear focus on eliminating the EPA and nixing the United States’ plan to spend billions on halting climate change.
Although it’s probably true that Gore will be making a hefty profit on the anticipated success of the film, shouldn’t the focus from viewers be in line with what the film is addressing rather than the production’s profits? In other words, climate change deniers’ allegations against Gore should only be taken seriously if their confidence that “climate change is a hoax” is easily substantiated.
Which, of course, it is not.
But you didn’t hear that from me. Take it straight from N.A.S.A.’s own website:
Sea Level Rise: “Global sea level rose about 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) in the last century. The rate in the last decade, however, is nearly double that of the last century.”
Global Temperature: “All three major global surface temperature reconstructions show that Earth has warmed since 1880. Most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years, with 15 of the 16 warmest years on record occurring since 2001.”
Ice Sheets: “The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass. Data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Greenland lost 150 to 250 cubic kilometers (36 to 60 cubic miles) of ice per year between 2002 and 2006, while Antarctica lost about 152 cubic kilometers (36 cubic miles) of ice between 2002 and 2005.”
Extreme Events: “The number of record high temperature events in the United States has been increasing, while the number of record low temperature events has been decreasing, since 1950. The U.S. has also witnessed increasing numbers of intense rainfall events.”
Snow Cover: “Satellite observations reveal that the amount of spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has decreased over the past five decades and that the snow is melting earlier.”
Given this information, it’s easy to see why Trump’s party has been so inconsistent throughout the years on its stance on the issue. Shifting from a brief period of acceptance in the early emergence of climate change research in the nineties, to complete denial later on, to their late 2000’s argument that climate change is real albeit unaffected by human activity, then recently settling back to complete hoax status, the far-rights in the Republican Party are visibly struggling as they dance around scientific evidence to further their capitalistic ideals.
If you’re hesitant the to believe in the capitalistic motivations behind the party’s dance, that’s understandable. But consider this for a moment: upon the release of the trailer, multiple Wall Street and stock market publications have come forward to condemn the film. The headline from an article written by Investor’s Business Daily – an online publication dealing with “stock market and business news, quotes, mutual fund performance, and market analysis” – says it all:
“Al Gore Has Made Another Science Fiction Movie About Global Warming”
Although Investor’s Business Daily and related business publications are not explicitly tied to republicans in Washington or even President Trump, they do represent the business-first mindset of the Republican Party.
Republican support of companies and businesses (and capitalism in general) is arguably a good thing. However, when businessmen and politicians begin to have credible voices in denying scientific conclusions, no matter which side of the aisle in Congress they identify with, there is obviously a problem at hand.
Al Gore’s Truth to Power can hopefully address that issue, and help further the United State’s leadership in reversing the unquestionable existence of climate change. Of course only time will tell, as we all eagerly await the release of the film this summer.
Epilogue: How does Indiana fare in the climate change discussion?
Following the response to the release of the trailer for Al Gore’s new film, a sequel to An Inconvenient Truth, it would be only fitting for an Indiana adventure blog to survey how Indiana itself has reacted to global warming in recent years.
Here are some quick, cut-and-dry facts regarding Indiana’s views on and actions regarding climate change, as told by the Hoosier Environmental Council:
- Indiana’s former Governor Daniels (now president of Purdue University) wrote one of the hardest hitting anti-climate change policy OpEd in the nation, published in the Wall Street Journal.
- Once a congressman, then governor and now vice president, Mike Pence is an outspoken critic of the science of global warming.
- Indiana’s legislature, while it acknowledges “carbon” is a problem, has tended to support all kinds of carbon-burning technologies, from coal to coal bed methane to waste-to-energy facilities.
- Indiana’s state environmental agency (IDEM) has a track record of denying climate change or opposing climate solutions.
To be blunt, these truths are upsetting. More frustrating, however, is that according to the Center for Climate Strategies, Indiana is one among the majority of states in the U.S. that lacks a legislative plan to counter climate change.
As told by Georgetown Climate Center, Indiana had only 5.3% of its energy produced by renewable resources. To put it into perspective, Oregon – a state that does have a legislative plan combating global warming – saw 67.7% of its energy in 2015 generated by renewable sources.
Indiana, we still have a long way to go.