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Required Movie #1:  “An Inconvenient Truth” 2006 (1 hour, 36 minutes)

One of the pivotal turning points that led to a change in public consensus on Climate Change was the airing of the movie “An Inconvenient Truth” in 2006.  It provides straightforward explanations for global warming and the science behind Climate Change.  It also addresses several commonly held Climate Denier Myths. If you have seen this movie before, it is still important to watch because you can focus more in depth on the science concepts that are discussed.  Even though the movie is now 14 years old, the science has been well documented for decades and the arguments are still the same.  This movie laid the groundwork for teachers and educators around the globe to present the basic facts and spread the science to their communities.  Gore’s more recent release “An Inconvenient Sequel” (2017) covers the current impacts and solutions but the first movie is best at explaining the Science.

For those interested in learning more, please also consider watching the two hour NOVA documentary “Decoding the Weather Machine (Links to an external site.)” (2018), a more recent movie that goes deeper into the science of Climate Change. 

PART I:  Assignment (26 pts)

Watch the movie at the above link. Do not attempt the assignment unless you watch the movie. Make sure to read the questions below before watching the movie, it will help a lot! Use separate paragraphs for each question and keep your responses organized.

1.  Introduction (2 pts)

How much did you know about Climate Change before the movie? Have you seen or heard about the movie before?

2.  The Basic Science of Global Warming: “The Greenhouse Effect” (4 pts)

Early in the movie, Al Gore discusses the Basic Science of Global Warming.  This concept he discusses is known as “The Greenhouse Effect” and is the most important concept to understand in the subject of Climate Change.  Provide a summary of this concept (review from your textbook as needed).  The better you can understand this concept now, the easier your first lab and the rest of the class will be.  Be sure to explain the difference between solar radiation (sunlight) and infra-red radiation (heat) in your summary.

3.  Climate Change Science Concepts (10 pts)

The movie has many other important Climate Change science concepts throughout.  List 10 scientific concepts from the movie and provide a description of a sentence or two for each one.  Don’t worry too much about understanding each one, the goal is to get familiar with the different concepts and start understanding the overall picture of Climate Change.  You will soon be learning more details about each of these science concepts in class. (Science concept examples: tipping point, arctic amplification…etc.)

4.  Three of the Most Common Climate Denier Myths (2 pts each)

Explain how Al Gore refutes each of the common climate denier myths below.

a)  Myth #1: “Scientists dont agree”.  In your response, provide a comparison between science articles and news articles. Watch this short and humorous video to help you discuss this myth.

b) Myth #2: “Doing something would ruin our economy”. Provide a discussion of the automobile industry example as discussed in the movie.  Include a discussion of what can happen if we don’t make the changes.

c) Myth #3: “Despair is our only possible reaction”.  Discuss what we can do instead of feeling only despair.  List at least three social or scientific advancements discussed in the movie where humans have been able to overcome societal norms to “create extraordinary advancements previously thought to be impossible”. Keep these things in mind throughout the class, to let you know that yes, Climate Change can be resolved!

5.  Review of “An Inconvenient Truth” (4 pts) 

Provide a personal summary of the movie.  Include in your summary three different topics that you found the most interesting from the movie.  What is your biggest question about Climate Change or what would you like to learn more about after watching the movie? (minimum 100 – 200 words total review)

An Inconvenient Truth 2006
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