Matthew Walsh's EFL ESL website
An Inconvenient Truth 1: The Controversy, Policy, and the Media

 'An Inconvenient Truth' is the name of a movie by former U.S. vice president Al Gore. The movie is a presentation about climate change and its effects. The purpose of the movie is to inform the people of the world, and especially the U.S., that global warming is real and caused by humans.  It also shows how we can change global warming. It aims to change public opinion with scientific facts, but why does public opinion need to be changed? Why is the public confused? What is the controversy?
  Some people say that global warming doesn't exist. Some people say that it may exist, but it's not caused by humans. They say it is a natural phenomenon like the ice ages. They say that there have always been long-term variations in the climate.
  President Bush has said that he won't agree to the Kyoto Protocol because it would decrease profit for the U.S. businesses. This of course mainly means oil businesses. The oil businesses and others, like car companies or coal companies, are afraid that they will lose too much money if there are new policies like the Kyoto Protocol in the U.S.. Changing technology is expensive. These companies are very powerful in U.S. politics and try to prevent such policy changes. One way they try to prevent policy change is to say that global warming is a natural phenomenon, in other words it's not their fault. However, if only these companies said this, nobody would believe them. That's why the oil companies pay money to other people to say it.
  For example, Exxon Mobil, a large oil company, pays several million dollars a year to organizations that say global warming is not caused by humans. These organizations then pressure the politicians not to make policies to combat climate change because they say climate change is natural. The politicians listen to the organizations and the companies even though there are virtually no real scientists that disagree that global warming is caused by humans.
  It is a pity that big businesses can affect the politicians in this way.
  In the U.S. media too, nearly half of the newspapers, magazines, and TV programs say it is uncertain whether humans cause global warming or not when close to zero percent of scientists say it is. One reason for this could be that the media is also a big business, and would naturally be affected in the same way the politicians are.
  The message we receive from the media is confusing but the facts are not. This semester we will learn about the things presented in 'An Inconvenient Truth' and research ways we can deal with this inconvenient truth. It may be the most important current event ever.


Al Gore's site from the movie:

Wikipedia 'Global Warming':

How Exxon Mobil effects policy:

download gapfill