62 pages 2 hours read

Al Gore

An Inconvenient Truth

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 2006

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Sections 4-5Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Section 4 Summary

The Antarctic and the Arctic “serve as canaries in the coal mine” (126) because they are especially sensitive to global warming effects. Gore outlines the problem of cracking ice shelfs, melting tundra, and the warming of permafrost. This leads to infrastructure damage in places like Siberia and Alaska and complicates the plans of oil companies who wish to drill for oil.

Gore includes a primer on alternative fuels in this section. He discusses ethanol, biodiesel, and hydrogen-based fuels, pointing out that “hydrogen may be the ultimate clean fuel of the future” (137). He says that decision-makers must understand what works for each state, ecological system, and industrial system to boost local economies without worsening crisis trends.

In “From Pole to Shining Pole,” Gore speaks of the travels he undertook in order to understand the problem of global warming. He briefly narrates excursions to the South Pole, to Antarctica, and to the Arctic ice cap. Everywhere he went, even at the equator, he discovered “dramatic evidence of significant effects” (142).

The author now takes us to the Arctic, where he provides information about the melting of the Arctic ice cap and why it’s happening so quickly. This, he says, is bad news for animals like polar bears.