An Interview with former Vice President Al Gore Discussing An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
When I was a teenager, community involvement was an important part of my life. That’s where my love of participating in my community really began. If there was something for me to sign up for, and it was something I believed in, I was there. I was a kid from the small town of Bowling Green, Kentucky; I liked to do things like spend some of my spring breaks attending environmental and leadership conferences in Washington, D.C.
Standing outside in the cold on election day waving a sign on the town square was part of the job; I didn’t mind. If doing so meant enduring some badgering from the adults who worked down there, so be it. However, I quickly learned they thought it wasn’t possible that I could have opinions of my own since I wasn’t old enough to vote.
That was 1992. The adults were right; I wasn’t old enough to vote yet. But I did have a voice, and I wasn’t afraid to use it. I wasn’t too fond of these older men, or anyone, telling me how to think. I also didn’t appreciate anyone trying to discourage me from standing up for what I believed in and supported. Idealism came quite naturally to the 17-year-old me.
Standing there, holding that sign, was one of my first experiences with public activism. I’ll never forget how good it felt when they realized that this 17 year old girl knew more about the issues than they did.
And by the way, that sign just happened to have Al Gore’s name on it. I believed in Al Gore. To me, he was someone worth supporting even if that meant braving the cold and the grumpy old men trying to intimidate me. It’s worth being uncomfortable to stand up for what you believe. Over the years, I’ve learned to embrace being uncomfortable and inconvenient.
When Al Gore Invites You to #BeInconvenient
I don’t usually post about politics or other hot button issues here at The Awesome Muse. Frankly, this blog is about sharing positive messages. So much involved in today’s political climate is rife with negativity. I needed an outlet to get away from the constant barrage. That’s one of the main reasons I started The Awesome Muse. I believe that you become what you consume, and the media is a big part of that.
But this interview is something entirely different. This is an opportunity to be an agent of positive change with a world leader to make an impact.
When I received an email from Joshua Dubois at Values Partnerships inviting me to participate in an ecumenical interview with Al Gore discussing the sequel to An Inconvenient Truth, it’s hard to say no to such an honor.
Furthermore, once you’re on that call, and former Vice President Al Gore challenges you to #BeInconvenient, well, that’s been my modus operandi for most of my life. I hope you will indulge me.
That said, I would like to warn you that you’re going to hear something from the former Vice President a few times in the interview that I agree with wholeheartedly:
Climate change is not a political issue. It is a moral issue.
Let that marinate for a moment.
And with that, I present to you this discussion on the moral issues surrounding climate change, and how Vice President Al Gore sees the issues presented in An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.
An Inconvenient Truth needs An Inconvenient Sequel
This interview occurred on July 19th, 2017.
It’s been almost ten years since theaters filled with people watching An Inconvenient Truth. It was compelling, heart breaking, emotional, inspiring, and at times, difficult to watch. Al Gore made a documentary that helped to define a generation. As people of all ages saw the film, many felt inspired to take action.
As a result, tens of millions of people became more sensitized to the crisis that is our changing climate. It set the stage for the types of global actions that we can now be part of. And now, ten years later, we have the sequel, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. You will be able to see it in select theaters on July 28th and nationwide on August 4th.
You will find Vice President Gore’s words in italics. I’ve included supporting documentation for further reading.
Al Gore’s journey from An Inconvenient Truth to An Inconvenient Sequel
Question: Since it’s been almost ten years since the first film, we would love to know about this journey. In the 10 years since An Inconvenient Truth, what have you seen and learned over those ten years? Where are we now on climate?
VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE:
My journey on this climate mission? I never expected it to become a mission in my life. I always assumed that our country would rise to this challenge as soon as the facts became clear. When I saw the problem getting worse rather rapidly with no real response to it, I began to feel like I had to step up and do things myself. Once I started, it just became more and more obvious that this was what I was supposed to be doing.
In the last decade, many changes have taken place.
The first change since An Inconvenient Truth
One, the climate-related extreme weather events have gotten worse and much more frequent. There are 24 large fires in the US this morning going on right now. We had a terrible down pour and a flooding event just a day ago…
The newscasters don’t always connect the dots and make it clear that these changes are the very same consequences the scientists have been predicting for a long time. But one of the consequences of all of these extreme weather events is that people are waking up to the reality of this crisis and are beginning to respond in greater numbers.
You know in my faith tradition, in three of the four synoptic gospels, Jesus tells the parable of the unfaithful servant who was guarding a house but fell asleep when the master was away. The house was ransacked. The message was that remaining asleep is not an acceptable excuse.
We are stewards of God’s green earth, and it is not an acceptable excuse for anyone to look the other way and claim unawareness of what’s going on. Not only are the scientists telling us in an almost unanimous voice, but now Mother Nature is screaming at us that we have to wake up and realize what’s going on. So that’s one big change since the first movie came out a decade ago.
The second change since An Inconvenient Truth
Here’s the second. The solutions are here now. A decade ago we could see them poking up above the horizon but we had to rely on the technology that the experts assured us “they are coming, just wait.” But now they’re here. In many different places around this country and all around the world, electricity from solar power and from wind power is now cheaper than electricity from these dirty fossil fuels that foul the air and put the greenhouse gases and the global warming pollution up into the sky.
We’re using the sky as an open sewer. But now we’re using the alternatives. Not only are they [renewables] cleaner and better, they’re cheaper in many places and this movie tells that story.
The movie is full of hope. It does sound the alarm. It does say why we have to awaken to the global emergency of the climate crisis. But it also provides the hopefulness that’s real and tangible and not exaggerated.
You know, some forms of technology that we’ve all seen in our own lives with iPhones and flat screen tvs and computers — those forms of technology come down in cost so quickly it’s just staggering. And the quality goes up as the cost goes down.
It’s amazing that solar panels and windmills are in that category. They are continuing to come down in cost. And now the electric cars are beginning to be much more affordable. And the batteries that can extend the use of renewable energy. The batteries are coming down rapidly in cost as well.
One final point about what’s happened in the last decade:
The Paris Agreement 18 months ago was truly historic. It sent a signal to the investors and businesses and industry and civil society and faith congregations and people all over the world that the so-called train is leaving the station. Except for two or three trivial exceptions, virtually every nation in the world agreed to go to net-zero global warming and pollution by the middle of this century, or as soon thereafter as possible. And that signal has been received as changes are being made that are staggering.
The nation of India, which only a year ago was seen as one of the biggest threats to our continued progress in solving this crisis, has closed hundreds of coal-burning plants. In a mere 13 years, every car and truck there is going to have to be electric vehicles.
We’re seeing China reduce their emissions three years in a row. This will be the fourth year in a row. And like India, they are installing all of these solar panels and wind mills and efficiency improvements. It is really an exciting time.
Now I know that some people worry that a damper might be put on that historic agreement when President Donald Trump announced that he was going to withdraw the US from the agreement. I worried myself that other countries might use his announcement as an excuse to leave the agreement themselves as well.
But in the aftermath, all of the other nations in the world redoubled their commitment to this agreement. And in our country, governors and mayors and business leaders stepped up and said we’re still in the agreement. We’re going to meet these commitments.
It’s not about partisanship
I’m reminded of the passage in the scripture of the story of Joseph when he had his coat of many colors and his brothers threw him in the pit. And the scripture says that man intended him for evil, but God intended him for good.
In physics they say that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Sometimes that law of physics becomes the truth in politics. But we’re seeing a rising up all over this country. But in order for it to succeed, climate change must be framed as what it is: A moral issue. A spiritual issue. It is not about politics.
It’s not about partisanship. It is about the choice between right and wrong.
Climate change is not about partisanship. It’s about the choice between right and wrong. @algore #quote #beinconvenientClick to tweet
Let’s talk about An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
Question: Would you mind just telling us a bit about the sequel? What are your favorite moments? It will be out July 28th in select theaters and on August 4th nationwide. When folks go to the theaters, what are you excited for them to see?
VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE:
By the way, the website, and everybody hawks their website now, www.aninconvenientsequel.tumblr.com will answer some of these questions. And you can also buy tickets. I hope that people will go see this film.
There is a book of the same title, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power that comes out on the same day. And it includes an activist guide on how to be effective in solving this crisis.
Now this movie is different from the first movie. It does include some of the newly emerged facts about the climate crisis. And it does describe why it’s so serious.
But it [the movie] dwells on why there’s so much hope. As I’ve said before, these solutions are now available, and the film gives you tangible examples. I’ll give you one of my favorite scenes in the movie.
I went to the city of Georgetown, TX, which is described as the reddest city in the reddest county in Texas, which is a red state. And the conservative Republican mayor in this town in the heart of oil country with Trump signs all over the place is a Certified Public Accountant.
He looked at the numbers demonstrating how much money he could save the citizens of his city if he switched away from fossil fuels to solar and wind. And he has now converted 100% of all their electricity to renewable energy. They are saving money hand over fist, and the air is cleaner. More and more cities are looking at the new cost numbers and deciding that regardless of what they want to say about global warming, they can save money going in this direction.
More cities are looking at the cost numbers and deciding that no matter what they say about #globalwarming, they can save money with #renewables.Click to tweet
I tell the story [in the movie] of other countries that have also switched to pollution-free sources of energy, and so it is full of hope.
Al Gore’s personal experience with the sequel
The other difference in this movie is that the two directors [Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk] followed me around with cameras for two years. And that took some getting used to, I want to tell you. You kind of, because of human nature, you kind of forget they’re there. When I saw the first rough cut, I was so surprised at a lot of the film that they took.
It’s a good thing that I didn’t have the power to edit this thing because in my mind, I’m much younger and thinner and better lookin’ than they have me in this movie. I would have edited that thing down.
But it shows the truth of what’s going on, and it also shows the drama that took place at the Paris negotiation.
People come out of this movie just filled with hope, and they tell me that there are moments that they laugh. There are moments when they cry. It’s a really emotional movie. And of course, I’m biased. And you’ll have to take it with a grain of salt. But you’ll hear the same thing from a lot of people who have seen the early screenings of it. I hope you go to see it, and I hope you enjoy it.
A pivot point on climate change
Question: We’re at a pivot point right now with US actions, or lack thereof. What are the best and worst case scenarios for the world on climate change right now? A lot of people are trying to wrap their mind around this right now. Where could we get to if we take the right action? And what’s the worst case that we need to avoid?
VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE:
Climate change’s worst case scenario
Well, the worst case is difficult to think about. What would happen if we don’t move fast and solve this? And their [the scientists’] predictions have come true. Right now, I’m speaking to you from New York City where I went and spoke at two of the pre-screenings of the movie last night. Here’s an example from right here in this city.
The first movie was criticized bitterly by the deniers because of a scene, an animated sequence, that said the sea level rise from the melting ice – a couple storm surges from a stronger storm — was likely to put ocean water in the 9/11 War Memorial Ground Zero site. And the deniers of the climate crisis said, “oh that’s ridiculous. That’s an exaggeration.”
Well, when super storm Sandy came, it crossed areas of the Atlantic Ocean east of New York and New Jersey that were 9 degrees Fahrenheit warmer because of this climate crisis. And it became a much stronger storm. And sure enough, years before the scientists predicted it, the ocean waters went into the 9/11 War Memorial site there at Ground Zero.
Cities in dire risk
I went down to Miami last year, and on a sunny day I saw fish from the ocean swimming in the street of Miami Beach. Somebody sent me a picture of an octopus in a parking garage there.
Cities like Miami, FL; Norfolk, VA; Annapolis, MD; and Galveston, TX –unfortunately the list goes on – are in dire risk. The areas where poor people live are most at risk. And when you look at other places around the world, places like Bangladesh, tens of millions of people – some already have lost their homes. Pacific Island nations, cities like Mumbai and Calcutta [now Kolkata].
Areas where poor people live are at the most risk from effects of the #climatecrisis.Click to tweet
Climate change refugees
There are projected to be hundreds of millions of climate refugees not only from the sea level rise but also from the drought. The drought has become deeper and developed more quickly and lasted longer.
You know in Syria, long before that civil war started, they had the worst drought in 900 years of recorded history – as far back as those records go. 60% of the farmers lost their farms. 80% of the livestock were killed. 1.5 million refugees were driven into the cities.
Projections show there will be 100s of millions of climate refugees from sea level rise and drought.Click to tweet
The leaders there began to send aid to them. They said there’s going to be an explosion. We can’t handle this. And sure enough, there was. And the gates of hell, so to speak, opened in Syria.
The flows of refugees from there into Europe have shaken the foundations of Europe, and the predictions include more political instability.
If you look at the tropical diseases, remember that last year for the first time in history, pregnant women were warned not to go to parts of the United States of America because of that Zika virus. And it’s been spread by air travel, yes, but the climate conditions are changing the places where these new tropical diseases take hold and become a threat.
And again, it’s linked to poverty. It’s a bigger threat to communities that have had less political and economic power to defend themselves. And it is another aspect of environmental injustice.
So the worst case gets even worse than that, and I don’t want to dwell on it because I want to go to the best case.
Climate change’s best case scenario
Today, we will put another 110 million tons of this heat trapping, global warming pollution up into the sky as if it’s an open sewer. And some of it will stay there for thousands of years. But if we could magically stop putting it up there tomorrow, how long would it take for 50% of it to fall out? Only 20 years. So that won’t happen because we can’t magically turn it all off. But we can start. We can take advantage of the healing power that is found in our relationship to the environment if we activate it. If we care. If we mobilize ourselves.
And the best case also includes economic empowerment.
You know, solar jobs are now growing 17 times faster in the United States than all other jobs. The single fastest growing job is wind turbine technician. All of the buildings that need to be retrofitted can provide jobs in every single community, and those jobs cannot be outsourced to any other country. This is an economic opportunity to provide tens of millions of good new jobs with good wages.
And most important of all, the best case will give us the chance to say to our children and grandchildren, “your lives will be better still.” I want to feel the pride and joy of looking into the eyes of my grandchildren and assuring them with all sincerity that because of what we have done as American citizens, we are safeguarding their future. We are going to give them a chance to have better lives than that.
Al Gore’s message for community leaders
Question: What is your message for community leaders? How can they join together with you to address climate change? What message do you have for the faith community?
VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE:
I hope what I’m about to say is not impolitic. I’m a recovering politician, and I may have lost the touch.
But what I want to say is: some faith and congregation leaders have fallen prey to the same timidity that many of us experience when we sit down at a dinner table that we know contains some climate deniers around the table. Sometimes the conversations about the climate crisis and our duties to respond to it appear to be very difficult to get into.
The climate crisis is the elephant in the room
It’s almost like where there’s a dysfunctional family with an alcoholic father who flies into a rage if the word alcohol is mentioned. So the rest of the family avoids the elephant in the room and never talks about what needs to be discussed.
I know that many faith congregations have a division of opinion, because our country does. The large carbon polluters have penned this climate denial. You know, in Tennessee, there’s an old saying,
“if you see a turtle on top of a fence post, you can be pretty sure it didn’t get there by itself.”
And the fact that we’re the only country in the whole world with a conservative party devoted to falsehood about climate — that didn’t happen by itself.
Polluters’ Public Relations playbook
Large carbon polluters took the playbook from the tobacco companies. When doctors agreed that cigarettes cause lung cancer and other diseases, they [their PR] hired actors and dressed them up as doctors and included them in television commercials to reassure people there were no health consequences.
The carbon polluters have hired the same PR firms. And they are doing the same thing. And it’s deeply immoral and unethical.
But as a result of what they‘ve [polluter’s PR] done, there is an ingrained resistance on the part of some to hearing about the most significant challenge that humanity faces today. And as a result, some congregation leaders have naturally looked out on the congregation and said, “oh my. If I get into this climate crisis, there’s going to be some people tempted to walk out. Or even leave the congregation.”
Well, I guess the first hard message that I’d have is: please work through that. Please. This is a problem. I’ve talked to many pastors and rabbis and imams who have told me that it’s difficult.
The choice between the hard right and the easy wrong
I had a school principal, who was also a minister, who taught me as a child. If I heard him say it once, I heard him say it a thousand times
“we all face the same choice in life over and over again. The choice between the hard right and the easy wrong.”
And that is so true and we all know it. But deciding whether or not to make this a core message to your congregation is the choice of the hard right. And what seems to be the easy wrong turns out to have horrible consequences on down the road.
This is a moral issue. It is a spiritual issue. If you believe as I do that the purpose of life is to glorify God in all that we say and do and think and feel, then how could we serve that purpose while heaping contempt and destruction on God’s creation?
Political will is a renewable resource
It is a crisis. It does have a solution. The missing element is political will. But political will is itself a renewable resource, and the most effective cialis way to renew it is for the moral teachers and spiritual leaders to step up and tackle it with conviction and resolve.
Issues impacting the African continent
Also on the call was Ambassador Michael Battle. Ambassador Battle has served as part of the African contingent in the Paris Accords. He served as the US Ambassador to the African Union and as the US representative to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. He was given the opportunity to ask former Vice President Gore a question as well.
A question from Ambassador Michael Battle: Can you say something about the international ramifications of climate change? Particularly on the African continent, which needs industrial and infrastructure revolutions while at the same time needs to be conscious of climate change?
VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE:
Africa is uniquely vulnerable to the effects of the climate crisis. There is a tremendous amount of hope in Africa. One must always be on guard to not give in to what some call Afro-pessimism because the difficulty is so evident. With so many countries there, there are many beacons of hope. There is a renaissance and a tremendous set of opportunities there.
But the reason that Africa as a continent is vulnerable is because of the very high percentage of people who are dependent upon subsistence agriculture. And of course, the legacy of colonialism and imperialism have played a horrible role as well. But the impact of heat stress on plants and agriculture is taking a toll.
One of the consequences of the climate crisis is that it disrupts the water cycle. It concentrates the rainfall in a smaller number of much larger downpours. They call these “rain bombs.”
Just last week, Lagos, Nigeria was inundated by a record flood. I could cite many other examples. But where the farmers are concerned, they used to be able to rely on the wisdom of their grandparents’ in teaching them about the season’s clockwork that would inform their decisions on when to plant and when to harvest. But that’s all being scrambled up now. It’s having a very harsh impact on agriculture.
As the climate-related drought in particular that is under way right now has caused the United Nations to warn us that we are on the brink of the worst humanitarian disaster since 1945. 20 million people in Africa are near famine conditions. These conditions could become, unfortunately, more common. So we have to be alert to the tragedy and respond to it. But we have to be alert to the causes of the tragedy and provide remedies.
The UN has warned us that we are on the brink of the worst humanitarian disaster since 1945. #climatecrisisClick to tweet
Now here is some of the good news in Africa.
Those of you who have visited Africa recently as I have may have noticed that it seems like just about everybody in Africa has a cell phone. And they don’t have the land line transmission grids the way we do here in the US. They have leapfrogged over the old technology and they now use their mobile phones for banking and for buying things to a degree far more than the way we use them. Because they have leapfrogged.
I tell that story because it’s the exact same pattern that is now unfolding with energy. So many people have suffered for energy poverty in Africa. It [energy poverty] retards the development of the small and medium size businesses. It hurts the ability of children to do their studies at night. But they are now leapfrogging to solar panels. There is a fantastic spread of cheap, pollution-free electricity in East Africa, West Africa, and now in Southern Africa. And it is a sign of great hope.
Now I will make one other point. The issue of population increase is always a tricky one to deal with. We know what works: Educating girls. Empowering women. Making fertility management available. And most importantly of all, reducing child mortality. There is a success story unfolding in slow motion around the world, but there are several parts of Africa where the old pattern has been slow to change.
As a result, by the middle of this century, Africa will have more people than either China or India. By the end of this century, [Africa] will have more than China and India combined. And that means we have to step up our efforts to reduce child mortality further, educate girls, and make the other changes and accelerate the remedies for energy poverty with energy renewables and address the problems being faced by African agriculture. And empower the emergence of African entrepreneurs and small businesses there.
— The Awesome Muse (@theawesomemuse) July 23, 2017
Question: We know about tsunamis. What about the impact of the temperature rise of the depths of the ocean? Do we have any idea of the effects of the rising temps of the ocean as it continually rises, even though we try many different things to change things? In India, temperatures are 40 degrees Celsius, in London the temperatures 10 days ago were 33 Celsius, which is strange. So what is the impact of all of this on the depths of the ocean?
VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE:
The movie goes into the answers to that particular question, and I’ll summarize that for you right now.
It’s a really important aspect of this that a lot of people are unaware of. We are used to describing the increased temperatures by referencing the air temperature. And you know the air temperature has been going up. Last year was the hottest year ever measured. The second hottest year ever measured was the year before. The third hottest year was the year before that. So the trend is really crystal clear.
But all of these increased air temperatures are being caused by less than 10% of the heat and energy being trapped by the global warming pollution. More than 90% of the extra heat energy is indeed going into the oceans that cover the majority of our planet. And that is having a very harsh impact on the fish population.
In the tropics where so many people depend upon fish protein, there is now evidence that because of the heating up of the ocean, some of those populations in the hottest parts of the ocean are fleeing to try to find cooler temperatures. The Coral Reefs are being destroyed. The Great Barrier Reef in Australia where I was last week had the worst die off ever over the last two years.
But there are two other consequences of the warming of the oceans that I want to mention.
The first consequence of rising ocean temperatures[In the movie,] I talk about super storm Sandy. It came over warmer temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean, and that’s what made it such a destructive storm. I was in the Philippines where they had super typhoon Haiyan. It had similar temperatures, which went over much warmer waters in the Pacific before it hit Tacloban City in the Philippines, which caused over 4 million climate refugees and killed thousands of people.
That story is also told in the movie. Now the warmer ocean water, this is what they call convection energy, goes up into the storms that go over it. And that’s what makes the wind speeds so much stronger and more destructive; it feeds moisture.
The second consequence of warming the oceans
Now the second consequence of warming the oceans is that it evaporates a lot more water vapor into the sky. We all learned in school about the water cycle where the evaporation of the oceans is brought by the prevailing winds over the land. That’s where the rain comes from, and then it works its way back to the oceans through the creeks and streams and rivers.
Well that has been, as some people say, “put on steroids” because the warmer the oceans get this extra heat energy, the more water vapor goes up into the sky. Average humidity worldwide has increased 5% in the last 30 years. That sounds like a small number, but it’s not when you look at it on a global basis.
That’s what’s causing these historic rain storms — these rain bombs. I was in Houston, TX last year. In one 12 month period, they had two “once in 500 year floods” and one “once in a thousand year” downpour. In the US in the last 7 years, we have had 11 “once in a thousand years” downpours.
Now if it’s supposed to happen once in a thousand years, and it’s happening more than once per year, that tells you we’re making destructive changes. So the warming of the oceans is actually a huge part of this issue. It sometimes falls into the category of out of sight, out of mind. But it’s brought into mind when we connect the dots and see the consequences that our people are suffering right now because of the warming oceans.
Making a difference for climate change
Q: How can we as American citizens and advocates around the world bring about a change in the minds and value systems of those deep in denial and see through those powerful lobbyists and companies that will make a difference with this generation and future generations?
VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE:
Well truth can turn into power. You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free as we’ve all been taught. Mahatma Gandhi used a word I’m probably mispronouncing called satyagraha, which means “truth force.” And yet, when confronted with climate denial, you can sometimes bounce off a hard shell that these deniers surround themselves with, and it can be very difficult.
Seek to understand
I have found the best approach is first seek to understand. Try to understand what the basis of their denial is. Often you’ll run into Fox News talking points or come up with false doubts that have been spread by the climate deniers. And it can be very difficult to persuade them. I resort to prayer frequently. Grace has to play a role.
But I take hope and confidence from the history of all the progress that we have made. Growing up in the South as a young boy, I can tell you what many of you know far better than I do. The resistance to ending the legal discrimination on the basis of skin color was at least as ferocious as the resistance to doing something about climate. The resistance felt decades earlier to giving women the right to vote, and a century and a half earlier, the resistance to the abolition movement. And the anti-apartheid movement.
You know, the late Nelson Mandela said,
“it’s always impossible until it’s done.”
Facing ferocious opposition
But all of these movements have faced ferocious opposition — that and a long stream of [hearing] “No.” And yet ultimately, when the question was resolved into a binary choice between what’s right and what’s wrong, the change came rather quickly.
A famous economist [Rudi Dornbusch] once said,
“things take longer to happen than you think they will, but then they happen much faster than you thought they could.”
And I think that’s precisely why it is so important to resolve this into what it truly is – a moral issue. A spiritual issue. An ethical issue.
It’s not a political issue. It has political dimensions, but the moral dimensions are the core of the problem.
While it may seem extremely difficult, and I will admit to you that there have been times when I recognized in talking to a climate denier that my time was best allocated to moving on to someone else; trying to find someone more open and amenable to hearing the truth about the climate crisis. But I don’t give up on them.
But this is the reason why I believe this particular call [this interview with influencers and faith and community leaders] is so important, and the reason why I believe this movie has an opportunity to change some minds.
A moral choice
I’m not a preacher, but I have long since learned that this really is a moral choice. And you all can do more than I can. You can do more than people with any other calling in life. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the way to convert deniers is just to convict them, as we used to say in my church, with what the truth so obviously is.
I’ll close by saying this. There is now abundant evidence that people who don’t want to use the phrase “global warming” and don’t want to get into a political argument are now more open to seeing and feeling the truth of this challenge. They know the weather is extremely strange, and it continues to get stranger. They know that something’s going on that needs to be addressed. Wherever I have failed, I hope that some of you will find ways to change minds. Know that we have the wind at our backs, and we have the truth at our sides. We are going to prevail.
Supporting An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
Like the former Vice President said, I also hope that you will see the movie to learn more about the climate crisis and find hope in learning what you can do to mitigate global warming.
If you’re curious about what to expect, you may enjoy watching the trailer.
Go see the film!
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power opens in New York City and Los Angeles on July 28th. It will open in theaters nationwide on August 4th.
You can buy advance tickets to see An Inconvenient Sequel via Fandango.
Pledge to #BeInconvenient
The majority of Americans are moving forward to solve the climate crisis. You can sign the #BeInconvenient pledge to commit to taking action yourself on climate change.
Download the guide
Values Partnerships created a Sabbath resource guide full of interfaith resources on how you can act in your local community. Even if you aren’t a member of the faith community, you may find these tips and community resources practically helpful.
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Sharing interviews with intriguing people is something we truly enjoy here at The Awesome Muse. Interviews in tandem with Values Partnerships are always particularly fantastic.
You may also enjoy this three-part interview series with Oprah Winfrey about the contribution made to medical science by Henrietta Lacks. You can also read about Henrietta Lacks in Rebecca Skloot’s book and watch the HBO movie.