An Inconvenient Truth

Not sure how I’m going to tie this one into photography, but we’ll see when I get to the bottom if I have or not.

I rarely have time to see movies anymore. Something I used to love to do, but sitting still for two hours just doesn’t seem to fit into my life. But I’ve been wanting to carve out a little time to see what I had heard was a very important film. I finally did and it is.

Everyone who lives on this planet should see An Inconvenient Truth. Really. We all need to see this film. It may affect us all. It will certainly affect our children.

A couple of initial observations. As I sat in the darkness watching Al Gore make his case for the reality of global warming I became very sad that this man is not our President. I was not a huge fan of his during the 2000 election. I didn’t agree with all of his politics, but he seemed like a decent enough man to run the country.

After seeing this film, I can honestly say that he’s a greater man than I gave him credit for. It’s too bad that the Democratic Party molded him into a boring awkward candidate. He may be a bit of a nerd, but he’s not boring. At least when he’s talking about something he feels passionate about. He deserves more credit and certainly does not deserve the amount of ridicule he has weathered over the years.

The movie is basically a power point presentation. Now I hate power point presentations. But Al has been giving this presentation for a couple of decades, more than 1,000 times by his own count, and he’s a damn good storyteller. It didn’t hurt that he was using Apple’s Keynote which is far easier on the eyes than Microsoft’s PowerPoint.

As the movie evolves we see Mr. Gore giving his presentation, intercut with stories and clips of his life which help to illustrate why he has dedicated his life to trying… trying and in most cases perhaps until now, not succeeding in educating as many people as possible about the very real problem of global warming.

Here’s the second observation and perhaps the most tragic. Al Gore is as much a man of science as President George W. Bush is not. There is an intellectual chasm between these two men. Watching the film I began to shake my head wondering how much different this country would be if Mr. Gore had “won” the election in 2000. We probably would be concentrating on more important things than gay marriage or flag burning and perhaps we wouldn’t even be involved in the civil war in Iraq. No, perhaps we would be worrying more about for the first time in our history we are in perilous danger of changing the climate of earth to the degree that life will be very different, even unpleasant for most and deadly for others.

Here’s the simple broad stroke. The increasing levels of carbon dioxide that we are putting into the atmosphere since the 1960s will continue to melt the ice at both of the earth’s poles and not only raise the temperature of the planet enough to melt glaciers and the snow on even the highest mountain tops that provide water to a great deal of the earth’s population, but the oceans will rise to a level that millions of people’s homes will be underwater. Not only Florida and New York and San Francisco, but huge parts of countries all over the world.

It stops being an issue of whether or not we as a nation can afford to fill the gas tanks of gas guzzling SUVs, but whether we want to be responsible as humans for changing the climate of the earth enough that we will actually begin to kill people in other countries when their fresh water supplies disappear. It’s not an exaggeration. We are on the verge of that being a reality.

So go see this film and perhaps you’ll be shaking your head as you leave the theater like I was, wondering whether this most unscientific Administration will ever admit that our energy policies are arrogant, shortsighted and immoral. I doubt they ever will.

Looking at the photographs of glaciers and mountain tops melting is very real proof. Undeniable anymore.

President Al. It’s a damn shame.

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