Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” played to a full audience at the University Student Union’s Northridge Center Thursday, followed by a question and answer session with environmental and occupational health professor John Schillinger.
“This a very scientifically sound film, except for a couple words here and there,” Schillinger said.
Although skeptics disagree with the validity of the science involved in global warming, he said, the only way we can truly know is to wait a few decades for the temperature change to occur, “but the cost of that is the big risk.”
Skeptics argue that global warming is part of the earth’s natural cycle and is marginally, if at all, compounded by man-made emissions.
“In science we don’t say we know for a fact. We become convinced with a certain level of certainty,” Schillinger said.
The film addresses the politics involved with passing legislation aimed at curbing global warming, in which parties support a position they can profit from. In the film, Gore states that lawmakers hold global warming at arm’s length, so they will not have to recognize the moral imperative to act upon it.
“It is unfortunate that Ronald Reagan did not give this presentation (in the film) because half the people in this country simply rule (it) out if they hear something from a liberal Democrat like Al Gore,” Schillinger said.
The movie shows that global warming occurs when the Earth’s atmosphere thickens, trapping the sun’s rays and creating a greenhouse effect. Such an effect causes the melting of ice caps and glaciers, which in turn deposits fresh water into the ocean. Fresh water in the ocean can slow or halt the ocean conveyor, which circulates warm water and keeps the Earth’s weather stable.
“(The film) concludes that it is a moral issue and I think that is one of the greatest effects of this film in the religious community,” Schillinger said.
“The scientists are very clear that we are not going to suffer the ill effects of global warming in this country nearly to the extent (that undeveloped and developing countries will suffer),” he added.
Schillinger said he regrets that he does not see universities at the forefront of change.
“I really believe in this country it’s the religious communities that will drive change,” he said.
“There is a moral issue … with the hundreds of millions of lives at risk ? We in this country can do something or we can sit by and do nothing. That’s our choice,” Schillinger said. “But as a people, I think we haven’t figured out yet how to do something.”
“An Inconvenient Truth” won the Best Documentary Feature Academy Award earlier this year and has grossed more than $24 million.
CSUN’s Associated Students sponsored the screening. Though there was a strong turnout, Student Productions and Campus Entertainment Director Jennifer Santos said, “I wish there was a way to get this information to more people.”