The Heat Is On
The Inconvenient Sequel

By Tina Valin



I went to see Al Gore's new documentary, AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER, on Saturday, in Los Angeles. Following the screening, the man who was denied the presidency and his co-directors, Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, were present to engage in a lively discussion with moderator, Pete Hammond. I was glad to attend this event and have a reprieve from constant Trump concerns only to quickly realize that I was momentarily being delusional. Trump's reach invades every corner of inner and outer space - from groping unsuspecting pussies to destroying the world.


The film is a must-see! A lot of people say shit like that. But I mean it. So, if you value breathing - or at the very least want planet Earth to live on for future generations, this follow-up to An Inconvenient Truth will re-charge your eco-friendly batteries. Al Gore is the star of this movie. Never thought of Al Gore as a star before? Well, please trust me on this, he is indeed a STAR and I mean that in the best possible sense. His screen presence demands attention. He is able to elicit a wide gamut of emotions even in the most jaded amongst us (I fit solidly into that characterization). As in the best screen story - you will root for good ole Al to succeed from beginning to end. He'll make you laugh and get you choked up. And at times you will find it impossible not to put your hands together and applaud him. At a few key plot points you will also cheer this fearless fighter of climate deniers. Al plays the role of hero extremely well. However, he isn't playing at it.  The cherry on the top of this important film is that it is all both brilliantly and horrifyingly real. The filmmakers are able to juggle a lot of balls in the air and never drop them. 


Cohen and Shenk approached this update of previously mined subject matter as if it was NOT a science-driven documentary.  This innovative sequel feels more like a biopic without the boring baggage. You get to see what it takes to tackle a global climate crisis head-on through Al's determined never give-up demeanor. This is one stubborn son-of-a-politician! There's even a dog in the film which helps paint this Nobel Prize Winner Ex-VP as the beloved boy-next-door who grew up to be a leader of the free world. Somehow these talented directors created a feel-good movie about the most depressing problem plaguing humanity. That's an impressive accomplishment! The challenges of climate change can only be thwarted if people believe it's not a lost cause. 


Heat, is treated as an actual character in the film. Heat is Al's nemesis and it's not only gaining on him - it's gaining on all of us. The film depicts this extraordinarily well. I already have recurring nightmares where I am literally flooded by the threats of high tides and tsunamis drowning me. I'm constantly running away from water-water everywhere to seek the refuge of higher ground. I wake up exhausted in the middle of the night relieved to discover I'm not floating out to sea clinging onto my side-sleeper support pillow. After watching this film, I just might need to bed down in a life raft.


The two areas that affect global warming that are not dealt with in the film are veganism/vegetarianism and population growth. I suppose a case can be made that climate change deniers have a hard enough time admitting that fossil fuels are the root cause of pollution and are increasing the Earth's heat index and are causing ice to melt and weather conditions that warm the oceans and and and...Perhaps if Gore dwelled on other factors that make even liberals shudder he would be facing increased resistance. I would prefer to hit the nail on the head instead of missing every couple of attempts and bludgeoning my thumb. By ignoring these two key factors that don't cost anything to do and have an immediate impact on climate change is stupid. We don't have time to waste here. Sure - renewable energy sources are the foundations to build a clean everlasting world and I wholeheartedly support them - but they will not alone cure the problems of Mother Earth.


Speaking of mothers - moms and future moms will need to reassess what they value more - a healthy environment - or adding to the destruction of the planet. Yes - having children is a selfish decision. It's wonderful to have a big family to romp around with but there is a huge environmental price to be paid for it. Clean water is scarce. Top soil for growing crops is disappearing into the wind. Technology can manage some of the causes of pollution if and only if there isn't continued non-stop population growth. Let's be honest. We are in this mess because there's too many humans constantly harming the planet. Some people gasp at the mere suggestion of curbing the population. How dare the government tell me how many children to have! I'm recommending a gentle approach to educating people about the necessity to re-think their family planning goals. Right now, families receive tax benefits for being larger polluters than childless families. How about offering tax benefits for not having children and pro-rated tax relief for having less than two kids? Wouldn't that be fair? Something has to be done soon or the planet is a goner. This isn't propagation as usual.


Changing your eating habits should also be on the table - pun intended! Let's teach kids about the benefits of vegetarianism and veganism. Recycling their soda cans and water bottles is commendable - passing on eating a slab of meat is equally important. The methane gas expelled from cows is twenty-one times more potent at trapping the Sun's heat than Co2. Cow manure is also a huge contributor of methane gas. The most effective solution to keeping the lid on increasing temperatures that destroys humans, animals, crops, shelter, and water supplies - is to stop eating meat - like today! It's not that hard to do. I did it and I've got very little self-discipline. It just made sense and today there are so many great veggie fake-meaty options you will hardly miss it. Give it a whirl! Cheat once in a blue moon if you have to. I won't rat you out. Overall, by drastically reducing your meat habit you will be doing more for the environment than you ever thought possible. 


I hope Gore does a third documentary and finds a way to deal with these other tools I mentioned above to curtail climate change. I encourage him to do so. As people gain more knowledge about how to win back a healthy planet with a total whole picture personalized strategy - they will embrace the ideas that they might be pushing back on now. Knowledge is everything!


I don't know about you - but I don't relish the thought of dying because I melted from the extreme heat. Please help get the word out on supporting An Inconvenient Sequel! We're all trapped in this sweat-lodge together. Let's find a way out!



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