Climate Reality’s screening of ‘An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power’ was followed by an in-depth panel discussion on August 16th.
Al Gore’s second acclaimed documentary on climate change prompted an evening that questioned theories of change, power, and what’s best for our planet today.

Engaging with politics and social movements can be overwhelming. From endless Facebook posts and rants to overheard conversations at the gym, places once used as a refuge to block out the weight of the world are no longer immune to the discussion. For many – including the whole POW UK team – the mountains have always been that comforting escape. But with the ever-growing climate crisis, it appears that now more than ever, our winters are threatened by climate politics even more than our social media timelines.

As a relative newbie not only to the Environmentalist scene but also to the general forum of ‘International Politics’, nothing could have helped me navigate my own thoughts on climate change better than watching ‘An Inconvenient Sequel: Bringing Truth To Power’ screened at Paramount Pictures’ HQ in London last week (in partnership with The Climate Reality Project).

Admittedly, a quick Google search before attending gave me some background on who Al Gore actually is. Serving as Vice President of the United States from 1993 – 2001 under President Bill Clinton, the man’s insight into real-life democracy goes without saying. But what really inspired me about Gore – whose mission to confront the climate crisis serves as the thread of the documentary-movie itself – is the way in which he so carefully, strongly and effectively uses his voice to inspire change. Even if you’re not an ex-Vice President, that’s something that any of us can do if we make that choice.

“If anything, ‘An Inconvenient Sequel’ highlights our own duty to Protect Our Winters now – simply by getting involved in the issue.”

The film comes as a sequel to ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, released back in 2006. Sprinkled with terrifying and emotional examples of the climate crisis in catastrophic action around the world, we followed Gore’s ambition – from his Tennessee ranch to Paris via India and beyond – in placing the environment at the top of any and all political agendas.

What effects me most about this issue is the complicated mechanisms and puppetry going on behind the scenes in nations around the world – and the multitude of vested interest that can block progress. At a political level, systems are always at play, but ‘An Inconvenient Sequel’ was clever enough to fairly acknowledge (almost) all of them while continuing to ask the simple question of what’s wrong and what’s right for our planet today.  

The film doesn’t come without criticism, however. An impressively engaged audience discussion followed the screening last week, within which one individual (a senior representative of IKEA UK, in case you’re wondering) felt disappointed by how the film slightly missed the individual perspective. Of course, it’s the nation states and global corporations that can really act to make an immediate impact – but that’s not to say that individual decisions aren’t as important as we continue to confront the climate crisis globally.

A brilliantly ambitious panel discussion was programmed to close last weeks event, within which the byline for the film: ‘Bringing Truth to Power’ was explored. This too proved problematic, with the panel chair questioning whether ‘taking truth to power’ really was the best theory of change – especially for those in low positions of power themselves.

Renewable energy sources and projects, the role of the media, international brand responsibility and more were topics of discussion to follow. But perhaps one of the most poignant – and hopeful – points to be raised was that of our own ability to transcend the climate crisis beyond a political conversation and into a social movement. The everyday person’s power to make informed choices, and eventually create a tipping point for this huge problem, does exist. If anything, ‘An Inconvenient Sequel’ highlights our own duty to Protect Our Winters now – simply by getting involved in the issue.

An easy way to that is by learning more about the politics of climate change – and one of the best things about this film is that you don’t need to have watched the first one. Give it a try. Then I challenge you not to start thinking about and wanting to make better everyday choices for the environment – at whatever level.

‘An Inconvenient Sequel: Bringing Truth To Power’ is in selected UK cinemas now.

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