62 pages 2 hours read

Al Gore

An Inconvenient Truth

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 2006

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Sections 6-7

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Section 6 Summary

Gore states that “[w]e are witnessing an unprecedented and massive collision between our civilization and the Earth” (214). Fundamental relationships are being transformed, and the population explosion is one major factor. This puts pressure on our vulnerable resources, including the rainforests, making “the way we treat forests” (222) a political issue. As an example, he juxtaposes images of the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, showing that the Haitian side is almost treeless and bare. The Amazon is also suffering devastation from burning for subsistence agriculture and cooking fires, which leads to wildfires. Gore says that “the same pattern is found” (229) on every continent.

The second factor in the changing relationship humans have with the Earth, says Gore, is “the scientific and technological revolution” (232). While science has brought us improvements in communications and medicine, it has also brought side effects because we don’t necessarily know how to use new technology intelligently yet. Take the example of nuclear weapons, which, in 1945, altered the way war works. Another example is how today “we have a much more profound ability to transform the surface of the planet” (238). In fact, diversion of water for irrigation has caused the Aral Sea to disappear and has made humans “a force of nature” (249).