‘An Inconvenient Truth’ Documentary and the Scientific Evidence of Global Warming

Introduction

The 2006 documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ shook the nation and the world by its alarmist predictions about how man is hastening global warming and contributing to his own doom. While the video presents a seemingly convincing series of warnings mainly blaming mankind for increasing global warming, it is guilty of not only presenting incorrect evidence, but also ignoring several other factors are equally, if not more to blame {this stance is also backed by a powerful argument that cannot be refuted}; while I personally agree that factors other than mankind are to be blamed as well, I feel it is my duty to contribute in several personal ways towards combating the menace of global warming.

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Summary of video and the scientific evidence contained in it

‘An Inconvenient Truth’ warns that the world is witnessing the ominous start of a climate crisis which endangers life on our planet (Fauth). The first scientific evidence is that icepacks in the north and south poles are breaking up unnaturally. Presenter Al Gore talks about the probability of the break-up of a huge icepack in Greenland or West Antarctic that would precipitate a rise in international sea levels by about 20 feet. The second scientific evidence involves samples of the Antarctic ice core. Gore blames man for causing climate change by analyzing yearly temperatures and carbon dioxide levels for the past 650,000 years in the samples. The third evidence is that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising to unnaturally high levels. Gore blames man for generating excessive carbon dioxide {especially from automobiles} that is creating havoc with the atmosphere (Guggenheim).

The video, however, is guilty of leaving loopholes in the evidence presented, besides also ignoring several other factors that cause global warming, to an equal or even greater degree as compared to mankind.

Evidence that denies the video’s claims

The first evidence is that, in reality, even the normal {let alone the sudden spurt as the film predicts} predictions of rising in sea levels, according to the UN, has been grossly exaggerated; it admitted in a recent report that it had erroneously projected sea level rises since 2001 as more than 100% of what it actually was. The second evidence is a research finding by a group of global scientists headed by Danish solar specialist Henrik Svensmark that confirms the Sun exerts maximum influence on climate change, ominously adding that the Sun’s present solar activity has been at its highest level in 10 centuries. A UN report also refutes the documentary’s claims by admitting its earlier reports erred about man’s impact on global climate changes; the impact was actually 25% lesser than. As the third piece of evidence, the documentary’s claim is refuted by an independent 2006 UN report that discovered emissions from cattle caused greater global warming as compared to automobile emissions (Inhofe).

The batch of evidence provided above is further strengthened by a very powerful argument that is irrefutable in its logic, tenacity and veracity.

The argument in support of the evidence that denies the video’s claims

The denying evidence is backed by a powerful argument that claims the documentary’s alarmist scenario is in fact driven by money. The supporters of this viewpoint cite the Kyoto Protocol as the best example, charging that the draconian international agreement would have a negligible impact on the climate but would cost U.S taxpayers $ 300 billion – a tax figure that is 10% greater than the earlier largest tax increase in U.S history. The underlying economic connection is revealed by one simple fact: following the release of ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ 6 global warming proposals surfaced in U.S Congress, all promising two similar outcomes if implemented: the actual impact on the climate would be virtually undetectable, but the cost of enacting them would be massive. The Washington Post in its January 25, 2007 edition gave a clearer picture about these proposals by selecting one of them {by Senator Jeff Bingaman [D-N.M.]} and confirming that Bingaman’s proposal would in fact do little to tackle the climate threat, but cost the nation heavily in the form of a 5% increase in gasoline prices and a 4% rise in electricity prices (Inhofe).

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The evidence refuting the video’s claims backed by the argument supporting it is so powerful and logical that it does a lot to detract fans of ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ one of whom is myself.

My personal opinion

My personal opinion is that global warming is taking place, for which man is to be blamed – but not to the great extent as in the documentary. Nature has provided its own in-built safeguards that preempt any change to a massive degree, but mankind has erred in committing too many errors that have compromised these safeguards considerably – not terribly or irrevocably, but to a noticeable degree. Two main culprits have been deforestation and the growing number of automobiles. Thankfully, we have not yet reached a stage where the damage is irreversible. We have already achieved a remarkable breakthrough. Ethanol-85 {E85} powered cars have burst into national and international prominence in 2003. They are acclaimed as the best alternative to gasoline and petrol to power cars without causing high emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere (Ellis). Secondly, the UN should take the initiative in demanding {and providing financial incentives} that all countries curtail deforestation as much as possible while also undertaking extensive campaigns to grow new plants and trees.

While I agree with the evidence and argument that belittles the much-touted ‘earth-shaking’ warnings of the video, there is no doubt that mankind is one of the causes, and as a responsible citizen, I feel it is my duty to contribute in whatever little way I can.

How I can contribute to the fight against global warming

If there is one undisputed ‘real’ value of ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ it is that it has definitely begun a national debate about the real danger that global warming poses to mankind (Fauth), leading to many conjectures on how nations, organizations and even ordinary people can contribute towards fighting this menace. On my part, I can contribute in several ways. I can shun disposable plastic bags and only use reusable bags when shopping because the former is very hard to recycle, expensive fossil fuel is used to manufacture them, and they tend to photo-degrade instead of biodegrading (O’Sullivan). Secondly, I can reduce my consumption of electricity by switching over from traditional to energy-efficient light bulbs, making certain that every light and appliance is switched off when not being used, and reducing heat consumption by wearing a sweater at home while lowering the heater thermostat by a few degrees (Praed). Thirdly, I can switch over to driving an E85 powered car, that too very sparingly; I can use it in tandem with traveling by public transportation, forming carpools with office colleagues, and cycling to the gym and supermarket. Fourthly, I can plant trees in my own household compound. Fifthly, I can avoid purchasing imported foodstuffs {which involve lengthy fuel-guzzling transportation voyages – such as bananas from Brazil and mangoes from India} and buy local foodstuffs instead. Lastly, I can educate my friends, colleagues and community members by explaining the above 5 ways ordinary people like us can help to combat global warming.

References

Ellis, Chris. “E85 Hybrids: The Next Big Step.” Business Week. 2006. Web.

Fauth, Jurgen. “An Inconvenient Truth: A Nature Hike through the Book of Revelations.” 2009. Web.

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Guggenheim, Davis. “An Inconvenient Truth.” IMDB Movies. 2006.

Inhofe, Jim. “The Real Inconvenient Truth.” Politico.com. 2007. Web.

O’Sullivan, Laurence. “A Green Policy on Plastic Bag Use.” Suite101.com. 2008. Web.

Praed, Clive. “Cheap And Easy Ways You Can Help Combat Global Warming.” Ideamarketers.com. (N.d). 2009. Web.

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Paperroni. (2022, June 3). ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ Documentary and the Scientific Evidence of Global Warming. Retrieved from https://paperroni.com/an-inconvenient-truth-documentary-and-the-scientific-evidence-of-global-warming/

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"‘An Inconvenient Truth’ Documentary and the Scientific Evidence of Global Warming." Paperroni, 3 June 2022, paperroni.com/an-inconvenient-truth-documentary-and-the-scientific-evidence-of-global-warming/.

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Paperroni. "‘An Inconvenient Truth’ Documentary and the Scientific Evidence of Global Warming." June 3, 2022. https://paperroni.com/an-inconvenient-truth-documentary-and-the-scientific-evidence-of-global-warming/.

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Paperroni. 2022. "‘An Inconvenient Truth’ Documentary and the Scientific Evidence of Global Warming." June 3, 2022. https://paperroni.com/an-inconvenient-truth-documentary-and-the-scientific-evidence-of-global-warming/.

References

Paperroni. (2022) '‘An Inconvenient Truth’ Documentary and the Scientific Evidence of Global Warming'. 3 June.

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