Campus / News / November 1, 2017

Knox reactions to Al Gore’s film mixed

Students prepare for live-streamed Q&A with former Vice President Al Gore at the screening of Gore’s film “An Inconvienent Sequel” in the CFA Round Room on Oct. 26. (Rafael Cho/TKS)

For sophomore Mikaela Bonnici the screening last Thurssday was the second time she’s seen “An Inconvenient Sequel.”

“Both times I was struck by how much of a difference one decade makes. How much that impacts the gravity of a storm or of an earthquake,” she said.

Bonnici mentioned a scene in the film where Al Gore was criticized for presenting a computer simulation showing the Ground Zero site being susceptible to flooding due to its location in Manhattan. In October 2012 Gore’s simulation was validated when the former site of the World Trade Center was flooded as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

“It was controversial then. Now it has become reality,” Bonnici said.

The screening took place directly after a livestreamed Q&A with Al Gore which featured questions selected by the schools participating in the nation-wide event.

The film, released this past summer, is a follow-up to Gore’s 2006 Academy Award winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”. “An Inconvenient Sequel” traces Gore’s involvement in environmentalism from his days studying under oceanographer Roger Revelle at Harvard University to working on the Paris Climate Agreements in November and December 2015.

The film was also re-edited this past June to discuss President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.

The screening, sponsored by the Office of Sustainability, Environmental Studies department and Seymour Library was held in the Round Room of the CFA.

Director of the Office of Sustainability Debbie Steinberg decided to screen the film as a way for students to learn about climate change and how they can help the situation.

Not everyone found “An Inconvienent Sequel” as meaningful as Bonnici found it.

“The film was very focused on Gore and seemed like a publicity stunt for him at times,” senior Lily Sronkoski said. “… I also really didn’t like that they made India the villain. It was this weird juxtaposition of developing world versus the developed in the race against climate change.”

Sronkoski did however like the film’s powerful imagery and its focus on the Paris Accords.

Sronkoski, whose question was selected by Knox, did not have her question asked during the Q&A with the former Vice President. Sronkoski’s question was on the possibility of high speed railways in the future.

“I was a little disappointed, of course. I think that many of the questions answered … were very vague and kind of predictable,” Sronkoski said.

Bonnici’s opinions of the Q&A were more positive. She commented that she liked how Gore saw the importance of balancing the environment and the economy.

“You have to look at the whole picture, how the economy works with the environment, not at a single perspective,” Bonnici said.

Gore also commented on the current political leadership.

“The Trump Administration surrounded themselves with carbon polluters,” Gore said in response to a question.

In the film, Gore ends up putting his faith in the many states, municipalities and corporations that chose to uphold the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Sam Klingher

Tags:  Al Gore climate change documentary Donald Trump environmental protection movie natural disasters sustainability

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