In this study we'll discuss three scenes from the film An Inconvenient Truth that demonstrate the science of global warming. In the process of our viewing and discussion, we'll explore theological and ethical questions as well as scientific ones: What responsibilities do Christians have toward creation? What does the Bible say about God's creation? How should people of faith respond to the imminent threat of global climate change? An Inconvenient Truth challenges us with a somber presentation of scientific fact, but it also closes with the possibility that we can change our behavior and become different people, and that, of course, is the very core of the gospel message.
Ecological issues and the environment have not traditionally been on the radar of many religious groups, who have not seen environmental degradation or habitat destruction as an urgent moral or social justice issue. But in the past two years, both the National Council of Churches and the Evangelical Climate Initiative have issued statements and launched initiatives suggesting that from the standpoint of Christian stewardship and that of Christian social justice, global warming is a real problem requiring real action from American churches.
An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary film featuring former vice president Al Gore's presentation on global climate change, entered into this dialogue in the summer of 2006 in a major way. Despite the dramatic modesty of the film, which combines Gore's oft-presented slideshow on global warming with interviews with Gore on his life and commitment to ecological issues, the movie struck a chord with millions of Americans. It was one of the most critically lauded films of 2006 as well as the second-highest-grossing documentary film of all time, and it was nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Documentary Film.
We recommend using this study together with the study "Film: An Inconvenient Truth: Ethical Challenges." If you choose to do so, plan for a two-week agenda and use this study first, followed by the other.