Chaos-driven events like climate change don’t always perfectly follow a timetable.
But the timing seems dramatically right for the release of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power, the follow-up to An Inconvenient Truth – the documentary that won an Oscar for its director Davis Guggenheim and, for Al Gore, a Nobel Peace Prize and even a Best Spoken Word Grammy (for the audio book).
The doc featuring the former Vice President (and in some minds, the real 43rd president of the United States) is being released in a summer that’s seen Antarctica’s Larsen Ice Shelf C – nearly the size Scotland – fall into the sea. Meanwhile, Basra, Iraq recorded a record temperature of 53.9 degrees C.
A decade ago, Guggenheim followed Gore on the lecture circuit, as the former presidential candidate campaigned to raise public awareness of the dangers of global warming and called for immediate action to curb its destructive effects on the environment.
Now, Gore continues his fight with the follow up documentary, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power, with the narrative of how far we've come in 10 years, and how far we still need to go.
OC: Thank you for making this sequel and giving the world an update on climate change. But I understand that it almost didn’t happen and that you were wary about doing this. Why?
GORE: “I was wary of doing the first movie because I know so little about filmmaking. But when I met the directors, Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, I immediately realized that they had a vision on how to do this movie.
“I also realized there have been some big changes over the last ten years. The climate-related extreme events are more numerous and more destructive, unfortunately. Just look at what happened in Alberta and now in British Columbia with the big fires there. The second big change is that we now have the solutions like solar power and wind, batteries and electric vehiclesand all of the other new solutions that have come down so quickly in price and are spreading rapidly. So it’s given me hope.”
OC: As I am watching this film I can’t help but think, of course we all know aboutthese disasters and weather changes that you are discussing. But when we see it all edited together, to me it is just mind boggling how ANYONE can say there is no problem. How frustrating is this for you? It pisses me off.
GORE: “Good for you! That is the appropriate attitude to have! Now turn that anger into a resolve to make the changes, because that’s really what this movie is designed to do. We want to give people the basis for feeling the real hope that is out there, because, slowly but surely, we are changing. Look, large carbon polluters have tried to confuse people with their propagandaand false doubts, which has been well documented. But there’s a new voice in this debate and that’s Mother Nature. People are saying, ‘Now wait a minute, this is really strange what’s happening, and we need to fix it.’”
OC: We also see how hard the entire world worked to make the Paris Climate Accord a reality. And then as soon as he is elected, President Trump steps in and withdraws the United States from the agreement. Never mind doing what is best for his country and the world. But as a human being does he not even care about what happens to his own children and grandchildren? That’s got to frustrate you to no end.
GORE: “Yeah, I tried hard to convince him otherwise. And I thought he might come to his senses, but I was wrong. When he made that speech, I was honestly concernedthat other countries might use it as an excuse to pull out. But the entire rest of the world redoubled its commitments, almost as if the world was saying, ‘We’ll show you Donald Trump!’
“Then governors and mayors and business leaders in the United States said, ‘We’re still in the Paris Agreement and we are going to meet the commitments anyway.’ So that was a relief.
“You know, there’s a law of physics that says for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. And sometimes it works in politics. We’re seeing a real upsurge of activism and I hope that people will go to this movie. Take someone on a date, we want young people to get involved because after all they are our future. Go to the website https://inconvenientsequel.tumblr.com/ and go see it when it opens wide on August 4th.”
OC: There are many heartbreaking and raw moments in the film, but one that particularly stood out for me was when you were talking with a young man who survived the 2013 typhoon in the Philippines. That was when I burst into tears. I can’t even begin to imagine how you felt talking to him and the so many others who have been affected by these horrific disasters.
GORE: “It was a very emotional day. Leonard Chan was his name and he is one of the trained climate leaders. It makes you realize that there are millions and millions of people around the world who are having experiences like the one he did. We have to take that into our hearts and again, translate it into a resolve to do the right thingso that we give to our children the kind of world that they deserve.”
OC: So it’s been just over ten years since you made the first movie. Where are we going to be ten years from now? Where are you hoping we will be ten years from now?
GORE: “Well, I hope that ten years from now we will be able to say we’ve crossed the tipping point. The whole world is on side, we’re going to solve this and we are on the way. I hope that we can tell our children and grandchildren at that time that we did the right thing and that we are making the world much better for you. The choice is up to us. We have the tools. We have the solutions. We just need to implement them.”
OC: You’ve made this your sole passion for the more than 25 years. Where do you get the energy to keep going and fighting the fight?
GORE: “It’s a privilege to just have work that justifies pouring all that energy into it. It kind of gives you energy back, when it feels like you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing.”
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power. Directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk. Starring Al Gore, Barack Obama, Donald Trump. Opens in the U.S. in Canada August 4th .
Bonnie Laufer Krebs is a 25-year broadcast entertainment reporter currently reporting on CH Morning Live and on her YouTube channel. She can also be heard weekly on Sirius XM as the Entertainment Correspondent for the Ward and Al Show. She has interviewed more than 20,000 celebrities, including Angelina Jolie, Barbra Streisand, Mel Brooks, Hugh Jackman, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Jennifer Aniston, Tom Hardy, Jamie Foxx, Christian Bale and Oprah Winfrey,