NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Monday, December 4th, 2017

Documentary Review: Everyone should see “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power”

After watch­ing Al Gore’s new doc­u­men­tary fea­ture, “An Incon­ve­nient Sequel”, there were two main thoughts going through my head:

  1. We have a lot of work to do to reverse the dam­age we’ve caused to our cli­mate (not to men­tion we need to act FAST), and
  2. If Al Gore had been Pres­i­dent instead of George W. Bush, this prob­lem (and many oth­ers!) would not be near­ly as big as it is right now.

But, if we go too deep down the rab­bit hole in response to item two, we’ll nev­er get out of it… and I, for one, will just be immo­bi­lized by a mix of rage and despair.

So, let’s focus on item one!

Movie poster for Al Gore's An Inconvenient Sequel

An Incon­ve­nient Sequel
Release Year: 2017
Run­ning Time: 1 hour, 38 min­utes
Direc­tors: Bon­ni Cohen, Jon Shenk
Watch the trailer

“An Incon­ve­nient Sequel: Truth to Pow­er” is the fol­low-up to Gore’s 2006 “An Incon­ve­nient Truth”, which was a pol­ished, cin­e­mat­ic ver­sion of a Keynote pre­sen­ta­tion that Gore had been trav­el­ing around the world giv­ing. It won two Acad­e­my Awards. The fol­low­ing year, Gore won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work along with the IPCC.

Gore’s pre­sen­ta­tion, which he has trained thou­sands of peo­ple to give them­selves (includ­ing NPI’s founder and Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Andrew Vil­leneuve) explains what the cli­mate cri­sis is, how humans caused it, and what we need to do about it.

An Incon­ve­nient Sequel high­lights how many things have got­ten worse since 2006’s An Incon­ve­nient Truth. There have been more cli­mate-relat­ed extreme weath­er events, and these events have grow­ing more cat­a­stroph­ic in sever­i­ty and scope. Four­teen of the fif­teen hottest years ever on record have tran­spired since 2001.

A few spe­cif­ic issues exam­ined a lit­tle more close­ly in the film were the melt­ing of glac­i­ers in Green­land and flood­ing in Mia­mi. Mia­mi is the num­ber one U.S. city at risk due to sea lev­el rise. They are already work­ing on rais­ing some roads, but it is not pos­si­ble to raise up the entire city up a cou­ple of feet.

We see Gore wad­ing through a Mia­mi street to talk to pub­lic offi­cials, then rush back to the hotel where he is about to speak to a room full of peo­ple for one of his Cli­mate Real­i­ty Lead­er­ship Train­ings. He takes off his knee-high boots and laments that he thought they would be high enough, but weren’t, as he wrings out his soaked socks and pre­pares to change out of his also-drenched jeans.

Gore’s first Cli­mate Lead­er­ship Train­ing was in 2006 at his fam­i­ly’s barn in Ten­nessee where he trained fifty peo­ple. He now trav­els around the world, train­ing hun­dreds of peo­ple a year. Last June, Cli­mate Real­i­ty came to Belle­vue, Washington.

In “An Incon­ve­nient Sequel”, we see some footage from that first train­ing in the barn as well as a more recent train­ing held in the Philip­pines where some atten­dees had strug­gled to sur­vive Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. He even met with a young man to watch video he had of the flood­wa­ters ris­ing as he and his cowork­ers strug­gled to break through the roof of their office to get to safety.

Scene from Al Gore's An Inconvenient Sequel

Scene from Al Gore’s An Incon­ve­nient Sequel

As scary as many of the images of flood­ed city streets, extreme weath­er events, and melt­ing glac­i­ers are, the film also gives rea­son for hope, high­light­ing many of the pos­i­tive changes that have been made and the great poten­tial we have for future a future that is less reliant on fos­sil fuels.

For exam­ple, glob­al­ly, wind pow­er could sup­ply forty times the ener­gy demand, and there is more ener­gy emit­ted from the sun every hour than we need to pow­er the full plan­et for an entire year — we just need to be har­ness­ing more of this energy.

Some U.S. cities are cur­rent­ly oper­at­ing on 100% renew­able ener­gy or on the verge of doing so, includ­ing the right wing bas­tion of George­town, Texas.

In the film, we see Gore vis­it­ing the town and talk­ing with its Repub­li­can may­or, who notes that con­vert­ing to renew­able ener­gy isn’t just the right thing to do for the envi­ron­ment, but that it will be cheap­er for their util­i­ty users.

The film also shows how Gore was in fact inte­gral to an agree­ment being reached at the 2015 Paris Cli­mate Con­fer­ence. With­out Gore’s help­ing to bro­ker a deal with India, the final agree­ment might not have been made.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the Unit­ed States now has a pres­i­dent who is stu­pid­ly refus­ing to hon­or the com­mit­ments we made in that agreement.

There real­ly is no good rea­son not to invest in renew­able ener­gy and to move away from fos­sil fuels. Even if you don’t believe there is a cli­mate cri­sis, there’s no deny­ing we’d have clean­er air, clean­er water, and clean­er soil. But, as Gore states: “In order to fix the envi­ron­men­tal cri­sis, we first have to fix the democ­ra­cy crisis.”

As long as most Repub­li­cans in office are deny­ing the cli­mate cri­sis and refus­ing to make nec­es­sary and pru­dent changes, it will con­tin­ue to be a strug­gle to trans­form our ener­gy pol­i­cy and empha­size envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion as a nation­al priority.

Nan­cy Shimeall, orga­niz­er of the Cli­mate Real­i­ty chap­ter in NPI’s home region, summed up our chal­lenge per­fect­ly when I talked to her: “We can change, and we must change; the big ques­tion now is WILL we change before it is too late.”


An Incon­ve­nient Sequel is avail­able on Blu-ray, DVD, and from streaming/digital media ser­vices like Ama­zon Prime Video, Vudu, and iTunes (but not Netflix).

Invite friends and fam­i­ly to watch the eye-open­ing and alarm­ing doc­u­men­tary, An Incon­ve­nient Sequel: Truth To Pow­er, togeth­er. The home view­ing kit com­pli­ments the doc­u­men­tary’s view­ing expe­ri­ence, pro­vid­ing action­able tips and infor­ma­tion to reduce our car­bon foot­print in every­day ways. From gro­cery picks to home ener­gy effi­cien­cy info­graph­ics, there are many options each of us con­trol that can add up to larg­er solutions. 

Down­load your home view­ing kit from the film­mak­ers here.

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  1. Thank good­ness for Al Gore! He has been doing the Lord’s work and I hope more peo­ple will real­ize that he speaks the truth. 

    # by Billy Keemo :: December 21st, 2017 at 3:09 PM
  2. Thanks for this review, There­sa. Wish the film had been in the­aters longer… well, at least it’s avail­able on DVD/Bluray now. 

    # by Dwight Roberts :: December 24th, 2017 at 4:33 PM
  3. I want­ed to go see this doc­u­men­tary when it was on the big screen, but no the­ater near me was show­ing it. I guess I’ll have to buy the film or disc or stream it. Sounds like I’ll enjoy it! 

    # by Terry Daniels :: December 26th, 2017 at 3:38 PM
  4. This doc deserves more atten­tion. Did­n’t per­form at the box office like its pre­de­ces­sor, but it’s no less important. 

    # by Raymond Edison :: December 27th, 2017 at 3:45 PM
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