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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

An Inconvenient, Scary-As-Hell Truth

I finally got a chance to see the movie An Inconvenient Truth today. I'm sure many of you have already seen this documentary of Al Gore's lecture presentations on global warming. If you haven't, you must. The way I just described it in the previous sentence probably makes it sound very boring. It isn't--it's essential.

Let's put aside the issue that if the 2000 election had been settled by the voters instead of the Supreme Court we would have Al Gore, an intelligent, thinking man, in the White House instead of the inarticulate, simple-minded, chancellor-groping frat boy who currently resides there (when he's not playing cowboy in Texas). It's possible that Al Gore may actually have a more lasting and significant impact on the world by not being president and by instead doing exactly what he's doing now--explaining over and over again to audiences all over the world about the grave peril we face from global warming, how it is caused, how it is measured, what will happen if we do nothing, and what we can do in our own lives, every day, to make a difference.

There was so much good, clear information presented in the film and many experts have verified that the science behind it is very solid. The film uses terrific--and in some cases, terrifying--graphics to make clear exactly what is at stake. The part that hit me hardest was seeing a series of computer projections of how land maps will be redrawn over the next century by rising sea waters caused by melting glaciers. I watched a map of the San Francisco Bay Area completely change before my eyes as waters swept over much of the perimeter of San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and Marin County. And Alameda? Alameda will be completely underwater. My hometown erased--it doesn't get much more personal than that.

I won't go into a lot of detail about the issue--there's plenty of information out there and the movie has a great web site at www.climatecrisis.net with lots of suggestions for how each of us can take action. But begin with this: If you haven't seen the film, click the pledge icon on the right side of this blog page, and commit to seeing An Inconvenient Truth as soon as you can. (If you live outside of the U.S., click here for release dates overseas.) There is much to be done--and to undo.

3 comments:

Amy Stewart said...

Thanks so much for this post! Everybody should be willing to give two hours of their lives to sit in a dark room with some popcorn and watch this movie. I thought it was surprisingly interesting and entertaining, very eye-opening, and even funny sometimes. But it completely transformed my thinking on an issue I thought I already "got."

I went right home and made some simple changes to help save energy. What you realize when you see this movie is that we all need to do SOMETHING, and that the things we can do are surprisingly easy and not at all 'inconvenient' in light of the consequences.

Claire Splan said...

When I got home from seeing the movie I immediately started checking some things on the Internet to see if I could afford to sell my 2000 VW Beetle (not a gas hog, but not terribly efficient either) and buy a hybrid. After running the numbers, I realized that it's just not affordable right now. But then I realized that I could afford to buy a bicycle and a bus pass for my around-town errands and leave the car at home. The important thing is to make what changes we can as soon as we can.

Yuriko Brimm said...

When my 15 year old son told us to watch it, I knew it must be good--it's hard to get the attention of teenage boys!

As for Mr. Shrub, my favorite bumpersticker sited in Berkeley:

"Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing its idiot"

Yuriko

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