Al Gore’s book, An Inconvenient Truth, is a well put together overview of the dangers posed by global climate change. He documents the ways in which human activity has increased air temperatures and altered the chemistry of the Earth’s oceans as well as the political situation that perpetuates a status quo unwilling to acknowledge the consequences of inaction.

It’s hard for me to say how convincing the book is; I was convinced a long time ago so Gore is kind of preaching to the choir here. Among other things, I read Discover and National Geographic regularly, both of which have done a nice job of exploring global climate issues over the years.

What makes the book intriguing – and why I bought it – is the illustrations. It’s one thing to read about disappearing glaciers; it’s quite another to see photographs taken from the same spot (in some cases only thirty years apart) that show gigantic glaciers in one image and then no glacier in the other. The book relies heavily on this kind of visual evidence that tends to be very effective.

Interspersed throughout the book Gore includes autobiographical excursions that describe the personal experiences that have led him to undertake this crusade that he repeatedly states is a moral issue. As remarkable as the subject matter is Gore’s passion for it. It’s stunning that this man was painted as an emotionless robot with whacky ideas especially when you look at his imminently practical and profitable market-based solutions to this growing problem.

Gore’s book (I haven’t seen the movie) presents the causes and consequences of global climate change in easy-to-read and understand non-technical language accompanied by effective and often beautiful illustrations. An Inconvenient Truth would be a solid introduction or overview on the subject for those who, perhaps have not given the issue much thought.

I’m talking, of course, about the people who find nothing odd about days like today when the temperatures reach into the mid-nineties. In October. Nope, nothing to worry about here.