In the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” Al Gore does an admirable job of describing the problem of global warming and climate change.

What he does not do so well is describe what it might take to stabilize greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere. The film ends with a brief and upbeat notion suggesting that with technological advances, we can innovate our way out of the problem: more and better wind turbines, more efficient appliances and cars, more efficient solar panels, etc.

Is he right? To be sure, a move toward more renewable sources and efficient uses of energy make good sense for many reasons, but can switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs or Toyota Priuses do the trick? Or, will stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions require not only technological changes but also some behavioral changes and personal sacrifice?  If so, how likely is it that we will make the personal changes and sacrifices that might be needed to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions?

In the end, the real inconvenient truth may not be that the global climate is changing, but rather what we might have to do to solve the problem.


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