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The truth, according to Gore

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

The Park City Film Series, continuing a longstanding tradition of screening films from the political left, will show former Vice President Al Gore’s documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," this weekend.

The film, which showcases Gore’s argument about the threat of global warming, is scheduled as Park City continues a celebration of what it sees as the community’s commitment to the environment.

Insa Riepen, the executive director of Recycle Utah, says Parkites should be interested in the film and global warming because one of their favorite pastimes could be threatened some day.

Riepen warns that, if the world continues to heat up, there might not be much skiing at the lower elevations of the mountain resorts.

"There will come a time when we have to ride a couple lifts before we start skiing," Riepen says.

Riepen, who has seen the film and whose organization is co-sponsoring the Film Series screenings, says "An Inconvenient Truth" provides a compelling argument that people are accelerating global warming.

"The biggest lesson is, ‘Here is proof,’" she says.

Mayor Dana Williams, who has made reducing Park City’s stress on the environment a hallmark of his administration, agrees that Parkites should be especially interested in the topic because of, he says, global warming’s potential effects on skiing, Park City’s prime industry.

"In Park City, we have an economy based on weather. It behooves people to actually see something like this," the mayor says.

Williams, who has seen the film, say portions of the documentary present information that can be debated. He says the film has a "certain amount of editorial to it."

He also says that he would prefer that people debate global warming after researching the topic, not by picking a political side.

"I think it’s imperative the argument gets to the point it’s not based on partisanship," Williams says.

Williams links Gore’s stand to a movement by some governments, including that of Park City, to become what is known as ‘sustainable.’ doing so, communities frequently make many decisions based on their effects on the environment.

Park City, for instance, has chosen buses that run on cleaner-burning alternative fuels, such as biodiesel.

He says by doing so Park City is not as dependent on petroleum and fewer emissions are released.

"It fits with green building and energy efficiency and bodiesel," the mayor says.

Frank Normile, who helms the film series and scheduled the Gore movie, agrees that the sustainability efforts are related to Gore’s theme.

"I think that movement raises awareness and that awareness goes to addressing global warming," Normile says.

Normile says he expects up to 250 people each night the movie is shown, which he says is a little more than a film typically draws.

The movie shows Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Jim Santy Auditorium in the Park City Library and Education Center, 1255 Park Ave.

Admission for adults is $6 and seniors and students pay $5.

For more information, contact Recycle Utah at 649-9698 or the film series at 615-8291.


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