492 of 656 people found the following review helpful
On page 68 Al Gore writes...'I was handed not just a second chance, but an obligation to pay attention to what matters'. Now this is a chapter where he speaks briefly but so well about the horrid accident in April '89 when his young son was nearly killed by a speeding car. But its a phrase or quote that I think can apply to all of us in some way, and even more so when it comes to the opportunities we have to make this a better world environmentally.
He continues 'I tell this story because it was a turning point that changed me in ways I couldn't have imagined' .... ' I also reevaluated the nature of my public service. I questioned what it really means to 'serve'...' How refreshing to read this from a politician since I often wonder how many of our elected officials even think of the term 'serve' when they run or get elected to public office. The late Senator Paul Wellstone comes to mind, as well as Al Gore and even Bill Clinton but few others.
The book itself is one that simply cause the reader to pause and read and view slowly. On page 158 Chapter : 'Across the Wilderness Losing something is one thing forgetting what you've lost is something else again', is so true and something my eighty seven year old wild mountain woman friend Margaret commented on as we were driving home from weekly appointments here in the Sierras. How many people even stop to listen much less ask their sage elders what the area was like fifty, eighty years ago? Perhaps if we did we wouldn't allow the mess we see before us happening. Its one reason I am active locally in fighting to keep 'big box' stores out of the area.
The photographs from NASA etc are stunning as well as frightening when one looks at photos taken overhead a decade or two ago and what areas look like today. Along with projected images of what major areas like San Francisco bay area, New York City will look like if ice melts continue as they are now. Or don't people care that millions of citizens will be in the same mess that New Orleans was in the fall of 2005 and is in now?
On page 244-245 there is an astonishing photo from the Aral Sea in Kazakhstan in 1990 where fishing boats sit on what is now a dry desert, simply because the then Soviet Union diverted water from two mighty rivers in central Asia. As Mark Twain said and is quoted 'Denial aint just a river in Egypt'.
On page 270-271 the author shows that we can have a healthy sane capitalist society as well as sane workable healthy environment. If people wake up and stop believing those who either have a chicken little mentality or as ex Secretary of the Interior in the Reagan administration believed a messiah is coming back so lets us everything up attitude.
As the author asks on page 290... 'Ultimately, the question comes down to this: Are we, as Americans, capable of doing great things, even though they might be difficult? Are we capable of transcending our own limitations and rising to take responsibility for charting our own destiny? Well, the record indicates that we have this capacity. We fought a revolution and brought forth a new nation ..... We made a moral decision that slavery was wrong... We recognized that women should have the right to vote ... We won two world wars against fascism... We cured fearsome diseases like polio and smallpox, We took the moral challenge of desegregation.... We landed on the moon.
So this is a very, very hopeful book and one that Al Gore should be praised for writing. Am now looking forward to the movie. Now if some who read this book will then take the next step and run for local office and use the motto 'Think global but act local'............
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2006
Global warming is, and will certainly continue to be, by far the most pressing environmental issue for the next hundred years. Al Gore's book spells out all the major issues marvelously. As a high school science teacher I'm considering making sections of it mandatory for my environmental science students. It's science fact that no one should miss.
Some of the biggest problems people have when confronting this book is not their disbelief in global warming. Virtually every credible scientist in the world has by this point accepted not only the fact that the Earth is warming, but that it is doing so because of excessive greenhouse gas emissions. The remaining dissenters in the scientific community are almost invariably linked to big oil companies (e.g. Exxon Mobile hires some morally bankrupt scientists to point out the "inconsistency of data" or some minor point that scientists disagree on as proof that global warming is not occuring. Then the scientist publishes a paper, refuses to allow it to be peer reviewed by other scientists, and Exxon lives to fight another day.) Even the critics of the warming theory who are not scientists (like the organization which made the cartoon spoof of Gore's movie under the pretense of being some college kid, but actually had ties to several petroleum companies) have no real scientific basis. So no, MOST people's problem is not with the theory, but with the man who wrote the book: Al Gore. To those people, maybe I can offer some help. As a moderate republican I can feel your pain, but consider these points before blasting the book:
- Try to separate Al Gore the politician with Al Gore the writer. You may not agree with the democratic party's platform on immigration or the war in Iraq, but this has nothing to do with that. Focus on the issue at hand.
- If you can't get beyond the whole "I invented the internet" thing, maybe this is consolation: Gore's book is not original research. He is not really a scientist, so you needn't worry that he doesn't know what he's doing. Think of him more as a reporter who is using his celebrity to tell the world what the VAST majority of scientists are saying about global warming.
- And finally, if you still hate Gore and think global warming is complete liberal hippy propaganda, at least by reading the book you have something to critique!
So whatever your opinion, you really do owe it to yourself to inform yourself with at least a rudimentary knowledge of the current warming trend, which will wreck havoc on the Earth if not checked. And Gore's book is a great way to do so.
39 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2006
However you feel about Al Gore, you have to credit him for truly showing his love for our one and only lovely, God-given planet earth.
And tempering that love with a clear, easy to understand and accurate survey of all the clear reasons that the planet is getting hotter, and even more, inspiring us with hope that we can still do something about it if we act now.
I wish this book was in the hands of every politician and every school teacher, and indeed everyone who runs a big oil company or auto company and wants to help our country and the world to change direction.
38 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2006
Re: "The bottom line is this: if mankind cannot fix global warming, then how in the heck can they [sic] be blamed for causing it? Gore is an idiot."
Try this experiment, Mr. "FlyWooky": Go to your local museum. Pick up a priceless ancient Chinese vase and let it drop to the floor, smashing into a thousand tiny shards in one second. Now attempt to put it back together before the security guard appears from around the corner and calls the police. Most things are much easier to break than to fix, and you'll be blamed, all right. Consider that after MEN shot and killed Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, and John Kennedy, all the king's horses and all the king's men could not magically restore these leaders to life. That's rather why murder is a serious infraction--and it's not just illegal; it's also unethical.
Everyday in the United States millions of automobiles are belching out millions of tons of noxious gasses, including lead, which causes brain damage (and may thus account for your remark), carbon monoxide, which is deadly, and carbon dioxide, which was formerly thought to be fairly innocuous. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell us that this is likely eventually to have a considerable impact on the environment and that that impact is not likely to be a favorable one. It MAY take a rocket scientist to tell us precisely what that impact is or will be, but that would not absolve us of ethical responsibility for creating the damage. Massive implementation of a new technology will necessarily have consequences, some of them perhaps obvious, some of them not nearly so obvious, insidious, and it is critical that we consider these consequences as best we can.
Re: "I bought this book hoping to read about the real, scientific causes [sic] of global warming; namely sunspot activity."
You might as well have said, "I bought this book hoping to read about the real, scientific cause of global warming; namely, tooth-fairy activity." In any case, you knew darn well that Al Gore (in accordance with virtually all climate scientists) attributes global warming primarily to humans and not to "sunspots". Since you're obviously lying about this, it's a fair bet you're also lying about having bought and read the book at all.
35 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2006
This book is an extremely enlightening and informative book that I would recommend to anyone who is concerned with the health of our environment and anyone who cares not only to learn the information Al Gore addresses in both his book and his movie concerning the Global Warming Crisis,but also cares to put into practice the information included on what we can do and how we can help reverse this damage. This book is not a book that would be good for people who only care to read it but then forget about it, and people who aftering reading it would only go and make comments such as "oh that's to bad, but there is nothing we can do about it" or "it doesn't effect my life right now, so why should I care?" It is not to late, we can save this planet from irreversible damage, but we must wake up and start taking action. And start caring about others lives and future generations instead of only our own. I have now purchased 40 books of An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore to just give away to people; I feel like it is that well written and important, and I will continue to purchase more and give away to people for free, unless and until Gore tells me to stop. I feel like Al Gore did a very good job of explaining the scientific facts of what is happening to this planet as well as how people can help reverse this damage and I will continue to support him in whatever ways I can. I understand his passion not only for the environment, but also his desire to be able to share this information and help people as well, and the reason for this book and his film is because he cares both for the environment as well as for the people who live on this earth and I understand that his passion and concern/care for the environment/people is real. Why don't we start facing reality that global warming does exist, and start helping him accomplish his dream of a more environmentally friendly America/world/planet.Spread the word, then take action. Even if you do not agree with him in the political realm-it is not a poltical issue that we are faced with, but a moral and ethical responsibility/choice.
38 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2006
The book is a quick read and gets the over all view of what climate change is and what it is doing to the planet. I find those who are trashing this book with politcal comments show how pathetic their view of the world is. Some of those "reviews" quote "scientists" whose main source of funding is Exxon Mobil (Carter in Australia, McKitick in Canada etc) I guess those who tried to sell us that cigarettes as healthy had to find work after the truth won out over the tobacco companies lobbying efforts. But to put every one on the planet at risk for 40 pieces of silver is beyond greed and self interest. The scientists who are not paid by oil companies are saying the people of the planet needs to act now. Understand that the problem is getting worse and the longer action is delayed the worse the problems will be. Please read the book or see the movie and make up your own mind.
26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2007
Like many Americans who were disappointed when Al Gore's bid for president were unsuccessful, this loss didn't fall by the wayside. He is using his presence and power to bring awareness to a very important cause - global warming. I am relieved to know someone of Mr. Gore's stature, is out there is continuing to remind us of the "inconvenient truth", yes it is inconvenient and better to deny the real scary truth, yes it is inconvenient to get a car with better emission output, yes it is inconvenient to tell the cashier "no need to bag that juice" so that bag doesn't become another piece of garbage that contributes to the greenhouse gases. Can't we designate one day, where we can use our own book bags, tote bags instead of the paper or plastic bags at the grocers? This can make such a difference if each of us can pinch in somehow. How about designating a day, where we are encouraged to walk or bike or take mass transit to work? It may not be possible for some, so how about rearranging your schedule and carpool? Yes it is inconvenient for most of us Americans to take our part. Gore breaks it down for all of us non-meteorologist with the use of maps, full-color photos, lab data, graphs etc....so us laments can understand the severe crisis our planet is in. Remember the chaos in New Orleans? It can happen again to the next coastal city, so New York City, Atlantic City, Miami, Washington D.C. Myrtle Beach, Savannah, Charleston, Jacksonville, Boston, Portland-Maine, don't say Gore didn't tell you so. I'd admit this book instills fear as the facts were quite disturbing. I am saddened to think that in 50 years my children will not enjoy our earth's luster and beauty, instead they might be dodging looters, bizarre weather catastrophes, soaring hot temperatures and eventual doom. I came away from this book wanting to know more. I can relate to Gore as he is like many of us, non-scientists. I describe him as a messenger, and he acknowledges those dozens of scientists that helped him understand this crisis. There are skeptics to Gore's facts, it is important that we evaluate our human behaviors. Our beautiful planet earth doesn't have the resources to accommodate our abuse. This is a MUST read if anyone cares for our children. Every classroom or at least every school should buy this book.
32 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2006
Mr. Gore presents the critical issue of global warming in a compelling and easily understood form. I am not a scientist, but I had been trying to educate myself on this topic. It probably took me 900 pages of tough reading to gain the knowledge that Mr. Gore presents in a very accesible form. The book is loaded with images and easily intepreted charts that, together with Mr. Gore's deeply personal narration, hold the reader's attention. Reading 'An Inconvenient Truth' is a great way to develop an understanding of the great issue of our time. Our actions in response to global warming will determine not only the quality of our children's lives, but whether they will have lives, full lives, at all. Mr. Gore possesses that rarest of things - a Jeffersonian sense of civic duty. In this we are truly fortunate because that sense of civic duty has given the Republic a great teacher.
43 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2006
Trying to debunk Al Gore's book is like trying to prove the earth is only 6,000 years old. Even if you don't believe what over 99% of scientists agree on, namely, we are causing global warming, there is no reason to post smears and lies about Al Gore.
Al Gore never said he invented the internet, that is a GOP lie. Al Gore does not have a political agenda for writing this book either. He's not crazy, he's not a loser and he's not a liar.
Everyone who reads this book can benefit financially if they follow Gore's suggestions. If all you do is replace the light bulbs in your home, it will save you the cost of this book in just a few months. I know compact florescent bulbs have been on the market for over 10 years. But Gore makes such a compelling reason for us all to start using them.
Personally, I am now researching home improvement companies that install rooftop solar panels and windmills. With the price of electricity going through the roof, I might as well use renewable clean energy to bring electricity back down through my roof and save money too.
Most people don't realize you can get a direct tax deduction of up to $2000 (10% of purchase price) this year if you spend $20,000 on home improvements that help you to save on energy costs for your home. Many states require their electric companies to buy back your surplus electricity. How odd it would be to see those little dials on the electric meter turning backwards!
Thanks Al Gore! Because of you, I am doing my part to help save the environment, to put big polluting fossil fuel companies out of business, but more importantly for me, to get a one time $2000 tax deduction and a permanent lowering of my electric bill!
Got that all of you uncivil kool-aid drinking ranters? Help yourself first! You can relate to that, can't you? Save money on your electric bill and get a tax deduction for saving money on your electric bill. Now do you still disagree with Al Gore simply because he is Al Gore???
41 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2006
A very good environmental book. This book contains essential information about the environment in a non political non biast way. A highly recommended book if you live on Earth.