Comments on “An Inconvenient Sequel, Truth to Power” Film by VP Al Gore

Comments on “An Inconvenient Sequel, Truth to Power” Film by VP Al Gore

I enjoyed the movie, and learned many things from it.  I think the public will learn much from it.  It did not exaggerate how fast global warming or sea level rise may occur.  But as an informed reporter, there are some comments that I can make.

While it seems obvious that higher sea temperatures will evaporate more water to feed storms and hurricanes with more rain and latent energy given up when the moisture condenses.  Some 93% of global warming ends up heating the ocean, fortunately.  But unfortunately, it expands water and raises sea levels.  It also kills coral reefs, housing a quarter of the ocean species.  While the warm water puts more energy into storms, atmospheric model calculations show that they also create more atmospheric chaos.  Thus, the number of organized hurricanes and their strength may not increase over the century.

VP Gore emphasized that the highly flooding Hurricane Sandy was enhanced over Atlantic water that was 9 degrees hotter than normal, which is probably degrees F.  He also emphasized how often hundred year or 500 year storms and floods were occurring.

I don’t want to spoil the film by discussing a lot of it.

Al Gore did not discuss China at all, and did not discuss President Obama’s role in getting China to cooperate before the Paris Climate conference.  However, Al Gore did show the role he personally played in getting India to agree to the Paris agreement by getting SolarCity to supply them with their solar cell technology without intellectual property fees.

At one point, Al Gore tried to get India to replace 100 GigaWatts of coal plants with 100 GigaWatts of solar power.  The problem here is that the 100 GigaWatts of solar is just the maximum that the cells can deliver at high noon on a clear day with the sun directly overhead.  On average 24/7 over a year, solar only delivers a fifth of the maximum.  To replace the total energy of the coal plants would require 500 GigaWatts of the maximum solar power rating.

Nuclear power was not discussed at all, probably because of Fukushima, its cost, and because environmentalists mainly oppose it.

The sad part of the film are the major setbacks in the US progress to lower fossil fuel emissions.  This starts with Gore losing the 2000 Presidential election by the Supreme Court ruling over the close Florida vote.  Then George W. Bush’s opposition to doing anything about it.  Finally, we have President Trump calling global warming a hoax and appointing a coal and oil loving administration.  Yet Gore was persistent in the belief that truth will win out.

I highly recommend the film, and am glad that Al Gore made it.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
This entry was posted in Al Gore, Clean Energy, Climate Change, Climate Science, Coal, Donald Trump, Fossil Fuel Energy, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Negotiations, Paris Climate Accord, Paris Climate Agreement, Renewable Energy, Sea Level Rise, Solar Energy, Trump Administration. Bookmark the permalink.

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