Al Gore is back in theaters, with a powerful, anti-Trump message on climate change

The saddest, most frustrating moment in Al Gore’s new climate change movie, An Inconvenient Sequel, involves the lonely former vice president walking into Trump Tower and boarding a golden elevator to meet with the then-president-elect.

That scene encapsulates both how far we’ve come in the climate policy arena, and how far we’ve fallen backwards in just the past six months. It also hints at a central theme in the film, which casts Donald Trump as just as much of a villain in the climate change story as the major fossil fuel companies that fund climate science disinformation campaigns.

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The Gore-Trump climate meeting was an utter failure, given Trump’s subsequent decision to pull the U.S. out of the landmark Paris Climate Agreement. It’s an experience that Gore says he’s learned from.

“I was wrong in believing there was a chance that Donald Trump would come to his senses and stay in the Paris Climate Agreement, and underestimated the influence of the rogue’s gallery of climate deniers he has surrounded himself with,” Gore said in an interview.

Al Gore in Greenland as seen in An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power, from Paramount Pictures and Participant Media.

Image: Paramount pictures/participant media

“I would make the effort again, but, I mean, under the same circumstances, but it’s clear to me now that the chances of him changing on the issue are de minimis at best. And barring some unforeseen set of circumstances I’m not gonna waste any more time at all trying to engage President Trump on climate,” he added.

Gore’s new movie, which comes 10 years after the Oscar-winning An Inconvenient Truth hit theaters, is more subdued and workman-like than the first film. It accurately reflects the transformation of the climate movement into one akin to the civil rights movement: A long, hard slog that will ultimately prevail. 

The film also focuses on the extreme weather events that…

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