Climate Change and Humor? Revisiting Al Gore's Documentary "an Inconvenient Truth"
In my presentation, I will scrutinize this paradigm shift by focusing on a crucial turning point in climate discourse, that is Davis Guggenheim’s groundbreaking documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ (2006), starring Al Gore. Due to its huge impact on the public sphere worldwide, ‘AIT’ has also attracted the attention of academia and especially discourse analysis. Nearly unanimous, researchers attested that the documentary applies the aforementioned rhetoric of apocalypse, combined with Gore’s act of self-staging (Bergin 2009; Rosteck/Frentz 2009; Smith/Howe 2015; or at least ‘tempered’ apocalypse Johnson 2009). However, it has been totally overlooked that ‘AIT’ seems to employ humor in many ways, too. For instance, the film engages self-irony, funny cartoon elements, and a wry critique of climate skepticism and the American car industry. Considering all this, AIT can be understood as a pivotal point, boosting the acceptance of humor as an appropriate rhetoric of climate discourse.