Jim Hansen on the global warming documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”

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The current (July 13) issue of the <a href="http://www.nybooks.com/" title="New York Review of Books carries a review article on climate change by Jim Hansen, Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, in which he praises An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore’s documentary and book on global warming, as a “scientifically accurate” and “coherent account of a complex topic that Americans desperately need to understand.”

In his article (copyright 1963-2006 NYREV, Inc.) “The Threat to the Planet,” Hansen says in his discussion of Gore and An Inconvenient Truth:

Do we have politicians with the courage to explain to the public what is needed? Or may it be that such people are not electable, in view of the obstacles presented by television, campaign financing, and the opposition of energy companies and other special interests? That brings me to Al Gore’s book and movie of the same name: An Inconvenient Truth....The movie seems to me powerful and the book complements it, adding useful explanations. It is hard to predict how this unusual presentation will be received by the public; but Gore has put together a coherent account of a complex topic that Americans desperately need to understand. The story is scientifically accurate and yet should be understandable to the public, a public that is less and less drawn to science….

By telling the story of climate change with striking clarity in both his book and movie, Al Gore may have done for global warming what Silent Spring did for pesticides. He will be attacked, but the public will have the information needed to distinguish our long-term well-being from short-term special interests….

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