On Oct. 26, University Libraries and the Center for Sustainability hosted a screening of former Vice President Al Gore’s 2017 documentary, “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.” The film was shown after an exclusive webcast Q&A with Gore himself which was shown around schools nationwide. Afterwards, a panel of DU faculty from the Department of Natural Sciences & Mathematics extended the conversation around climate change as each discussed their own work in assisting the planet and their takeaway from the film.
The main event of the night was primarily Al Gore’s Q&A in which he responded to student-submitted questions. The DU audience patiently watched in hopes that their entry was chosen. Although DU’s entry was not among the selected questions, the ones chosen still included input from Gore that was meant to be impactful for the entire audience watching. He touched on a variety of topics including current events, student advocacy and staying informed.
One student from Emerson College asked about how to connect recent climate events with climate change in a way that inspires a pursuit for change rather than worry and hopelessness. Gore clarified that massive earthquakes like those making recent headlines are not caused by the climate crisis. But fracking, he added, can cause minor ones in the areas they are located.
In regard to making the disparaging events a source for impactful change, “I always couple discussions of the consequences of the climate crisis with an immediate discussion of the solutions to the climate crisis,” said Gore who suggested that, “we’ve just got to match these solutions with political will and implement the solutions.”
From Duke University, another student asked Gore what advice he would give the current administration regarding climate action. Hesitant to sound partisan, Gore explained that, when trying to convince Trump to not pull out of the Paris Agreement, “I came to the conclusion that they surrounded themselves with carbon polluters,” he said. And, based on the administration’s actions thus far, “I’m not sure they’re gonna be interested in any advice from me,” he admitted.
Regarding student advocacy, a teacher asked Gore how students could be included in decision making outside of writing to Congress. In response, Gore emphasized the importance of mitigation and the voice of students for they, “have been in the vanguard,” he observed. Gore also highlighted how, “students are once again beginning to play a key role in this climate movement that’s gaining momentum.”
Gore concluded his roughly 20-minute Q&A by encouraging that all viewers, “become a part of the solution,” and continue spreading the word on why climate change is a topic to not leave ignored. He suggested that anyone wanting more information on the movement go to The Climate Reality Project website.
“An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” follows up on the topics discussed in the Academy Award winning film for Best Documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” which premiered in 2006. The theme of this film pushes for a call to action for advocates to continue fighting for a more sustainable earth whilst also educating viewers on how climate change has affected the planet in the past 10 years since the premiere of the original film with both a scientific and political perspective.