First off, I just have to say it, Anakin Skywalker is Darth Vader. I just had to get that off my chest. Since, I fear that there may well be a connection between the two films. Since, well there is this Political Side of the Film, given that Al Gore has moved on from the 2000 campaign, even if there is a Draft Gore Portal hoping that this single issue film can move that issue forward.
I of course always worry about who will become our Senator Palpatine as a part of the run up to final transition from a Republic, to the really cooler Empire, that will strike back, and some how protect us from all of the bad things that happened because there had been clones, or liberals, or what ever it was that had to be stopped to make the world safer.
I went to see the film with my dear friend, and former housemate, madmerle up in Palo Alto, CA the weekend that she was down for an Agility Dog Trial. The choices were this or the very popular "Da Vinci Code" or maybe "Cars". We opted for this, as it would be short, and it might actually be worth the money as more than merely 'light entertainment' and 'distractions'.
She of course wants me to do a write up of the movie; especially given that I had ranted on The Xman film. I of course have very mixed emotions about this issue. So I want to write the more traditional 'drieuxish' rant here, while at the very same time I see some Ugly Issues in the over all process that do not lend themselves to the simple "Rip And Rant" approach.
What can I say, there is really nothing all that new in the film. The basic scientific data has been out there. It like so many of the other problems with making a mess, that someone will have to clean up, sometime, later, when there is someone else we can blame.... So there really is not that much one can say about the film content itself.
EdNote: There is a lovely web site climatecrisis that is the backbone of the film, for those who want to see more of the slide show before deciding if they want to see the rest of the Movie at the local art house.There is that unpleasant reality check in the middle of the film that runs like the Doonsebury "Mr. Controversial" where we get to go around the ugliness that while the Scientific Community is sold on the Science, there is this effort to be 'fair and balanced' in the rest of the non-scientific journals about the fundamental problem.I must start by thanking tristian at digby for Gore's Moral Imperative that saves me from doing the leg work for some of the URI's, as well as a democratic take on the film.I can now focus my concerns on the slightly larger picture.
It is in this space that there is the comical side of the problem, where we can all rip on the fact that this film of course is only going to be fun for the sort of Evil Doing Evil Doers who believe that there is anything that we can learn from science. You know, the sort of people who can not stand there and proudly support the greatest military leader, EVER!!! for the totally glorious victories over the Iranian Flying Saucers; which as we all know, attacked america on 09/11/2001.
But after one has done that basic rif, where can one really go? There is only so much blind spewing of mere Partisan Political Rhetorical Devices before one runs out of sheer non-sense to woof up.
The unpleasant part of the process here is that there are several major global issues that need to be addressed! The challenge before americans is working out if they really wish to deal with those issues! Or would they prefer to be the Global Tin Foil And Spam On The Head Brigade trying to sell the rest of the world that we are like so winning in the War Against Iraian Flying Saucers!
There are two other books that are in the mix here that I would like to recommend as a part of the context of this review. There is Richard Duncan's The Dollar Crisis: Causes Consequences Cures and the new netroot book Crashing The Gates.
The former is also about a serious problem that has been building up over the last 30 years, and that is the economic dislocation that the american dollar policy, or apparent lack of one, has dragged the rest of the planet through. The unpleasantry about the netroots is that it has done an unpleasant job of sorting out why I have always had issues with the Democratic Party qua Party. So while I am looking at the choices, there are going to be some hard choices that folks are going to have to deal with here.
Some might ask, given that I have smacked at the so called "war on terrorism", why this is not in the mix of issues. For the very simple reason - when I live on a planet where the Industrial Labor Units in the developing world are living in a reality where they are making a mere $4 a day, and worrying about their jobs being exported across the border to the country where they will do it for $2 a day. The ability to come up with some ideological posturing that will get folks to go off and "die for the ideal" is really not that complex a notion to work out.
Most of the folks being smacked around by things like Operation Yellow Elephant are very clear that they really wanted to be more than merely members of the Fighting 101st Keyboardists, but well Jesus Just Never Told Them to give up their american paying jobs to go out and try to follow their rhetorical devices into action at the pay scale that is being offered to actual american combat troops. At which point we might well want to address the core issues first, and accept the reality that the Second Attack on The world trade center was a reminder of things that had been left undone during the glory days of the dot.bomb era.
As such we are looking at the usual unpleasant space of which will go down before the other. The false dichotomy of "economics or environment" is precisely the big ticket issue that is on the plate here and must be first called out as just that; A FALSE DICHOTOMY! The current running joke about the Ozone and the Acid Rain problems no longer being the hot button issues that they had been. The NeoCon Echo chamber would like to believe that this is because they had never really been issues, and hence, that there is no reason to deal with any of the other Ecological Issues. But! These are former ecoIssuse precisely BECAUSE there were global agreements, and global commitment to move forward on the issues in ways that would not simply end the Global Economy.
The challenge now is which will come first, the unpleasant down side of the Global Warming Problem, precisely because americans decided to avoid the core issues, and wanted to keep on acting their big blustering part! Or will the world finally call in the American Markers and accept that losing the American Economy was a price that had to be paid to prevent 5% of the plant from spending 50% of the global costs for Military Gear, and that with BORROWED MONEY from everyone else around them!!!
The alternative here is that the american dollar crisis arrives first. In which case, there is the chance that while the economy reconstructs itself in a way that will no longer allow the americans to export merely dollar denominated debt, they may also find a way to work and play well with the rest of the planet.
Just as one can not run structural fiscal debts for ever, without a consequence, one can not keep dumping in the tonnes and tonnes of carbon we have been adding to the atmosphere. The apparent up side at this point seems to be that while the former american Big Three Auto Makers are not sure that they will be able to export cars into foreign countries, and most of them have emissions standards at least as tight as the state of California. There is that small problem with getting General Motors to actually come up with the Weapons Programme that will be able to FORCE other nations to buy the trash cars that only a minority of americans seem to want to own.
The challenges are there.
Americans may want to work out IF they want to become a part of the solution. Or do they just keep hoping that majikally they will be majikally protected by the NannyState. Gosh, the same nanny state that gave them the FEMA of Hurricaine Katrina. The tragedy is that this really is NOT a simplistic Us v. Them game with the Cheese Eating Fans of the TreeHugggerInChief on one side, opposed to the Fiscal Conservative Policies of the Failed Liberal Democrats, instead, this is a Global Problem that will not majikally wave it's wand and excuse those who do not like Science, and find that adding and subtracting are mentally taxing issues, that gosh, need a Tax Cut!
What remains is for americans to work out what do they really want to do to fix the problems. We were once a Can Do Nation - have we so abandoned that, to become the manifestation of "Victimization Culture" where it is everyone else's fault...
That this film is stuck in the Art House Circuit worries me. This leaves it vulnerable to all of the whining by the NeoConCrowd that this is just more of the sort of Neo-Liberalism that they have come to loath in their TreeHuggerInChief. If we can move it out of the Art House Circuit and into the living rooms of Actual Middle Americans, there is the great chance that the Great Heart of the Heartland of America will start Beating Again!!!! They will see how the NeoConClownCarCrew has played as fast and as loose with this issue as they did about the whole WMD gambit!!! From there we can look to making a consensus bridge between the traditional leftists, who will be conservatives in their season, when they wake up to the sound of that NOISE their children are trying to call 'music'. While on the other side of that line are those who would like to be more liberal, but they have families, and jobs, and rarely have the time to be some trendy Sierra Club, Prius Driving, Granola Crunchy Conservative.
Why who knows, as we move into that part of the process where there is a positive approach to a sustainable ecology, who knows, folks might even become bold and brave enough to think in terms of a simple and sustainable global economy! That scary moment where we have to deal with the reality that the Middle Class Culture will be the big broad swath of the people! For good or for 'TV wasteland'.
I would like to put up one safety precaution that MUST be noted. It is NOT a safe trip to come home from watching An Inconvenient Truth and hope that one can mellow out into Good Night, and Good Luck. as it simply underscores the fact that sometimes one must do what is Right, because it is Right.