Thai Nguyen University
Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Batangas State University
Republic of Philippines
PHUNG THI THU HA
ECOLOGICAL CONCERN AND SUSTAINABILITY
IN THE SELECTED WORKS OF AL GORE
Specialty: English Language and Literature
Ph. D DISSERTATION SUMARY OF LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
THAI NGUYEN, 2014
The Dissertation was completed in:
THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY
Advisor: Maria Luisa A. Valdez, Ph.D.
Reviewer No.1: .............................................
Reviewer No.2: .............................................
Reviewer No.3: .............................................
The Dissertation will be evaluated at the State Council held at:
At: hour ... date ... month ...year 2014
Dissertation can be found at the libraries:
- National library of Vietnam;
- Learning Resource Center - Thai Nguyen University;
- Library of International Training and Development Center;
- Library of Batangas State University, Philippines.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Global warming, climate change, a decrease in the area of the
eternal ice cover, increasing sea level, ozone depletion, depletion of
natural resources, bio-diversity degradation, severely narrowed
natural forests, ocean acidification, acid rain, a great increase of the
world population, urban sprawl, environmental pollution, breed
depletion, spread of new diseases ... are the serious environmental
problems that the world faces. Therefore, the cause of environmental
protection is a vital issue not only within some countries, or some of
the areas but is also a global problem and one of the determinants of
sustainable development, closely related to the socio-economic
development of every single country in particular and the whole
world in general.
‘Global warming' and 'climate crisis' not only attracted the
attention of scientists, educators, writers, poets, environmentalists
around the world, but the recession serious environmental focus is
also being studied by many senior leaders in the world and Al Gore
is among them.
Albert Arnold Gore (Al Gore) is a former Vice President of the
United States, the period of 1993-2001. He was the Democratic
presidential nomination in 2000, and in 2007 he was co-authored by
Nobel Prize for his having made great contributions to the study of
global climate change.
He was one of the world’s first advocates on environmental
stewardship, who began to study the environment when he was at
school. The world really knows about him with his great concern for
conferences or through the movement for environmental protection
but also through his works written from the hearts of a person with a
deep sense of the true value of the ecological environment.
Among many of his great contributions to the protection of
ecological environment in the world, two of Al Gore's books titled
‘Earth in the Balance’, his first book, published in 1992, and ‘An
Inconvenient Truth’, published in 2006, gave readers a lot of deep
feelings about the environmental situation in the world. Along with
other environmental activists, he has nurtured the good feelings of
the people for Mother Earth, while evoking a sense of responsibility
of each person in the protection of ecological environment of Green
planet, the only place where life can survive and develop.
With a desire to learn more about the value of the ecological
environment, sustainability and lessons on the respect for the as well
as environmental sense that the author wants to convey to the
readers, especially young readers, the researchers chose to conduct
an analysis of two such works of Al Gore.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
This study is an analysis of the ecological concerns and
sustainability reflected in the selected literary works of Al Gore,
pointing out the teachings on ecological stewardship that may be
drawn from the analysis which shall benefit the Vietnamese students.
Specifically, the study sought answers to the following
1. What reflections of the author on environment may be gleaned in
the following selections:
1.1 Earth in the Balance; and
1.2 The Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of
Global Warming and What We Can Do About It?
2. How is ecological concern reflected in the selected works in terms of:
2.1 respecting Earth and life in all its diversity;
2.2 safeguarding Earth’s regenerative capacities;
2.3 caring for community life; and
2.4 appreciating Earth’s bounty and beauty?
3. How is sustainability manifested in the selections with regard to
3.1 environmental demands;
3.2 social equity demands;
3.3 and economic demands?
4. What literary devices were used in unveiling Al Gore’s theme of
ecological concern and sustainability?
5. What literary approaches are prevalent in the treatment of the
6. What teachings on ecological stewardship may be drawn from the
analysis which shall benefit the Vietnamese students?
1.3 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study was undertaken to explore the ecological concern
and its sustainability in the two selected works of Al Gore. On that
basis, the lessons learned in order to raise awareness of
environmental protection for students of literature, sociology and the
environment at Thai Nguyen University (TNU) in particular and all
other students throughout TNU in general.
The research analyzes the problems of ecology and sustainable
development is reflected in the literature selected by Al Gore, on that
basis, it finds out the lessons of ecological management for
Likewise, this research tries to present the author's reflections
on the environment through the research works; the ecological
concerns are reflected in the works in terms of respecting the Earth
and life and its diversity, safeguarding the regenerative capacities of
the Earth, caring for community life, and appreciating the beauty and
bounty of the Earth; Sustainability in the selections related to the
environmental demands, social demands and economic demands;
literary devices Al Gore used to express his deep concern about
ecology and sustainable development; and the common literary
approaches in the selected works.
This study used qualitative methods in the analysis of problems
of ecology and sustainable development in the two works of Al
Gore. Similarly, this analysis used the social and philosophical
approaches as the basis for the analysis. Other approaches in literary
criticism normally used in the analysis as the historical-critical,
biographical criticism, psychology and criticism are not part of this
This study also analyzes related content, which is a system of
engineering analysis of the text and word processing. The data
analyzed in this study focuses on the model search and extraction of
significance of the works selected for the study, the essential element
in the analysis of documents that were considered in the research
process of this study.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Applicability of literary analysis is an integral part of the
research is based on the importance of it. Here are the different
groups may use the results of this study:
TNUT managers: Research could provide TNU with a
environmental policies in the member schools. Research inspires
them to conduct environmental activities related to respecting the
earth and life in its diversity, protecting regeneration capacity of the
earth, caring for community life, and appreciating the generosity of
the Earth and its beauty in community education programs to achieve
the benefits of an ecologically sustainable environment for all people
regardless of gender, race, nationality and religion.
Ecological experts: Research supports them in defining the
role of the actions and decisions of their own in the protection of
ecological environment. With expertise and experience available,
they can inspire learners, listeners, and readers in organizing
activities to encourage maintaining an environment in which the
mediation of love environmental needs, social demands, and
economic requirement of their workplace are the basic elements.
These suggestions can evoke, and guide them to the concerns about
the environment and its sustainability. Since then, the application of
the principles developed into living and working guidelines in their
Teachers: This study provides suggestions for teachers on the
selection of themed lectures on environmental and sustainable
development of ecological management, conservation of global
resources, satisfying the needs of the present without compromising
the ability to meet the needs of future generations.
Students of literature: Research helps them acutely aware that
global warming, ozone depletion, depletion of agricultural land and
fisheries, depletion of water resources, pollution, acid rain, overexploitation levels of natural resources etc ... were and are the
dangers, and will threaten the lives of all species on earth. On that
basis, the formation of consciousness respect for the environment,
actively participate in the protection and caring of the ecological
environment are built.
Others: This study, in addition to support for education
professionals, literature, sociology, and environment, can assist
researchers in other fields related to the ecological environment, such
as economics, construction, law, anthropology etc ...
Members of the community: This study helps them to
understand that the planet's ecosystems are being degraded, in which
the human impact to the environment is the main cause, which evoke
a sense responsibility of each individual to the environment on earth.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
This chapter is presented with the end view of identifying the
constructs of the study.
This section presents the published and unpublished researches
that are related to the present study.
SYNTHEIS OF LITERATURE REVIEWED
This section justifies the direct influence of the literary concept
for this study and presents the similarities and differences of the
literature cited in the current research.
This section presents the key issues in other words, is the main
engine of the present study.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
This section provides definitions of the terms used in the study,
in order to help the readers understand exactly what the researcher
wanted to mention.
This chapter presents the research methodology in terms of the
research design and treatment of the materials studied.
This study used qualitative methods in the analysis of problems
of ecological environment and its sustainability in the selected
Patton (2002) pointed out that the goal of qualitative data
analysis is to explore the topic of interest, models, concepts, and
knowledge. Therefore, this study also analyzed the relevant content,
a systematic technique for analyzing text and word processing.
TREATMENT OF MATERIALS
The study sought to understand, exploit, and analyze the works
selected for the purpose of finding out the concerns of Al Gore to the
ecological environment and its sustainability.
The research work is said to contain the moral values and
social values, to help the reader aware of the social issues concerned;
from which the reader identify attitudes toward social issues.
This study analyzed the selected works in order to analyze the
author's concern for the environment and ecological concerns are
reflected in the work related to respecting the earth and life and its
diversity, protecting the regeneration capacity of the earth, caring for
community life, and appreciating the generosity and beauty of the
earth. Sustainability in the selections is related to the needs of the
environment, social demands and economic demands. The literary
tools used by Gore aims to express concern about the ecology and
sustainable development; the literary approach common in the study
of the selected works.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The results of analysis and interpretation revealed that:
1. Reflections of the author on environment may be gleaned in
1.1 The selected work ‘Earth in the Balance’
Al Gore has faithfully described his observations about the
alarming degradation of the world's ecological environment such as
global warming, climate change, an area of the eternal ice cover are
increasingly shrinking, sea level rise, ozone depletion, depletion of
natural resources, biodiversity degradation, deforestation combustion
phenomena causing widespread natural forest area shrunk severely
weight, ocean acidification, acid rain, ideal population increase,
urban sprawl, environmental pollution, depletion of physical race,
new diseases spread.
He pointed out the factors leading to increased temperature of
the Earth, such as uncontrolled burning, burning of fossil fuels in the
life of the people, especially the major industrial areas concentrated
in the most Most developed countries and developing countries
discharged a huge amount of CO2 and other harmful gases such as
methane and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere (Gore, part 1, p 22).
Al Gore stressed global warming is the main cause of
environmental degradation. Earth's temperature increase leads to
ozone depletion (Gore, part 1 p. 86), a natural shield giant earth help
limit the harmful effects of heat directly from the sun. Earth's
temperature thus increasing, the global climate change increasingly
irregular and difficult to control.
Rapid population growth is one of the focal point that Al Gore
is concerned. Due to overpopulation, the basic needs of food, clean
water, shelter, also becomes easier to control. To ensure the life, man
has constantly sought to exploit to the depletion of resources on the
earth, causing serious deterioration of ecological environment,
decrease the diversity of plant and animal species, leading to
alarming situation of different types of pollution such as waste
pollution, water pollution, air pollution, soil pollution…
From the above analysis can go to receive the world's
ecological environment is degraded and one of the reasons mainly
due to lack of human consciousness.
1.2 The selected work ‘An Inconvenient Truth’
Following the success of the book "Earth in the Balance ', Al
Gore once again share a deep concern before implementation of
environmental degradation in the world ‘An Inconvenient Truth'.
Unlike the way in which he expressed in the book published in
1992, Al Gore shared with readers a series of vivid images of the
Earth and the charts, diagrams containing persuasive information to
clarify the issues as the focus of world ecology.
Industrial pollution emissions have led to the accumulation of
CO2, the most dangerous emissions of the gases due to the
greenhouse effect, increasingly giant is the first image is used to
illustrate the human impact on the ecological environment. He
pointed out that people are discharged into the environment so that
large amounts of CO2, literally, have changed the relationship
between the Earth and the sun.
Al Gore asserts that the climate crisis is an uncomfortable truth
that every creature on earth is going through right now and that we
need to change our own lifestyle.
Global warming leads to melting of a huge area of icebergs in
the Arctic and in many other regions of the world, threatening the
lives of animals and plants not only in those areas where also cause
serious impact to the marine environment as well as terrestrial
'Climate Crisis', and 'global warming' cause abnormal weather
changes such as droughts, floods, tsunamis ... In addition, forest
fires, crop failures, famine, disease is the post-disaster environment
of marine ecosystem change made to the lives of all creatures,
especially humans encountered numerous difficulties.
Referring to the same topic of environmental degradation the
selected works both expressed deep concern of Al Gore before the
present and the future of Earth. He urged the world to join hands
consensus and efforts to find the solution and agreed to take back the
inherent beauty of the Earth and the ability to maintain or re-create
the life of existing species and in the future.
2. How is ecological concern reflected in the selected works in
2.1 Respecting Earth and life in all its diversity
To express special respect for the Earth, AL Gore insisted on
calling the Earth ‘Mother Earth’ and all humans in the world are
Mother Earth’s children. As Mother Earth teaches people know
patience, love (part 3, p261).
Earth, with the variety of factors that constitute it as a
landscape, sea, lake, river, mountain, land, water, air ... and
everything has created a warm home for all creatures . Mother Earth
does not belong to anyone in particular and the life of the Earth as
well as the properties of Earth's diversity should be respected.
2.2 Safeguarding Earth’s regenerative capacities
The fact that the recession is still ongoing environment every
day mainly under the influence of humans’ activities. However, Al
Gore, along with some environmentalists, has confirmed the ability
of the Earth to regenerate while seeking answers to questions related
to improving the climate crisis ‘What can We Do about it?' he asserts
that ‘We can do it'. He stressed the value of each personal
consciousness as well as the consensus of the world for career
improvement of ecological environment in the 'saving energy in the
home', 'consume less, conserve more', and 'be a catalyst for
In his "Earth in the Balance ', when referring to the solution to
the environmental problems, Al Gore pointed out that the stability of
the world population have an important role of a (p. 307). In
addition, in order to assert its role in protecting human regenerative
capacity of the Earth, he stressed the United States, one of the
country generated a large amount of the world's CO2 emissions, have
committed acts environmental movements and become a leader in
the movement of the environment (p. 314).
2.3 Caring for community life
Al Gore pointed out that family planning has a key role in
ensuring the quality of community life. This view shows the
consistency of his awareness of the challenges of environmental
degradation due to the implications of population growth in the
world over. In addition, the degradation of the family as early
marriages, early childbearing, internal conflicts, abuse and lack of
care for children are also the author mentions.
2.4 Appreciating Earth’s bounty and beauty
Earth is the only place for life to exist and develop. The natural
environment is an indispensable part of human life. The miraculous
transformation of natural beauty makes people always pleasant
surprise. Beautiful natural landscape and make people feel relaxed,
happy. Conversely harsh climate can also cause physical and human
heart becomes dry. Earth was very generous in giving me the same
things, a life with food, drinking water, with abundant resources and
poetic landscape. But sadly, people, due to not being fully aware of
the rights and obligations with respect to the environment, causing
depletion of natural resources, environmental degradation today.
3. How sustainability is manifested in the selections with regard
to reconciliation of environmental demands; social equity
demands; economic demands.
Sustainability is based on a basic principle: all things that
humans need to survive are directly or indirectly dependent on the
environment for sustainable Tinh create and maintain conditions in
which man and nature can exist in harmony with the needs of social
development, economic and other needs of the current generation
and the future.
The sustainability of the global environment and human life
will not be achieved unless people fully aware of their impact on the
environment from which these considerations, planning out action
star for ensuring social development, economic and cultural, but at
the same time maintaining a healthy ecological environment.
Al Gore encourages the use and invention of new technologies
to improve the level of harm to the environment while ensuring
economic efficiency. He said, "In some cases, the whole production
line should be redesigned so that they are easier to recycle products.
For example, some beverage containers made of plastic containing a
metal recycling so we cannot '(Gore, Part 3, p. 334).
4. What literary devices were used in unveiling Al Gore’s theme
of ecological concern and sustainability.
Any writer, when writing, has to use different literary tools for
conveying their ideas into work. To express their ideas successfully,
Al Gore has cleverly used as comparative measures, metaphor,
comparisons and metaphors to compare objects in correlation things
make content come alive described, the comparison becomes clear
and effective. The use of alliteration is not only for sentence rhythm,
but also helps readers find the work easy to read and impressive.
5. What literary approaches are prevalent in the treatment of
the selected works
Literary approach helps readers understand why the author
wrote the work and understand the impact of that work. Al Gore has
used social approach combined with philosophical approach in his
work. Sociological approach which he used to help the reader
understand the context of culture, politics works. Philosophical
approach used to determine whether the works convey any lessons or
messages or can help readers better understand the world, improve
6. What teachings on ecological stewardship may be drawn from
the analysis which shall benefit the Vietnamese students
Vietnam is a country in Southeast Asia and is one of the
countries that suffered the effects of global climate change,
especially in the coastal areas, such as abnormal flooding, saltwater
intrusion, declining ecosystem diversity ... The activity of promoting
awareness of the role, value and ability of the environment to the
youth, especially young intellectuals and students has long-term
implications for the comprehensive development of Vietnam in
particular and other countries in the region and the world in general.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
This chapter presents the summary of findings, conclusions and
recommendation of the study.
This study deeply analyzed of the ecological concerns and
sustainable development reflected in the selected literary works of Al
Gore, showing lessons on ecological management associated with
education awareness of protecting the ecological environment for
This study used qualitative methods in the analysis of Gore's
concept of ecological concerns and sustainable development in the
literature typically selected. Similarly, this analysis used the
approach of sociology and philosophy as the basis for analysis. This
paper also analyzed related content, which is a system of analysis
techniques of the text and word processing.
The selected works of Al Gore titled ‘Earth in the Balance’ and
‘An Inconvenient Truth’ are two important sources used in this
Based on the summary, the following conclusions are drawn: