Climate crusader Gore takes up arms again

By Roger Harrabin
BBC environment analyst

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Image source, PARAMOUNT/An Inconvenient Sequel
Image caption, Al Gore delivers pictures of a rapidly melting Arctic

Climate crusader Al Gore is coming to a screen near you.

The former US vice president is in the UK to launch his latest eco-movie, An Inconvenient Sequel.

It's passionate, dramatic and controversial. And he's hoping it will persuade you that the climate can be saved if we all try hard enough.

The movie delivers a mix of extreme weather and stunningly alarming shots of the melting Arctic.

These scenes are intercut with Gore’s presentations to volunteers willing to be climate ambassadors.

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Image source, PARAMOUNT/An Inconvenient Sequel
Image caption, In the movie, Gore makes repeated reference to extreme weather events

They're spreading the message that the planet is warming and we need much more urgency in the task of reducing greenhouse gases.

Since his influential first film, An Inconvenient Truth in 2006, two extraordinary things have happened.

First, the cost of renewable energy has plummeted far faster than anyone expected, making the task of stabilising the climate more feasible than before.

The second big change has been the surprise success of the Paris climate summit in 2015 that drew in almost all nations in the world to agree to try harder to cut their emissions.

Image source, PARAMOUNT/An Inconvenient Sequel
Image caption, Gore uses his VP credentials to access and lobby world leaders

Gore himself played a crucial role as a go-between, using his VP tag to gain access to world leaders.

This unexpected triumph in Paris is the high point of the new film. But then came President Trump, who is pulling the US out of the Paris agreement.

To Gore's dismay, Trump is now trying to dismantle America's climate policy as fast as he can.

But Gore says he's not unduly worried – the rest of the world has stood firm and sooner or later, he believes, the US will get back on course.

Image source, PARAMOUNT/An Inconvenient Sequel
Image caption, Despite the president's policies, Gore sees reasons for optimism

He even suggested the US would meet its climate targets even without a national commitment. Some agree with this - others think it's wishful thinking.

But if it is true, it does call into question whether America's targets were too low in the first place!

Gore has his critics. His southern preacher style doesn't sit easily with scientists communicating in sober, precise terms.

And for some on the American Right, the very fact that he – a leading Democrat - is promoting climate concern is reason enough for them to turn their back on it.

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