He sees Trump as quite dangerous in terms of the climate crisis
Al Gore, the world’s most famous climate activist and the former vice president of the United States, has admitted to close colleagues that Donald Trump represents a real danger to the future of the planet.
Gore features in An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power which is released on DVD on 11 December - and follows a decade after his Oscar winning blockbuster An Inconvenient Truth. The film shows Gore’s increasing despondency during 2016 as Trump successfully campaigns for the presidency.
The latest documentary is directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, who spent almost two years filming and speaking with Gore - including behind the scenes during the Conference of the Parties negotiations held in Paris at the end of 2015.
Mr Shenk told The Ecologist: “What we heard him say over the months…I think Al had some hope that given Trump’s business background that he could help him understand the tremendous business opportunity that exists in the United States for ‘alternative’ energy.
“Unfortunately, Trump has backed away from the alternative energy and has moved towards coal and fossil fuels in so many ways in his administration. And I think Al really seas - my sense is - that he sees Trump as quite dangerous in terms of the climate crisis”.
Mr Shenk added: “The really amazing thing…is that even though Trump gets elected - and is certainly moving towards policies that are dangerous for the environment, pulling out of the Paris accords being chief among them - the amazing thing is that other countries have not followed that path.
"All the other countries that have signed the Paris agreement are still in it. Even in the United States, you see this incredible groundswell of support for solving the climate crisis.”
Barack Obama, the 44th American president and Trump’s immediate predecessor, expressed similar views recently when he said: “I grant you that at the moment we have a temporary absence of American leadership on the issue [of climate change]." Obama had signed the Paris Agreement on behalf of the US government.
Paris was, he said elsewhere, “is an agreement that - even though we have a little bit of a pause in American leadership - is giving our children a fighting chance. And the good news is that in the United States, there are states, companies and universities and cities that are continuing to work to make sure that America lives up to the agreements that we made in the Paris accords.”
Trump announced the United States would renege on the Paris agreement in June this year even though no country can begin the process of withdrawal until November 2019 at the earliest.
The President claimed the international agreement “disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries.” Following the decision of the Syrian government to sign up, the US will be the only country to sit outside the process.
The Al Gore sequel was made with a $1million budget and has taken $5 million at the box office so far. The original won two Oscars - for best documentary and best original song - and made $50 million.
Brendan Montague is editor of The Ecologist. He tweets at @EcoMontague.