Dinner and a Movie with President Kaplan

Carole McFaddan

“Humanity is sitting on a time bomb. If the vast majority of the world’s scientists are right, we have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced. A catastrophe we have helped create. If that sounds like a recipe for serious gloom and doom — think again. From director Davis Guggenheim comes the Sundance Film Festival hit, An Inconvenient Truth, which offers a passionate and inspirational look at one man’s commitment to expose the myths and misconceptions that surround global warming.”

Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth
Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth

This is the synopsis from infamous movie review website RottenTomatoes.com that University of New Haven students debated  during Welcome Week, on the first night of classes.

On Wednesday, August 28th all students were invited to the Alumni Lounge at 5 pm by the Office of Student Activities and the UNH Green Team to meet President Kaplan for a viewing of Director Davis Guggenheim’s An Inconvenient Truth. Student Activities Director Lisa Saverse, and President Kaplan welcomed the students to the alumni lounge and invited them to pizza and drinks. After introducing the film, President Kaplan encouraged the students to ask questions afterwards and think of solutions to the campus’ energy problems and ways to improve the university’s carbon footprint.

“It is now clear that we face a deepening global climate crisis that requires us to act boldly, quickly, and wisely,” Al Gore quotes in his movie. An Inconvenient Truth has been described as a film that powerfully weaves together the science of global warming with former Vice President Al Gore’s commitment to reversing the effects of global climate change. Mr. Gore has had a personal history in fighting global warming since his college days. Since then Gore has been presenting a wide array of information and facts to the public in thoughtful and compelling ways in order to get the public to think about their actions, the fate of human population, and more so, the fate the of the earth. In the film Gore presents the facts without all the politics about global warming we see everyday in news articles, magazines, TV, and other media sources.  Instead he lays it out for everyone to see and understand without contradictions; for example one part of the film stated that in a survey of approximately 1,000 scientific journals, all agreed that global warming was real. It was the media of public opinion that put any contest that global warming was a scam.

Although the film is filled with Gore’s humorous and audience-engaging way of education, it also has haunting images that shocked our student audience into discussion after the hour and forty minutes ended. In discussion, student showed their disbelief in response to horrifying images such as the polar caps melting within their lifetimes and causing the flooding of low sea level areas such as Manhattan, San Francisco, and Calcutta.

The film’s facts and images got students thinking with the UNH Green Team President and Sustainability RA in Soundview, Sarah Hosford, and other member of the Green Team’s E-board to find ways to improve the campus’ carbon footprint, with ideas of more recycling around campus, working on Platinum Leed Certification and solar panels for Soundview, and more “green” programming inside the residence halls and around campus.

If you’re interesting in learning more about global warming and what you can do to help the phenomenon, check out the film An Inconvenient Truth and its website at www.climatecrisis.org, the government’s website on environmental defense at www.edg.gov, and make sure to join the UNH Green Team.

The University of New Haven Green Team, which meets on Wednesdays starting  Sept. 2, from 4:30pm to 5:30pm, can be contacted via email at [email protected]