Sa and I just watched ‘An inconvenient truth’ by Al Gore. I thought it was excellent. Three things stood out for me.
Firstly, I had a very weakly grounded view of Al Gore as a bit of a bumbler – from the press when he was vice president. I think I was wrong, and by comparison with a slightly more grounded view of Bush, he’s a polymath.
Second, the presentation skills shown are simply superb. He absolutely knows his topic and material. His visuals are very clean and clear, and do not divert attention from the speaker. He presents clearly, but with passion. He pitches at a sensible level – not too technical, nor too simplified. He has given it many many times which helps him, but as someone who has done a fair amount of presentations, I think it sets a really tough benchmark.
Lastly, and most importantly, it makes you think. As I understand it there are some parts of it that are disputed by some scientists (20 foot rise in sea levels for example) – see the wikipedia entry for more information – but it feels quite balanced enough, indeed much more so that most stuff I hear from political types.
Quite apart from climate change, it has built up a feeling I already had about the democratic process and whether it is effective. I think it isn’t, though most other forms of government that have been tried seem materially worse. What I am not quite clear on is whether the self-correction ability of democracy might fix this, and I am just looking at a low point. I suspect it might help, though the one-person one-vote part, doesn’t feel robust unless the ‘one-persons’ are widely well informed and educated, and I don’t see a lot to support that.
So, in short I think everyone should find time to watch it. A couple of hours well invested.