Heroes of the Zeroes is Nick Rogers’ daily, alphabetical look back at the 365 best films of 2000 to 2009.
Pie charts never seemed as terrifying or hopeful as in 2006’s An Inconvenient Truth — Davis Guggenheim’s Oscar-winning documentary about Al Gore’s environmental-evangelism slideshow and how he came to create it.
OK, don’t call it “global warming” if that’s somehow ideologically bothersome. Still, seasons are shortening. Glaciers are melting. Temperatures are increasing. CO2 levels are rising. Population is exploding. There are clear concerns for what mankind expects Earth to do, and the planet isn’t a pair of elastic-waistband pants.
Those attacking Gore as a misinformed prophet or political crybaby likely never even watched Truth. Holding court with the genial wit and warmth of a college professor (and not above coping-mechanism jokes about his failed presidential bid), Gore emphasizes the morals and ethics of his slide content over their politics.
Yes, politics is the tail that wags the dog and Gore realizes policy decisions are critical to countering 40 years of destructive practices. But policies begin with people and their choice to rise above history and complacency through personal change. As Gore puts it, politicians will listen if it’s on the tip of constituents’ tongues.
Convenience can lull people into inactivity, causing high alert only when danger is imminent. It’s human, and Gore isn’t immune to that, as illustrated by past events that drove him to activism only when he felt he could really lose something.
An Inconvenient Truth ended not with mad panic, but with practicality — ideas about what we can all do to individually, incrementally work toward reversing the effects.