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

agosewis, December 4, 2008

“Many people today still assume-mistakenly- that the Earth is so big that we human beings cannot possibly have any major impact on the way our planet’s ecological situation” (Gore pg. 22).
Whether you’re democrat or republican, all citizens should be concerned with the critical global problems that are facing our world today. Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States, portrays this thought within the first few pages of his novel, An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of global warming and what we can do about it, a novel which outlines the pressing topic of global warming. Although I was hesitant to read this novel assuming that I would be overwhelmed with political facts and a strong democratic view on the issues, I was pleasantly surprised to find a non-biased, informative take on global warming. Gore shares his opinion that global warming is an extremely dangerous, human-caused problem, stating that “unless we act boldly and quickly to deal with the underlying causes of global warming, our world will undergo a string of terrible catastrophes” (Gore introduction).
In the introduction, Gore states the general problems of global warming and the events that have led to the effects we are experiencing today. He discusses how the relationship between the Earth and the Sun is continuously changing due to the large amount of carbon dioxide that we are dumping into the Earth’s environment. The cutting and burning of forests is causing a loss of species, many of which are becoming extinct and will no longer exist of this continues. Evidence shows the North Polar ice cap and almost all of the glaciers around the world are melting, causing horrific rises in sea levels which could wipe out parts of many countries. Gore discusses how these problems are occurring all around the world and will affect everyone living on Earth in some way. Although we are all aware of these horrendous changes in our environment, essentially we are doing nothing to prevent this for becoming an even bigger problem.
The issues that Gore discusses include many of the topics that we discussed in class, such as the general theme of global warming, climate change, and the melting of ice caps and glaciers. He gives a general overview of what global warming is and the negative effects that we are starting to feel and see because of our actions. Gore then goes on to explain what greenhouse gases are and why we need them in the atmosphere, much like what we discussed in class. He goes on further to discuss the major contributors of methane which was a review to me as we had discussed this same topic. In one section of his book, Gore presents three pictures of Mount Kilimanjaro from 1970, 2000, and 2005. As the years go by, there is less and less snow and ice on the mountain, almost none in the picture from 2005. Although we hear about this and are presented with facts, it really makes an impact when you are able to see the physical changes in pictures. I also found the pictures of our own Glacier National Park to be extremely shocking and took me by surprise. Another aspect of global warming that Gore focuses on is weather patterns and the effect of global warming on ocean currents, much like we discussed in class. The consequences of melting ice near Greenland was also a topic that we discussed in class and something that Gore is very concerned with. He focuses numerous pages of the book on what our world will look like with more and more ice melting. Although we discussed this in class, the maps he presented really emphasized what a large problem global warming is as well as the mass amount of people around the world that will be affected by the rising water levels.
While reading this book I found myself continuously being surprised and taken back at the information I was reading. I was hit with an overwhelming amount of information which made me want to start living a better life right away, helping in any way I can. The facts he weaved into the book were shocking and made me want to read and understand more, especially about how I can help. The alarming facts about drinking water shortages that may become an issue in the near future along with the increase of intense heat waves made me realize that these problems are going to arise sooner than we think. I thought that Gore presented the information in a logical, informative way that captured my attention and made me want to spread the word about this pressing issue.
Gore does a terrific job of backing up his claims with much research, including a chart, graph, or illustration on almost every page. The pictures that he chooses are incredible; they capture images and situations that really opened up my eyes to problems that are occurring around the world. However, this book comes off as more of a fact book, giving off more statistics and facts rather than his personal opinions and thoughts. The way he presents the information allows the reader to form their own opinion and make their own claim based on the enormous amount of information he presents. Gore is a credible writer, giving information and facts from numerous sources and having much education and research done in this area. I had no doubts that he is extremely knowledgeable as well as passionate about this topic and genuinely cares for our earth. He presents this information in an informative manner, preaching the lesson and giving tips for a better future but never yelling or undermining the intelligence of society.
Overall, I felt that Al Gore wrote a solid analysis of the crucial problem that is facing our world today. He went into great detail about the consequences we will face if no action is taken, while also giving us insight on things we can do for a brighter future. Although I was a little overwhelmed with the large amount of facts and data given, I felt enlightened after reading this book and will definitely be more conscientious when making decisions that affect the environment and atmosphere from this day on.
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