Shorter Criticism of An Inconvenient Truth

If your goal was to change minds about global warming and save the world, you’d have served that purpose better by not wrapping your message in an infomercial about Al Gore Brand Heroism(tm). By mixing messages, you gave the people who most need to be convinced an out for dismissing the whole exercise. By finishing with the “You rabble change how you live while I jet around the globe saving you” flourish, all you did was piss me off. So – goal important enough to make movie, not important enough to keep it from being a vanity driven ego pumper.

Bad Al Gore. Bad Davis Guggenheim.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

16 thoughts on “Shorter Criticism of An Inconvenient Truth”

  1. julien says:

    hi dave, i’m not sure i agree. the way i see it, people cannot be sold on facts– or rather, they have known the facts the whole time this has been happening, without being sold. instead, i think people are sold on stories and personal experience and, despite Al Gore being a rich white dude, he sells the personal experience quite well. i think more people may connect to the film because of it.

  2. dave says:

    Julien, if facts don’t convince but bullshit production does, we are all doomed because the other side has all the bullshit machinery. I think nothing but hard nosed, emotionally neutral facts can possibly sell this. That doesn’t mean make it dry and boring. Nothing is more boring than watching Al Gore ride in cars editing powerpoint on his laptop – hard science would have been pulse-pounding by comparison. I’m on the same side of the fence and even I felt my spider sense tingling about how phoney the schmaltz felt.

    Honestly, if they wanted to save the world they should have crafted this thing to make it irresistible to conservatives. As it is, it plays like lefty wish-fulfillment in which progressives have all the answers and then people listen to them. You don’t convert people by preaching to the choir.

  3. PJ Cabrera says:

    I’m not entirely convinced it wasn’t a vanity driven ego pumper from the beginning.

  4. PJ Cabrera says:

    I guess my spider sense tingled long before yours did. I haven’t even watched the thing. I saw enough on the news when it came out, for my BS-o-meter to go off the scale.

  5. PJ Cabrera says:

    BTW, I don’t mean to say I don’t agree with some of the facts being spoused in the film. I mean that as a cynical choir member, the phoney schmaltz stunk so much, I didn’t feel like paying to be preached to and didn’t go see the film.

  6. Cameron Reilly says:

    Dave, I’m not actually sure what you aspects of the film you are criticizing. As a Non-American (TM), I found it extremely compelling. But then I went to see the film for the data not with any political perspectives.

    May I respectfully suggest that anyone who saw the film and came away from it with complains about Gore’s personal style might be determined to dislike the film on any grounds?

    Cameron Reilly
    CEO, The Podcast Network

  7. dave says:

    Cam, I already went on about this at length a few days earlier: Your premise is incorrect. I walked in expecting to like the movie and had never heard a bad word about it. I was frankly shocked at what a heavy handed and bullshit laden exercise it was. I think all the melodrama subtracted value from the film. If you got the data, present it. When it did that, I liked it. When it was all about Gore and his struggle and his farm and blah blah blah, it lost me. Worst of all, it is a film that apparently is trying to convince people of something, but plays only to the choir. So it claims to want to persuade but is engineered to play directly to people that already believe the premise and turn off the people who most need to be persuaded.

  8. M says:

    PJ, if you haven’t seen the film, your opinion means nothing.

  9. Dale says:

    It’s amazing the excuses people create to deny the facts, the photos, the stats, the evidence. Just go outside, isn’t the world is warmer? lots of people are so focused on their dislike for the man they hardly know and miss the important message. When the sh#t really hits the fan no amount of charisma or charm or cool factor will save us. Listen to the Message!

    Oil, Money, Power.. means nothing when you can’t breathe.

  10. dave says:

    Dale, 2 points.

    1 – As a drive-by and someone with poor reading comprehension and/or a short attention span, you didn’t notice I’m not disputing the fact of global climate change. I think that the movie was a poor steward of that truth, and that it’s underlying message was “You rabble can’t really do anything, what you need is a Big Man looking concerned out limousine windows to fix this.”

    2 – If you don’t know the difference between weather and climate, you have no business lecturing anyone about the subject.

  11. alvin says:

    i don’t think so if you are thinking well. i guess al gore is true and all he was saying in the movie are facts.if you don’t believe to him then try to impede your criticisms and flourish your minds that global warming is really alarming.if you are not sentient then you will be living into a citizen who is aware of it, im gonna save the world even on my own ways and ceaselessly find solutions to this turmoil.

  12. alvin says:

    why not help the entire people in the world in finding best solutions on how to impede this.let us be united.i guess you think critically and i believe you would be convinced to al gore about his movie someday.i hope youre gonna find ways also by your own.are you not afraid of the possible effects of this global warmming?

  13. Hairuza says:

    Five words, anybody? “The Great Global Warming Swindle.” Like in most documentaries, Al Gore has cut and pasted his data so that it fits what he wants it to say. Extend his timelines and consider natural climate patterns and he really does not have much of a fact base.

  14. Amanda says:

    I do not think Al Gore used this as an ego boost. His story about the farm and his sister (I think it was his sister) was just a way for him to relate to some of the audience, to those people who have lost someone to lung cancer, and to relate it to the main message. Showing how hard he had worked on the documentary, it may be possible that he is trying to show us how important it was to him, that the film was made so that the issue would become important to us.
    The Great Global Warming Swindle is a great documentary, the facts make much more sense. I’m still on the fence about this one though.

  15. sai says:

    there is no fence, you can’t be ‘on the fence’ with this, you are either concerned about the way we live as a species or not. Simple.

    the fact that we need such a polarized documentary stating the ‘facts’ about global warming just illustrates one key factor. This indicates that a global majority is clueless or at least undereducated in terms of what is actually going on globally and therefore what that means to them individually. We need this kind of slick product to reassure us that somebody somewhere knows exactly what is going on and what is going to happen. we are looking for the face value information that reassures us.

    Gore’s presentation is a well put together, (sometimes poorly researched) slightly self-indulgent slideshow suggesting that perhaps the way we live today should be changed.

    draw your own conclusions.

  16. dave says:

    That gets to be the last word on this subject. With that I’m closing comments on this post.

Comments are closed.