Climate Change: A Really Inconvenient Truth


A Really Inconvenient Truth

Directed by Cambiz Khosravi (2007)

Film Review

This film, a moving tribute to the late radical psychiatrist Dr Joel Kovel,* is a critique of Al Gore and his signature documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Owing to his failure to make important links between capitalism and global warming, Kovel believes Gore deserves much of the blame for the failure of the current climate movement to stop global warming.

Kovel’s main criticism of Gore, who first learned of the link between carbon emissions and global warming in the late seventies, was his failure to use his immense power as Clinton’s environmental point man to pursue government action to reduce carbon emissions. Instead Gore “played the game” and continued to advance the interests of the Wall Street corporations responsible for skyrocketing emissions (eg fossil fuel companies, car makers, etc). And the banks and PR and advertising companies responsible for unrelenting psychological pressure on Americans to over-consume.

Kovel believed Gore was deliberately dishonest about labeling climate change a “moral” issue. Instead of blaming capitalism and the corporate oligarchy for climate change, Gore blamed human nature. In the process, he played along with a system that seeks to “commodify” every human need and desire for its profit making potential. Ironically his documentary resulted in the creation of two brand new commodities: carbon credits and green technology.

According to Kovel, ending climate change is impossible without ending the continual economic expansion that is fundamental to capitalism.** Individuals are helpless to stop climate change through behavior change .

Kovel, who died in April 2018, was a presidential candidate in the 2000 Green Party primary but lost out to Ralph Nader.

*Commodification is confiscation of human needs and wants (land, goods, services and ideas) into products that can be sold for a profit.

**Kovel is a bit fuzzy about why continual expansion is essential under capitalism. I suspect it relates to Marx’s failure to address the role of private banks (in creating 98% of our money as debt) in infinitely increasing debt and the necessity of continuous economic expansion to pay it.

5 thoughts on “Climate Change: A Really Inconvenient Truth

  1. Branson great climate change activist there. Runs the worse co2 poison industry in the world. Best bddies with al gore asshole. Branson also trying to ruin the uk.


    • Ken, I have often asked myself whether Gore was misguided or dishonest when he neglected to mention the role of Wall Street, capitalism and consumption in aggravating climate change. However after watching this documentary, I’m convinced he’s just a lying opportunist.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Most are consumans. Consumans just cannot stop consuming. Why else is there a need for them to fight each and every Black Friday for yet another ‘deeply discounted’ TV? I read the other day that consumans are turning in their smaller vehicles for big trucks and SUVs. They are not truly concerned about climate change because millions just scoff at the idea even as their home is floating down the street along with their SUV. They stand ready to be interviewed to state that they tend to rebuild in the very same area and they do. Just ask the folks who just rebuilt Main Street in Ellicott City, MD last year and will have to turn around and do the very same again this year thanks to yet another 1000 year’s flood. And I am quite sure that the people who were affected by the floods in Houston, TX are going to do likewise. And what about those who live in Florida who should still be recovering from last year’s hurricanes? The only way they’ll not rebuild in the same area is if the insurance companies cancel insurance in flood prone areas, which is happening because it is just becoming too costly to insure homes and businesses in those areas.

    Frankly, I think the ‘climate change’ ship has sailed. We are on fire in Western parts of the country. We have flooding in multiple states with numerous roads washed completely out. Massive sinkholes are forming damn near everywhere. We have a volcanic eruption that has a lava flow that resembles a river in Honolulu, Hawaii and we’ve had multiple earthquakes. As the oceans rise, many cities are going to soon be underwater and since we refuse to stop driving, the solution to more vehicles on the road is to add more lanes. Intense heat is going to cause the power grid to eventually collapse. And I shouldn’t even mention what is going to happen if smartphones are ‘upgraded’ to 5G.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very astute observations, Shelby. I think this is the one thing that bothers me most about the Trump presidency – the way he panders to his voting base and tells them it’s all right to be greedy and acquisitive and insensitive to the needs of people who are less well off.

      One of the worst things about climate change is that it will kill off the Earth’s poorest inhabitants first – already several hundred thousand die per year due to its effects.

      And I think you’re right – it’s probably too late to save civilization (though that’s not such a bad thing in my mind). There’s still a remote possibility a few humans will survive, if they can adapt to living in the stone age.

      Liked by 1 person

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