Inconvenient Sequel: Al Gore tells Stephen Colbert there’s still hope – if climate hawks VOTE

  • Published on July 31st, 2017

There’s only one guy who can have this introduction: “My guest tonight has won a Grammy, a Nobel Peace Prize, and the US popular vote (for President).” That could only be Al Gore, appearing on Stephen Colbert to promote his new climate change documentary, “An Inconvenient Sequel”, which opens wide across the US on Friday.

By Jeremy Bloom An Inconvenient Sequel - Truth to Power - Al Gore's new documentary on climate change

The banter was light (this is Colbert, after all), but the subject was serious.

Colbert ribbed him about even needing an inconvenient sequel. Normally a sequel is a sign that a movie was successful, he pointed out – doesn’t the fact that this is still an issue ten years later mean that the first film failed? Shouldn’t we have done more by now?

We should have done more by now, yes. But. 18 months ago there was a really historic breakthrough with the agreement in Paris where just about every country in the world agreed to bring global-warming pollution on a net basis down to zero within 30 years, as early in the second half of this century as possible…

And the other really exciting thing is that the cost of electricity from solar panels and wind turbines has come down incredibly fast. And in many areas is now cheaper than electricity from burning fossil fuels. Now the batteries are coming down in cost and electric vehicles are becoming more popular. So we’ve got a lot going for us.

We CAN solve this, we WILL solve this. 

One of Gore’s constant themes is how much we can each do as individuals to stop climate change – but we can’t all do what he was able to do, which was go and meet Trump directly and lobby him to stay in the Paris Climate agreement. Remember, at least in theory Trump once “believed” in climate change – until he ran for President – and Ivanka and Jared were pressing him to remain in the Paris agreement.

I did, I went to Trump Tower after the election, and that was not the only conversation I had with him, and I thought there was a chance that he would come to his senses. But I was wrong.

Colbert asked if that didn’t feel like a defeat.

I worried that it would be a disastrous move, but immediately after that all the other countries in the world doubled down and said they were going to do more.

And here in the US, a lot of our most important governors and mayors and business leaders said ‘We’re still in the Paris agreement and we’re going to meet the commitments of the country regardless of what Donald Trump Tweets’.

Colbert asked if having a hunk of the Antarctic ice sheet the size of Delaware break off… is a direct attack on Joe Biden?

A significant part of West Antarctica has already crossed a point of no return….

Colbert: What does that mean? I’m asking for a friend who has a beach house.

I understand. The ice scientists say that unfortunately there will be continued sea level rise. But we still have an ability to have an impact on how long that takes and whether or not other big parts of Antarctica melt in turn. Because if they did, we would lose a LOT of coastal cities in the US and around the world. 

And while Gore is encouraging people to act in their own lives to cut back on their carbon footprint, he’s fully aware

Inconvenient Sequel Book Al Gore
Before you see the film – get the book!

(as only someone who won the popular vote but didn’t become President because 350 votes went the wrong way in Florida and then the Supreme Court stopped the recount) that EVERY. SINGLE. VOTE. Can make a difference.

…The real purpose of this movie is to encourage everybody to get involved to solve this. Go to the movie, get the book, go to the website

And then USE YOUR VOTE. Use your voice. And when candidates ask you for your support, tell them this is important to me. And tell them depending on what their position is you’ll vote for them, or you’ll do everything in your power to defeat them.

With magazine stories claiming it’s too late to act and a new study indicating there’s no more than a 5% chance of keeping temperature rise under 2 degrees Celsius, it’s understandable that Colbert’s final question about Inconvenient Sequel… was about hope.

“The most important question I could ask,” he said, “is I know a lot of young people who are feeling somewhat hopeless about this and they read articles and magazines or see interviews on TV and they hear it is too late. You know, don’t even have kids because you will only help destroy the planet and there will be no future for them. Is there hope, Al Gore?”

Absolutely. Go see the movie and you’ll see that there is tremendous hope. And we are going to win this. The only question is how long it will take. And the young people in particular – I really recommend this movie as a date movie. 

It’s a HOT date movie. 

It’s an amazingly hot date movie.

Watch the segment… check out our other coverage of Inconvenient Sequel… get the book, and of course, go see the film!

About the Author

Jeremy Bloom is the Editor of RedGreenAndBlue. He lives in New York, where he combines his passion for the environment with his passion for film, and is working on making the world a better place.