Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Book Review for An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It by Al Gore

Published in 2006, An Inconvenient Truth was written by Al Gore. The book is a slightly condensed version of Gore’s well known Powerpoint presentation. He teaches the reader about all the mishaps going on in the environmental world today, and also that not all is lost. Gore gives the reader hope for the future (if we act now) and gives the reader ideas which they can then put forth and make a change at a local to national or even international level. With the book’s setup of lots of pictures and short little blurbs makes it a very easy read for any level reader. The photos are what first grab your attention then the unbelievable but very true facts keep you snagged until the very end of the book.

To describe Al Gore, he is a very respectable man and is known by most of the population in North America. An article from the Washington Post dated October 3, 1999 tells us that "people looking at Vice President Gore today see a product of the American upper crust: a presidential contender born in Washington, reared in the top-floor suite of a hotel along Embassy Row, his father a senator, his mother trained in law, the high-achieving parents grooming him for political success at the finest private schools in the East" (Maraniss). This may make the man seem snooty or stuck-up, but he is quite the opposite of that. Al Gore has experience as a soldier, a congressman, a senator, a TV executive, a teacher, an author, and most notably the Vice President of the United States of America (Al). Despite his high-class upbringing, Gore has always dedicated himself to his passion for environmental awareness. The devotion Gore has demonstrated towards the environment proved itself when he was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 and was presented with an Academy Award for the film An Inconvenient Truth in February of 2007 (Pyke). These days, Al Gore’s Climate Project has joined forces with the David Suzuki Foundation to come up with Climate Project Canada. The two organizations are keeping separate, but are sharing ideas. CEO of the David Suzuki Foundation, Peter Robinson, said, “This is just the sort of partnership that makes each side stronger than it would be on its own” (Ali). Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Climate Project was created by Al Gore in 2006. It is a non for profit organization and their mission is to increase public awareness and action towards the climate crisis on Earth. Since its inception, the Project has trained more than 2500 volunteers worldwide to give local presentations on global warming. Gore is affecting change by lending a hand with his in-depth presentations, his books, his movie, and the Climate Project so the world can become more aware of what is really going on. The more people that are informed on the subject, the higher the chance is that they will then try to make a difference. Al Gore’s two websites teaching climate awareness, and, also help spread the word on global warming and what we can do to help.

Here is a video of a more recent presentation made by Al Gore. Click here. The video is called Al Gore warns on latest climate trends.

Moving on, An Inconvenient Truth is no typical read. It is not a book like a novel, but more like a teaching with pictures and graphs as aides. Very precisely, Al Gore gives solid evidence of global warming from out to sea to on land caused by humans. For example he says that a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study found that “major storms spinning in both the Atlantic and the Pacific since the 1970s have increased in duration and intensity by about 50 percent” (Gore 93). The author has the good habit of recording where he got his information from to prove he is a credible teacher of global warming. Gore’s points are easy to follow especially because all the visuals in the book back up his points with real data. Throughout An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore uses straight-to-the-point examples with genuine facts to support his position on the World’s climate crisis.

Although Gore explores many serious problems relevant to the state of the Earth's environment in his book, he ends things on a positive note giving tips on what we all "personally can do to help solve the climate crisis" (Gore 305). Tips such as “insulate your house” and “reduce standby power waste” mean “if you have your house properly insulated you will use less energy” and “unplug any appliances including televisions, computers, microwave ovens, radios, etc when they are not in use” respectively (Gore 307-309). An Inconvenient Truth is such a great book because it is not only something to read stuffed full of interesting and shocking facts, but it also a book that teaches you how to be more respectful towards the environment and how to reduce your own carbon footprint.

I suggest reading the book to anyone interested or anyone who has not yet read it because it is very informative on what is going on around the world today and will give you a view of the earth you had not seen before. Hopefully after reading this book, you will resolve to reduce your carbon emissions and be more environmentally friendly.