Al Gore’s Oscar-winning movie An Inconvenient Truth was a powerful wake-up call to millions. The film, along with increasingly frequent and undeniable manifestations of climate change, have created a new political reality in which real and substantial progress to reduce greenhouse gas emissions appears possible. Now Gore is delivering another essential message, this time in the May 20 New York Times Magazine: we are in danger of losing this extraordinary opportunity. According to the article by James Traub, “Gore’s great fear is that business lobbies and lawmakers will unite around some kind of compromise legislation that will demonstrate ‘commitment’ without actually driving up the cost, or driving down the permissible volume, of carbon emissions. And he views even the most stringent legislation as inadequate.”
Gore’s new book, meanwhile, is receiving intense (and often serious) media coverage. The Times’ Michiko Kakutani, possibly the toughest book reviewer in the business, heaped praise on The Assault on Reason, in her May 22 review:
‘The Assault on Reason’ … is as powerful in making its points about the implications of this administration’s policies as the author’s 2006 book, ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ was in making its points about the fallout of global warming. This volume moves beyond its criticisms of the Bush administration to diagnose the ailing condition of America as a participatory democracy – low voter turnout, rampant voter cynicism, an often ill-informed electorate, political campaigns dominated by 30-second television ads, and an increasingly conglomerate-controlled media landscape – and it does so not with the calculated, sound-bite-conscious tone of many political-platform-type books, but with the sort of wonky ardor that made both the book and movie versions of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ so bluntly effective.