The media at the moment is dominated by “fake news” and falsehoods being funded and peddled by politically motivated organizations, while wealthy corporate interests are often bent to the ear of those politicians who can make a difference. It is these same forces that helped to get Trump elected, that are only interested in amassing more wealth, and who are the only ones who may benefit from the ever deepening climate crisis, which Gore thinks are slowing progress down.
At one point in the movie, Gore remarks that he sometimes thought that the “effort to solve the climate crisis would develop more quickly than it has,” and he partly sees this as a “personal failure.”
“When I saw the strenuous and lavishly funded efforts by the large carbon polluters to manufacture false doubts and drive a partisan wedge into the debate, into the discussion, I worried that we needed to recruit more advocates for sanity and I’ve tried my best to do just that,” he adds.
Gore believes that democracy has been “hacked,” and that those with the largest amount of money are those who cannot only control the conversation but subsequently control our collective decision-making ability.
ExxonMobile was found out to have known about climate change four decades ago, and then still proceeded to give over a quarter of a million dollars to climate denial groups that actively fought against the science that the fossil fuel company had already confirmed. While ExxonMobil says they have now stopped this, Gore claims they haven’t.
It might seem, then, that the fight is gamed against the scientists and climate activists, and that there is no chance of winning. But this is a fight we’ve seen play out before, and more importantly, it’s one we’ve won before – as Gore is keen to point out.
“People are seeing through the charade, as they eventually did when the tobacco companies invented this playbook,” he explains. The parallels, it would seem, go deeper than that though. The carbon polluters fighting hardest against regulation and solid action have even hired the same PR firms that fought the corner of the tobacco companies during the 1950s.
“If you believe in karma,” Gore says whimsically, “you have to wonder what’s in store for these people.”
But the tide is turning. The technology needed to solve the climate crisis is becoming more efficient and more cost effective, and that’s “really encouraging” according to Gore.
The modern age means that information and technology can spread not just locally, but globally at a speed unimaginable even just a few decades ago. This has kick-started a sustainability revolution worldwide, in which regions all over the planet – rich and poor – are transforming civilization while retooling industries and businesses alike.
The best tools to win this fight? Don’t back down, don’t give in when it might seem all hope is lost, but most importantly: be inconvenient.