Four Ways 'An Inconvenient Truth' Changed Peoples' Lives
This story is produced in partnership with Climate Reality Project as part of the campaign to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of An Inconvenient Truth. This post originally appeared on The Climate Reality Project.
After seeing An Inconvenient Truth, people worldwide finally understood the reality of the climate crisis devastating our planet – and for many, it was the moment they knew they personally had to do something about it.
This month marks the 10-year anniversary of the film’s release, and we’re celebrating the impact it had in stirring millions of people worldwide to take climate action. People of all ages, from every part of the world, have begun to share how the film impacted them by using #ait10 on social media and commenting on our Facebook page.
So far, the responses we’ve seen on social media have been overwhelming – and incredibly inspiring. As much as we wish we could share each and every story, there’s just not enough space here on our site. But in hearing these encouraging stories, it seems there are four main ways audiences took action after seeing the film.
1. We Woke Up
The first reaction nearly everyone had after seeing this film? “It was a wake-up call.” An Inconvenient Truth helped moviegoers realize that their actions had an impact. And that they could be part of the solution, rather than contributing to the problem.
2. We Grew Up Understanding the Facts – and Taking Action
For many young people who saw the film as a child, this was their first foray into activism. The best part: they haven’t stopped. By inspiring a generation of change makers, An Inconvenient Truth had a ripple effect that continues every day, making a better future for all of us.
3. We Changed It Up
For others, the film marked a turning point in their lives. Some started sustainable businesses. Others were inspired to go back to school for environmental or clean energy-focused degrees. Still more started their own nonprofits and organizations to help counter the effects of climate change.
“I am not exaggerating when I say that the documentary was a turning point in my life. Not only did it expose me to the reality of climate change but also it gave me purpose… For one year, I prepared for one of the toughest management entrance test in India, cleared it successfully on my second attempt, studied forestry and environment management for two years in a national institute … [and] currently I am working as a research consultant in WRI and specifically looking at the adaptation dimension to landscape restoration in India. So yes, I am right here fighting for our planet and living the dream. Thanks to An Inconvenient Truth, I have found meaning and purpose in my life.”
- Sandip Chowdhury, Climate Reality Leader
“I want to feel that when I reach the end of my life I can say to my son, I did everything within my power to make a positive difference for you. So on Earth Day 2012 I launched www.Sussexgreenliving.co.uk. It was my night job whilst running a business by day and all my family commitments. The film totally changed my life. In 2014 I decided to sell my shares in the family business I had been running for 17 years, so I could follow my ’green’ passion…”
- Carrie Cort, Climate Reality Leader
4. We Spoke Up and Taught Others
The reason we’re still talking about this film 10 years later is simple: it’s because of people like you. Thanks to viewers who decided to speak out and teach others about climate change, the climate movement exploded. People started caring about their environment and making sustainable choices. But more importantly they started talking about climate change with the other people in their lives – and trained as Climate Reality Leaders to advocate for solutions in their community.
“In my 35-year career as a municipal manager in Massachusetts, serving also now as a board officer on the regional planning agency for Greater Boston, I’ve come to understand that my role in the climate crisis is to be an enlightened public official, to provide policy leadership committed to sustainability, energy efficiency, renewable energy, to reducing our carbon footprint, and to reducing local and regional vulnerability to the anticipated impacts of climate change.”
- Keith Bergman, Climate Reality Leader
“I went to the Climate Reality training in Toronto ... I have written letters to our local paper, to the prime minister. I have taken part in Twitter chats with [Climate Reality] and the UN, where some of the things I have said have reached over 7,000 people! [And] I have appeared on a local radio station with another lady who was trained in Toronto … and just when I'm feeling like I should maybe slow down a little, someone will thank me or come up and talk to me about something I have said. This gives me hope that maybe, just maybe I am helping in this battle in a small way.”
- Heather Wilkins, Climate Reality Leader
“After going through [a Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training] I started giving ‘Climate Reality’ presentations in my community in Santa Barbara. That introduced me to other concerned citizens and made me realize the extent of unconventional oil development planned for our region. We led an effort to ban fracking in our county. That effort failed after oil companies spent $7 million to defeat it, but we did get the county to require oil companies to offset almost all GHGs from oil production. Our county is also on the path to community choice energy so we can move to 100-percent clean energy.”
- Katie Davis, Climate Reality Leader
How did An Inconvenient Truth Impact You? Share Your Truth!
Together, we’ve been working towards climate solutions for over a decade now. Some of us have been at it even longer.
We want to hear your truth. Does your story fall into one or more of the above categories? How have you changed your life or actions since seeing the film? Let us know using #ait10 on social media, commenting on our Facebook page, or sending us your story directly.
And if you’re ready to do more, commit to take climate action in honor of An Inconvenient Truth’s 10-year anniversary.