July 6, 2007

As a precursor for the Live Earth Concert tomorrow, we just finished watching “An Inconvenient Truth” by Al Gore.  You know, the documentary about Global Warming?  Well, I can just say that I was always a believer in Global Warming, yet I didn’t know to the extent of the damage we as a society were doing and the intense repercussions that were coming if we do not make a change.  This movie speaks about highly specific details in a way that anyone with any level of common sense can understand.  I did find the few side stories about his life (his son gets hit by a car and his run for President) to be less about the Global Warming issue.  I understood they were attempts at milestones in his life when he realized the importance of greater things and so forth, but I also found them to possibly alienate any conservative, Republican or other critic of Global Warming.  

However, the movie is mainly him giving his Global Warming presentation to a room full of people.  And Mr. Gore is a very intense speaker.  I was drawn to watch those parts.  When we left those parts for a number or clips or whatever, I became restless to get back to his presentation.  I found it informative, and it gets right to the point.  Statistics, photos and like any good presentation that is under controversial dispute, he addresses those who would say Global Warming isn’t real.  He counters those claims and does so effectively.

Pictures of mountains that were covered in snow 30 years ago are now almost bare of it, glaciers falling in massive amounts – melting away into the oceans.  One of the images that struck me the hardest was a computer animated image of a Polar Bear.  People traveling around in our ice caps are finding more and more Polar Bears drowned.  The reason, the ice is melting and they have no way to get out of the water.  They are swimming and swimming and swimming, hoping to find some sort of surface to climb up on.  The animated short showed a bear finding a small ice pallet, and when it tries to climb on top, it simply breaks into smaller pieces, not strong enough to hold the bear’s weight.  

Some may not find this image very moving.  Maybe I am susceptible due to a past memory of a family pet being found drowned in our pool and the recurring image of a pet swimming and swimming and swimming looking for a way out, wondering why no one is there to help and the “safety of land” being so close by.  Maybe some think “Who cares about the Polar Bears, It’s not like its my sister” or “As long as we can survive, that doesn’t bother me”.  Quite frankly, I am of a different ideology.  If Global Warming would only kill the stupid humans who are too lazy and greedy and arrogant to stop it with their own selfish actions, then let us die.  Let us be extinct, but the thought that we are slowly killing the animals of the world who did not contribute nor ask for this is a horrendous affront to nature and for those who believe in God, God’s great plan for us all.

This movie made me sad.  Sad for the world.  Sad for myself as I indulge in many of the luxuries that directly or indirectly cause this horrible situation.  We try in small ways.  We recycle.  We buy fluorescent bulbs to replace the old ones.  I try to turn off lights as I go through the house or leave a room.  We own an electric lawnmower.  I want a hybrid car, but cannot afford one.  I want rain barrels but haven’t done it yet.  I run the tv all the time.  I keep the thermostat low cuz I like it chilly.  I leave the water on while brushing my teeth and doing the dishes.  But I guess that is the first step.  To see what I already do and then see what I don’t do and strive for it.

I do feel like a singular citizen has the power to change small things in life to make a difference, but I also feel that large corporations should also be held accountable.  I think those things combined can truly turn the tide and ensure that our children’s children won’t have to wear sun block SPF 4000 to avoid skin cancer.  Or breathing masks to go outside and play.  Or have to see stuffed or wax statues of most of the worlds animals that were killed in it.  Or be able to go to Disney World or San Francisco (which would be under water if the polar caps melt).

It’s a serious call to arms.  It’s important that we listen.  It’s important we tell our government that we consider this a very important issue that needs to be addressed.  We can do small things, yes, but we cannot do it alone and they work for us, let’s remind them.

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