a inconvenient truth

We saw this movie last weekend.

It was the best commercial for Apple I’ve ever seen. Okay okay, ha ha, let me try again.

It was the best campaign spot for Al Gore’s 2008 presidential run I’ve ever seen. Okay, no, seriously.

It was a pretty solid movie. Ron Bailey (a former-skeptic-turned-believer) has his review, which I generally agree with, though it’s a little too nitpicky even for me: He rebutts Gore’s claims of various records with counter-examples, i.e.:

For example, he pointed the heat wave that hit Europe in 2003 that killed some 35,000 people with temperatures hitting 104 degrees Fahrenheit. But historically such temperatures are not unknown to Europe. In July 1921, a heat wave hit much of Western Europe with the temperature reaching 104 degrees Fahrenheit in Strasbourg, France.

This rebuttal is just as lazy as Gore’s initial position, since either of these data points are meaningless without some data on frequency and persistence.

The only thing that struck me as disingenuous while I actually watched the movie was when he brought up Lake Chad and showed dramatic pictures of the lake nearly evaporating entirely since 1960. It looks pretty amazing, but it’s not so amazing once you learn that Lake Chad is one of the shallowest bodies of waters in the world – only 7 meters at its deepest – and as a result, fluctuates wildly in size in general. Though it very well may dry out entirely in the 21st century, it also almost dried out in 1908, too.

By and large though, the movie does a good job at driving home its most valuable point: that global warming is happening, and that it is undoubtedly a result of human activity – and that Al Gore is a kind, sensitive, caring soul, and he approves of this message.