Ross Clark Ross Clark

Hostile climate

You must swallow whole the apocalyptic vision he presents – or else

The subtitle of Al Gore’s new film is ‘Truth to Power’, which is supposed to give the impression of brave old Al fighting for right against the mighty fossil fuel establishment. But it is somewhat ironic, given his response when the power being challenged is Gore himself. The former vice president was in London last week to promote his new film and I, along with the world’s press, was invited to a private screening before being allotted an entire eight minutes talking with the great man.

An Inconvenient Sequel is an odd film. Billed as a film about global warming, it is really about Gore himself. It starts with him plodding around on a glacier in Greenland, but much of its running time is devoted to scenes which really have nothing to do with the subject — other, perhaps, than that they depict a lifestyle somewhat at odds with a man preaching the need to cut carbon emissions. Gore is seen driving a large Jeep to visit his childhood home, and jetting off around the world. As for the scenes of his failed presidential campaign in 2000 and the Bataclan massacre in Paris in 2015, I fail to see what they have to do with climate change.

But one scene catches my eye and makes me want to look into the subject more deeply. The film cuts from Gore on his melting glacier to a flooded street in Miami Beach, with a voiceover from Gore making a strong connection between the two — the melt-water from Greenland is already spilling over the streets of US cities. An elderly Miami resident is seen telling Gore that the streets never used to flood when he was young. The implication is that sea-level rise is happening frighteningly quickly — and it is all down to carbon emissions, if not nature’s revenge for all those hanging chads which denied him victory in Florida and therefore the 2000 presidential election.

It caught my eye because it reminded me of an issue of accuracy which Gore encountered with his first film, An Inconvenient Truth, in 2006.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in