inconvenient truth focus questions

Inconvenient Truth Focus Questions
Self Check Key
1) Does science discover new information or does it refine, change and extend the information that is
already present? Explain.
Although some science is classified as new, most work in science refines, changes and
extends information that is already present as was exhibited in the case of global warming
and rising yearly temperatures.
2) What is the most vulnerable part of the Earth’s ecosystem?
The atmosphere.
3) What chemical does this movie say it is vulnerable to?
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
4) What type of reaction produces this chemical? Give an example.
2 C8H18 + 25 O2  16 CO2 + 18 H20
5) How long have we been studying CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere?
Since about 1958. Almost 50 years.
6) How far back in time can we measure CO2 concentrations?
1000 years in certain ice cores and 650,000 years in Antarctica Ice cores using isotopes of
7) What is happening to our glaciers over the last 30 years and why is it a problem for 40% of the people in
the world?
They have been melting and as a result 40% of people will run out of a fresh water supply.
8) How does temperature over time relate to CO2 concentration?
Increased CO2 Concentration always results in increased global temperatures.
9) What is ppm?
Parts per million – it is how CO2 and other chemicals are measured (example 300 ppm).
10) Is our atmospheric CO2 concentration within normal cyclical limits? Explain.
No, it is way above 300 ppm and is much above the cyclical highs and lows shown prior to
the industrial revolution.
11) Is this a political, moral or spiritual issue? Justify your answer.
One could argue it is all three. Political as we need political solutions, moral as we have a
moral responsibility to our future generations of people, plants and animals and spiritual
as we have an obligations to be “keepers” of the Earth.
12) When were the last 10 hottest years in history?
The last 10 hottest years were all since 1994.
13) Is this a political movie? Is this a science movie? Is science political? Explain.
It has both a political message and a science message. Yes science is political as politics
and policy drive research, technology and its use.
14) How do you think global warming will affect the ecosystem in Saskatchewan?
Longer, dryer summers from what I have read.
15) How quickly does the movie say that we can go from our current weather patterns to an ice age?
In as little as 10 years.
16) How many graphs (and hence scientific studies does the movie use to prove the existence of global
warming? 2, 10, or lots and lots and lots?
Lots and lots and lots.
17) How many millions of people (roughly) would be displaced if Greenland melted?
Over 100,000,000 people.
18) What is the difference between a want and a need? Have some of our past wants grown into what
society now calls needs?
A want is something one doesn’t need to survive (opinion). Yes, an example is the
automobile. It was once thought that every family needed A car. Families wanted several
cars but couldn’t afford them. Now families will argue that they NEED several cars.
19) Is this a USA/China problem? Where is Canada in comparison to the USA in terms of CO 2 production per
No, this is a global problem. Canada is almost as bad as the USA in terms of CO 2
production. (As of 2003, Canada 17.9 tones per person, USA 19.8 tones per person)
20) What are two of the larger human factors that lead to us having a CO 2 problem?
One is population and the other is the scientific and technological revolution which
includes things like war, cars, oil and industry.
21) How is the fight surrounding smoking linked to cancer like Global Warming?
There are lobby groups which exist for companies heavily involved in oil that are trying to
“Reposition global warming as theory rather than fact.” This is the same as smoking
lobby groups in the 50s and 60s.
22) What is the number one misconception about global warming that is generated by the public media?
The number one misconception is that scientists disagree about global warming. In fact a
survey of 928 scientific articles revealed 0% disagreement.
23) What group has a mandate to create doubt about global warming?
The American Petroleum Institute.
24) Do scientists always have their research published without political interference? Explain.
No, several climate scientists who worked for the US government had their scientific
documents altered by non-scientists prior to publishing.
25) Do we have to choose between the environment and the economy? Explain.
No, working at solving global warming will create jobs and opportunities according to the
movie (and according to several prominent politicians and economists).
26) Why do car manufacturers want to block green legislation?
They want to block green legislation as it will force them to build cars that are more
technically advanced hence initially costing them more money. Eventually however they
would be more competitive with foreign manufacturers.
27) Is Canada still part of Kyoto or are we moving towards policies that look a lot like the USA and Australia?
The current conservative government under Stephen Harper appears to be moving
towards policies similar to the USA and Australia (focusing on clean air rather than Kyoto
targets.) The conservative government has repeatedly tried to back out of Kyoto targets
and has cut several important green programs.
28) What can your family do about global warming?
Suggest this video to disbelievers, look for alternative transport (bus, bike, car pool, walk),
buy energy efficient appliances, reduce power consumption, lower your thermostat at
night and when away, install energy efficient bulbs (fluorescent), purchase more fuel
efficient cars, drive less, walk more, car pool, use less hot water, recycle more, avoid
products with hefty packaging, plant a tree, turn OFF electronic devices, vote, take up a
career related to science and the environment, demand more educational opportunities
surrounding the environment, global warming and sustainability.