‘An Inconvenient Sequel’ shows progress, offers hope

‘An Inconvenient Sequel’ shows progress, offers hope

By Cathy Orlando

On Friday, July 21, 2017 in Toronto, Ontario I attended a special screening of the new documentary, “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.” The event included an in-person Q&A with Vice President Al Gore, producer Jeff Skoll, founder and chairman of Participant Media, and Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna. The film, which opens in select theaters on July 28 and nationwide on August 4, is a follow-up to Gore’s 2006 documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth” (AIT).

The film

There is something for everyone in “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.” If you are alarmed about the climate crisis like me, you will probably learn new things; appreciate the magnitude of the developments we have made; and maybe even find solace in Mr. Gore’s ongoing struggle with hope and despair. If you are not alarmed about the climate crisis before watching this movie, you probably will be afterward. But unlike in 2006, I think you will feel hope too. al-gore-with-mathur-orlandpo-300x225

Frankly, AIT instilled intense fear and dread in me and motivated me to do more. However, that type of motivation only works on a minority of us. “An Inconvenient Sequel” includes 11 more years of irrefutable climate science and the consequences our obscene GHG emissions are causing. It also shows more of the hopeful solutions than AIT could in 2006, including the complicated and historic negotiations that brought us the Paris climate deal. Thus, it has much more power to change minds.

For me, this movie also did justice to the human tragedy of Super Typhoon Haiyan. I will never forget preparing for Canada’s first national conference in November 2013 with CCLer Doug Grandt. Both of us got the social media alert of Super Typhoon Haiyan at the same time. Together, we watched the newsfeed with my friend Delia from the Philippines, in shock as the typhoon bore down on her home country of the Philippines. To this day, thinking of that moment brings tears to my eyes.

CCL and this documentary series go back even further than the first Canadian conference. Citizens’ Climate Lobby USA and Canada would probably not exist if it were not for AIT. Our founder and president, Marshall Saunders, and I separately both watched it and became alarmed. We were both subsequently trained by Mr. Gore and his incredible team of experts at Climate Reality. Marshall and I met at a Climate Reality Summit in June 2010 in Nashville. Serendipity ruled when we were put in the same small group workshop at the training. Thinking I was an American, Marshall recruited me, and CCL Canada was born.

The Q&A

During the question and answer period after the film, Gore shared with us tidbits not in the movie that gave me hope. He reminded us that it took over two years from when Bernstein and Woodward broke the Watergate scandal to when President Nixon resigned.

Mr. Gore also expressed gratitude toward Canada. Jeff Skoll, the founder and president of Participant Media is Canadian. He is also pleased at the lead role Canada has taken in the climate fight globally and hopes we will do more. True to his southern charm and to the Canadian way, he is utterly polite about it all.

Children will also get something out of the film. Sophia, my daughter has been living and breathing climate activism since before she was born. Sophia communicated truth to the powerful Al Gore with one of her special drawings and messages. Her card said, “Thank you Mr. Gore for helping make my life convenient. Love, Sophia.” Mr. Gore was obviously touched by her drawing and message when she handed it to him.

Minister McKenna climate changeAlso, while at the event, Sophia made a pinky promise to protect the climate with Canada’s Environment and Climate Change Minister, the Honourable Catherine McKenna. We caught the moment and posted it on Twitter, and the Minister replied“Kids get it! Pinky promise to work together to tackle climate change and to get moms, dads and grandparents to do their part too!”

From this movie, Sophia and all children will learn that when we speak truth to power with love in our hearts, we are far more powerful than we can ever imagine.

Cathy Orlando has put her words to work for the climate by getting letters and opinion pieces published in newspapers in every province in Canada. When she’s not safeguarding the climate alongside the best volunteers on the planet, you can probably find her stargazing, dancing, reading books not about climate change, hanging out with her husband Sanjiv, and mothering her three cherished daughters.