Book Review: “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” by Al Gore
Al Gore has continued to be a prophetic voice in this decade of escalating climate and this time of the Trump administration’s rejection of climate change. The subtitle of the book adds the descriptor: “Your action handbook to learn the science, find your voice, and help solve the climate crisis.” This is a good book for church environmental teams and pastors. I am currently using it for a joint Green Team of UCC Petaluma (CA) and a Unitarian Universalist Church that shares the church facility.
The first hundred pages are full of pictures, graphs, and a presentation of the science of climate change. It is written in an accessible way for the lay person, and it is a good summation of what we know to date. This makes it readily available for clergy who feel unprepared to engage climate change because the science seems so formidable. In this first part of the book, there are also personal stories of people globally who are tackling aspects of climate change, and I felt the strength of the testimonies from diverse social locations served as a witness to the possibilities of what the UCC can attain.
The last section is an exciting handbook. I call it an “Indivisible” action handbook for engaging the issues of climate change and becoming effective advocates for solving the greatest crisis facing humanity and all life. Gore states in bold block letters, “It is imperative that individual citizens become actively engaged in the struggle for the future of humanity.” Gore’s goal is to muster the populace to take action to save the future. He summarizes his intent:
In order to bring about the changes we need, activists need to focus not only on communicating the truth about the climate crisis and the readily available solutions, but they must also focus on learning how to wield power—the healthy and liberating form of power that democracy puts in the hands and hearts of every citizen who want to exercise it.
Some notable features of this second portion of the book include how to engage climate sceptics in conversation and how to speak to climate deniers. This is useful to congregations where there are sceptics and climate deniers. The handbook section also covers topics like writing letters, attending town hall meetings, petition drives, press coverage of actions, how to speak to children on climate change, finding a career in renewable energy field, making your business sustainable, registering to vote, running for political office, and eating with the planet in mind.
Perhaps the greatest feature of the handbook is that it captures the infectious hope and optimism of Al Gore that we can still save the future for our children and all life (my addition).