Last Thursday evening, people packed into the Edelman Planetarium for a unique event. The first part of the event was a question and answer streamed live with former Vice President Al Gore. Questions had been submitted beforehand by video and Gore answered each question, as well as a few submitted through Twitter.
After the Q&A, attendees viewed a screening of Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Sequel.” The film was divided into two parts. The first part focused on what has happened since Gore released his first film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” about the dangers of man-made climate change. Much of what Gore predicted has come true.
The second part followed Gore behind the scenes at the Paris Climate Accords. He was there to convince India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to avoid pushing towards an expansion of coal fired power plants. While in Paris, he witnessed a major terrorist attack first hand.
The movie ended with an uplifting message and a rallying call for hope, and a call to action. As the lights came up, people began to express their reactions to the film and the event.
Rachel Taylor, a second-year grad student, was in attendance at the screening. She thought the event was cool.
“I’ve always wanted to go into the planetarium and never have,” Taylor said. “So this is a nice way to get into the planetarium and thinking about it now and how it encompasses earth and how that coincides with the movie. A nice connection.”
Keith Johnson was also in attendance at the screening. As the former director of the Edelman Planetarium, he was still in the loop on events happening on campus. After the film, he was positively gushing about the movie screening and concurrent Q&A.
“This is marvelous,” Johnson said. “I expected no less of Al Gore, having seen the original back in 2006, was it? But there’s much more optimism that he’s projecting than I expected, and [I’m] a little more hopeful now than I was two hours ago.”
Johnson also felt that there was plenty to be optimistic about going forward.
“I think that there is a source of optimism that we can all tap into,” Johnson said. “And we maybe are getting a little closer to this tipping point he talked about, and many of us would believe. These kind of things are exponential, they start out slow, they start speeding up a little bit and all the sudden, they’ll take off like crazy, that’s in the nature of the math, and it’s in the nature of human nature.”
Amy Barraclough is the current director of the Edelman Planetarium. She felt that the movie viewing was an amazing opportunity for students and community members alike.
“I think it’s really exciting to be able to show the movie and help get it out there,” Barraclough said. “Get the message out there, about the importance of climate action and climate change in order to protect the only world that we live on”
And as for the turnout, Barraclough said that the event exceeded expectations.
“I think that the attendance was amazing. We actually sold out all of our tickets online in advance, so we couldn’t have been more pleased with the turnout that we had here today,” Barraclough said.
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