Yesterday, in another round of “doing the exact thing you absolutely shouldn’t do in 2017,” Donald Trump signed an executive order aiming to roll back the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan and reinvigorate the coal industry. Around the same time he was doing so, a conveniently-timed trailer for Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth or Power was released. As you might expect, the trailer very much frames the film around the new imposition of the Trump administration on the global fight against climate change.
Documentary sequels aren’t the most common thing, but when you have a subject that people refuse to acknowledge until the world around them is melting, you apparently end up with a bounty of material! The trailer kicks off at a Trump rally wherein the soon-to-be-President complained about how cold it was outside, and the destructive stupidity of him using this observation as a means of denying the entire existence of climate change to his doting fan base. It then backtracks to some of the climate-oriented cataclysms experienced throughout the world since his original film was released in 2006, focusing on how ignoring climate change is not only environmentally catastrophic, but also woefully inhumane.
Gore is an interesting spokesperson for the issue — as in 2006, he represents some of the lost potential for American progress thanks to the country’s electoral college, as we find ourselves at the beginning of yet another regressive presidency (and one that’s far worse on the environment than George W. Bush, who was bad enough) that wasn’t won by a majority popular vote. (Not since 1989, with George Bush Sr., has a Republican President come into office through the popular vote; the sole popular win for the Party was the reelection of W. in 2004.) Between Bush Jr. and Trump, there was of course Barack Obama, and the movie looks at the potential for progress exhibited during his time in office, before returning to the fact that that progress is now under direct attack. (And while Obama’s climate record was far from perfect, due to both egregious obstructionism from the Right and the President’s own efforts at bipartisan appeasement, it at least signaled progress.)
As excessive crony capitalism continues to wreak havoc on the globe, we can at least find hope — and hopefully a reminder to get active — in the notion that the majority of voters actually didn’t Trump or his manipulative promise of “jobs” at the cost of essentially advocating global catastrophe (like, you know, the mere 35 permanent jobs that’ll be created by his recent signoff on the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.) So, anyway, at this bleak time, if you’re feeling too content, watch this trailer — and make some calls to your representatives opposing Trump’s environmental policies, and begin organizing for the two big climate marches (the People’s Climate March on April 29 and the March for Science on April 22).
The doc, directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, will be released July 28.