A chunk of ice the size of Delaware is bobbing around somewhere off Antarctica, the United States has joined Syria by pulling out of the global climate treaty, and the president is calling climate change “a hoax.” Into that not-so-perfect storm strolled former vice president-turned- enviro-crusader Al Gore, who screened his latest documentary, “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” for an adoring crowd at the Newseum on Wednesday night.
The house was packed with audience members predisposed to the unlikely malady of Gore-mania, including plenty of his former staffers and pals in Congress (House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi scored the second standing ovation of the evening when the ex-Veep gave her a shout-out during his pre-film remarks.)
Gore might be slightly grayer than he was in his Washington glory days, but he’s still vintage Al Gore, pumped up about the issues in that distinctly Gore-ish way: earnest and endearingly monotone. “I never thought I’d be marching on the White House, demanding change,” he said of participating in the environmental protest in April, one of his few visits to Washington in recent years. “But that’s where we are, ladies and gentlemen.”
That’s what passed for fiery rhetoric from the gentleman from Tennessee during his brief onstage appearance, though the movie — a follow-up to his 2006 documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth” would be far more pointed in its criticism of the current administration, as well as those who dismissed Gore’s warnings about the ravages of climate change posed in the original film.
“2020!” boomed a member of audience from the rear of the theater. “Please run!”
Gore held his hands up in protest as the cheers erupted.
Also spotted in the crowd at the screening and the pre-movie cocktail hour (which featured, of course, a green carpet for VIPs to strut and a vegetarian spread): former senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), and Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) as well as Gore World alums Carter Eskew, Roy Neel, Michael Feldman, Philip Dufour, Kalee Kreider, and David Thomas.