“An Inconvenient Truth” Article Review

“An Inconvenient Truth” is a provocative movie involving Al Gore dramatically presenting information about global climate change and its effects. I highly recommend seeing the movie, if you haven’t already.

Jessica M. Nolan’s article in Environment and Behavior finds that people are more informed and concerned about global climate change right after seeing the movie “An Inconvenient Truth”, but that these concerns don’t necessarily translate into changed behavior a month later. She recommends that people who want to encourage individual behaviors to take action on global climate change provide opportunities for action right after seeing “An Inconvenient Truth”, rather than waiting for people to do it on their own and perhaps becoming less motivated to do so.

As well as providing these suggestions for action, this article adds to the literature on whether being more informed about global climate change influences the behavior of individuals. Additionally, while the studies described in the article use a small number of subjects who aren’t selected randomly, she provides some evidence for why the results are still relevant.

This article relates to the COMPON project because it shows that increased knowledge and concern about climate change (from any given individual) does not necessarily lead to increased action. While COMPON is evaluating policy networks related to climate change, in our newspaper analysis, we will need to carefully justify any claims about increased knowledge of the population (potentially due to increased prevalence of newspaper articles about climate change in their country) leading to changes in behavior.

Citation: Nolan, Jessica M. 2010. "’An Inconvenient Truth’ Increases Knowledge, Concern, and Willingness to Reduce Greenhouse Gases”. Environment and Behavior. Published on January 20, 2010 via Sage Publications “OnlineFirst”.