"Wealth will increasingly be defined by our ability to go offline whenever we want." - Fernando Gros
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Blog // Thoughts
October 1, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

Found some time today to see Al Gore’s docu-hit, An Inconvenient Truth. In many ways it was a better film than I had anticipated. Very passionate, well thought out and interesting to watch. I read the film described as a powerpoint presentation turned into a documentary, which to some extent is true, but there is […]

Found some time today to see Al Gore’s docu-hit, An Inconvenient Truth. In many ways it was a better film than I had anticipated. Very passionate, well thought out and interesting to watch. I read the film described as a powerpoint presentation turned into a documentary, which to some extent is true, but there is more to it than that.

An Inconvenient Truth is not just a meditation on the science of global warming, important as that is, but moreso, it is a study in the politics of interpretation. At the centre of this is Al Gore himself. A cynic could say this is Gore respositioning his legacy, but then again, the best legacies are made of worthwhile achievements and Gore has been campaigning on this issue for a long time.

Still, I found myself wondering what the effect of this film will be. That the film is a hit with people like myself, who are already enviromentally-minded is not going to change much. Probably, the people who most need to see it, won’t for a host of reasons (many of which you can easily find on certain kinds of Christian blogs and forums). It’s all well and good to quote Mark Twain’s telling line,

“”It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.””

As Gore does with good wit, humour and the kind of ease that was totally missing in his 2000 presidential campaign. But, somehow the message needs to climb the huge propaganda wall that has been erected around it. As much as Gore might want to reframe this as a “moral” problem rather than just a political one, An Inconvenient Truth itself highlights the politics involved.

In the end the film was far more optimistic than I had anticipated. That’s important (as I discussed recently). Well worth the price of admission.

[tags] An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore, Global Warming, Enviromentalism [/tags]

Responses
brodie 16 years ago

I read his book, “earth in the balance” over the summer. He wrote this in 1992 and it was amazing to see how many things that he said might happen have and ho wmany things that there was little evidence for there now is lots.

I think one reason so many christians are not as involved in this kind of stuff as we should be is that we have sucha wrong view of heaven. The typical view I come across is of usas disembodied souls in some enernal worship party. If the church is going to be mobalised to act with regards to the environment then sure the moral argument needs (and can) to be made, but also we need to help people to grasp that our hope it the New Creation, the great transformation of this present earth into the new, and that we are called to anticipate this now by caring for the earth.

Fernando Gros 16 years ago

Brodie – thanks for your comment. You are quite right that there is some solid theological work that needs to be done here. I posted a link to this minireview ona Christian Forum that takes a, shall we say, dim view of the global warming debate. Two negative responses actually spoke from theological presupposistions. One went straight for John’s Revelation, which is the point you are directly alluding to.

FWIW, I also think we should be looking to some Old Testamanent sources in the Pslams and Wisdom literature, because the Earth reveals God’s handiwork – it is given to us as a source of wonder, awe and contemplation and to not protect it is to be poor stewards of that gift.

brodie 16 years ago

Your right to say we also need to look to OT sources, indeed I think Isaiah in particular presents a theology of new creation as the eschatological goal og God’s dealings with his creation.

I came across the following quote from Moltmann that I liked in a book ona theology of work by a guy called Darrell Cosden;
“Interpreting the world as God’s creation means precisely not viewing it as the world of human beings, and taking possession of it accordingly. If the world is God’s creation, then it remains his property and cannot be claimed by men and women. It can only be accepted as a loan and administered in trust. It has to be treated according to the standards of the divine righteousness, not according to the values that are bound up with human aggrandisement”

Fernando Gros 16 years ago

Two really good points there!

Part of the struggle, of course, is there are deeply entrenched schools of through within the church that view the earth as being now under human dominion with a view to it being subdued for productive ends.

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