Movie and Discussion: “An Inconvenient Truth”
How much did you know about Climate Change before the movie? Have you seen or heard about this movie before?
2. The Basic Science of Global Warming: “The Greenhouse Effect”
Early in the movie, Al Gore discusses the Basic Science of Global Warming. The concept he discusses is known as “The Greenhouse Effect” and is the most important concept to understand in the science of Climate Change. Listen closely and play this part a few times if needed. The better you can understand this concept now, the easier the rest of the class will be.
Provide a detailed description of this concept as if you were explaining it to a friend. Include in your description the following:
- Solar Radiation (sunlight) is high energy short wavelength radiation that passes through the greenhouse gases and atmosphere and heats up the surface of the earth.
- A warmed earth then emits lower energy long wavelength Infrared Radiation (IR, heat, or heat energy).
- Greenhouse Gases absorb and re-emit this Infrared Radiation thereby trapping the heat and warming the atmosphere.
A key point to understand is that the “Greenhouse Effect” is important and necessary for life on earth. It makes it warm enough so we do not have a “Snowball Earth”, which makes it possible for humans to survive. It is the “enhanced” anthropogenic (influenced by human activity) greenhouse effect which is the cause of the current warming of the planet that is of concern.
This video may also be helpful:NASA Greenhouse gas video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SN5-DnOHQmE)
3. Climate Change Concepts
There are many other important science-based Climate Change concepts throughout the movie. List 10 Climate Change concepts (or topics) that you find interesting from the movie and provide a sentence or two description for each.
The goal here is to get familiar with the different concepts and start understanding the overall picture of Climate Change. You will soon be learning more details about each of these concepts in class. (Examples include: Keeling Curve, tipping points, arctic amplification, climate refugee…etc.). There are many possible concepts from the movie and different people will find different concepts. It will be interesting to see what others find when you read the Discussion Board!
4. Three of the Most Common Climate Denier Myths
Explain how Al Gore refutes each of the common climate denier myths below.
- Myth #1: “Scientists don’t agree”. In your response, provide a comparison between science articles and news articles. Watch this short video clip from the TV show, Last Week with John Oliver, to help you discuss this myth.
- Myth #2: “Doing something would ruin our economy”. Provide a discussion of the automobile industry example as discussed in the movie. Include a discussion of what can happen if we don’t make the changes or how it relates to something you have recently seen in the automobile industry.
- Myth #3: “Despair is our only possible reaction”. List three social or scientific advancements discussed in the movie where humans have been able to overcome societal norms to “create extraordinary advancements previously thought to be impossible”. Keep these things in mind throughout the class, and we will focus more on specific solutions for climate change by the end of the term.
5. Review of “An Inconvenient Truth”
Provide a personal summary of the movie. Discuss in your summary three of the most interesting topics from the movie. Finish with your biggest question about Climate Change or what would you like to learn the most about after watching the movie? (minimum 100 – 200 words total review)