It’s mesmerizing to watch the slow, melting drops of water on the polar ice cap and the explosions along Greenland glaciers due to heat. Until we realize what it means—later footage shows water filling the streets of Miami. All that water has to go somewhere, and it’s hard to suppress cynicism when the Miami mayor promises to raise protective walls a foot. Try twelve feet, maybe?
Attempting to skirt the political implications, this beautiful planet was given as our home, for us to be good stewards. The devastation that occurs when we ignore scientists’ warnings is heart-wrenching, yet we persist…
Perhaps the best part of the film comes towards the end, with the record of countries like Chile and US cities that are converting to 100% alternative energies. Though it seems unlikely, the Republican mayor of Georgetown, TX, simply realized that solar and wind power would deliver the cheapest energy to his constituents. With some guffaws, he poses for a photo standing beside Al Gore.
I hadn’t realized before this film how Gore had intervened to help the Parish climate accord talks. India was poised to reject the agreement, because the country needed cheap power for many citizens who had none—and coal-fired plants, spewing black smoke, were the obvious way to go, as the US did 150 years ago. Somehow, Gore finaigles a low-interest loan and solar cell technology so India can build alternate power grids. They then sign onto the accord.
It’s a stark tragedy when Trump pulls out of that hard-won global consensus. But Gore quotes poet Wallace Stevens:
After the final no there comes a yes
And on that yes the future world depends.
Sounds suspiciously like talk of death and resurrection…