FastForward interviews producer Richard Berge to discuss the film An Inconvenient Sequel – Truth to Power

FastForward interviews producer Richard Berge to discuss the film An Inconvenient Sequel – Truth to Power

ON CINEMA - July, 2017

By Lily Richards, Head Royce School, grade 10

Photo of FastForward reporters Lilian Richards, Abby Smith, Simone Harper, Sophia Zoog, Wesley Slavin, Becky Booth and Jessi Sohn sit with Director Richard Berge and his co-producerClimate change has always been a controversial topic, causing many quarrels between people who believe in it and people who do not. One of the pivotal figures and one of the faces of the movement to combat global warming is former Vice President, Al Gore. Gore ran his presidential campaign behind his ideas and passion for saving the environment and won over the majority of Americans while losing the electoral college. In 2005, Gore was featured in a fascinating and moving film about climate change called An Inconvenient Truth. This film shocked the nation and informed many people about the real consequences of their every day actions. It won many awards including the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and the Stanley Kramer Award in the Producers Guild of America Awards. Before this movie, scientists were reluctant to publicly declare that there is a correlation between climate change and natural disasters and their increasing severity. However, now they have made the connection, therefore giving the public a more concrete incentive for changing their habits to better protect the environment.

Fast Forward and I got the privilege to interview one of the producers of the sequel to this film, Richard Berge. His new movie, An Inconvenient Sequel – Truth to Power premiers on July 28th (2017) and will continue to emphasize the critical state that our planet is in right now along with stand up to the current administration’s actions against America’s conservation efforts with their doubts about global warming’s existence. It will also address the fact that the creators of the original movie were criticized for exaggerating the effects of global warming when they predicted that the World Trade Memorial could flood. However, during Hurricane Sandy, they were proven correct when the memorial filled up with water from the storm. In Berge’s opinion, the three main reasons that people do not believe in climate change are for economic and profit reasons, they are afraid of the consequences and have gone into denial, and conservatives are hesitant to agree with “liberal theories.” Berge believes that the next movie will convince the people that doubt climate change’s existence to join the effort to become more environmentally friendly. 

Video image for the film An Inconvenient Sequel – Truth to Power
View the trailer for An Inconvenient Sequel – Truth to Power

For this film, Berge, Gore, and the rest of the film team traveled all over the world. “It was like an out of body experience to follow Al Gore all over the world.... Gore is tireless.” In Berge’s opinion, going to India and witnessing an unscripted debate between Al Gore and India’s Energy Minister and other Indian politicians was the most exciting part of making the film. “To hear him debate in real time unrehearsed... It was fascinating... It was quite a privilege to experience that.” The most interesting country the team visited in Berge’s opinion was Greenland. There, he saw moulins, or rivers between the glaciers. They start off as small trickles of water that carve ridges into the ice, then expand in to gushing rivers. Eventually, the rivers go under the ice and continue moving under the glaciers. There, he also learned that the glaciers that they were standing on right then were twenty feet higher last year. “It was sad in a sense and scary in the sense that the scientists showed us how in a year it had melted about twenty feet.” Berge thought that seeing the effects of climate change in person was both fascinating and devastating. 

The sequel addresses both the improvements that society has made and the positive effects shown along with the necessary steps that we need to take to continue to help the environment. For example, there are electric companies in Nevada that are trying to implement a clause to force people who use solar to continue paying at least a portion of their electric bill to discourage people from making the switch. However, there is a section in the documentary about Gore meeting with the Energy Minister of India, urging him to pour resources into going solar because there are three million people in India who have no access to electricity. After the Paris Agreement, India received the largest loan in history to invest in their country’s renewable energy. India then declared that their country will only be using electric cars by 2030. The Paris Agreement also demonstrated that climate change is no longer something made up by tree huggers, it is a real problem that has the potential to be catastrophic if ignored. Another surprising advantage is the Trump Administration. According to Berge, Trump has made environmentalists all over the world unite to protest his administration’s plans to cut off funding for the EPA. “What’s happening actually is that I’ve seen a galvanizing of environmental groups and citizens in a way that no one ever anticipated... I think the fact that Trump has come out against the Paris Agreement has unexpectedly motivated people in a way that no one had before.” An Inconvenient Sequel – Truth to Power will acknowledge the accomplishments that the world has made to protect our planet while continuing to push its viewers to be more active in the conservation effort. 

“An Inconvenient Sequel – Truth to Power” opens in theaters across America on August 4th, 2017



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