Movie Review:: An Inconvenient Truth
The analysis in the film then shifts to the shakier ground of explaining "why" the earth is warming. As the argument goes, the byproduct of industry and human consumption is increased CO2, which thickens the atmosphere and traps the sun's radiation that would otherwise be released back into space.
It is on this point where skepticism set in. The age-old blurring of the line between correlation and causation is an intellectual pitfall that understandably ensnares the unwitting observer. Correlation, on the one hand, means "the degree to which two or more attributes or measurements on the same group of elements show a tendency to vary together." On the other hand, causation is "anything that produces an effect". Racial profiling is a good example of this intellectual fallacy. It may be true that there is a correlation between members of a certain race and commission of specified crimes, but it does not mean that the race of the person caused the person to commit the crime. Many other variables influence each result.
That CO2 levels and temperature levels correlate does not mean that CO2 increases cause temperature rise. Indeed, it could be the opposite.
All in all, however, it was a thought-provoking flick. Those who otherwise care about a healthy environment, clean water and breathable air do not need armageddon scenarious to scare them into moderating their consumption. One need only visit Beijing or Cairo to experience the destructive effects of unfettered pollution. And, for those who refuse to believe that the wastes generated by our society's ravenous consumption will ultimately be our downfall, no amount of reason will change their minds.
People should conserve resources, recycle and not be wasteful. Not because Al Gore peddled an end-of-the-world prophecy, but because it makes sense.