The movie “Giants,” released in 1956, was set in 1920s Texas. The film was a posthumous work of the legendary star, James Dean, who played a rancher.* Striking oil leads one to become a billionaire.
With new oil excavation laws introduced in the United States, the rapid development of oil fields continued into the 20th century. Eventually, oil fields were discovered one after the other in places like the Middle East. In the film, when James Dean’s entire body was bathed in the oil that spouted up from the earth, that was the shining moment. This can be seen as a symbol of the energy revolution, led by the United States.
Half a century later, a documentary that sounded the alarm against those civilizations that rely on oil was, nonetheless, made in the United States. “Inconvenient Truth” raised awareness about global warming with former Vice President Al Gore’s lectures. After losing the presidential election, it became his life’s work.
Kilimanjaro’s snow is melting and the permafrost in places like Antarctica and Greenland is disappearing. Through the frequent use of graphs and images, awareness of the threat of global warming is manifest by the invocation of this discussion in countries all over the world. In order to prevent global warming, the use of fossil fuels such as oil must be curbed, and the amount of carbon dioxide emitted must be decreased. Gore, who contributed to raising public awareness, also won a Nobel Peace Prize.
In 2015, approximately 150 countries participated in the Paris climate agreement, which internationally framed global climate change countermeasures. With the hope of that effort still ahead, the announcement to withdraw from the agreement came out of President Trump’s mouth. The current president poured cold water on the emboldened former vice president’s chance to somehow keep global climate change in check.
Even so, in various places in the United States, mayors oppose President Trump’s declaration and have raised their voices, one after another, in support of the Paris climate agreement. The United States is such a selfish and complicated country.
*Editor’s note: James Dean died in 1955. The film was released after his death.