"Love is a harsh and dreadful thing to ask of us, but it is the only answer."--Dorothy Day

6.27.2006

Missing Al Gore...

Last week, I went to see An Inconvenient Truth (or the Al Gore movie as I've been known to call it), because one of my Austin friends saw and said that he thought about me the whole way through watching it. It was so scary. Really the information presented was nothing new to me...melting icecaps, crazy angry weather systems, catastrophic climate shift, blah, blah, blah. But seeing it in this format, complete with graphs and charts and projected illustrations, made the reality so much more real to me. I went home that night and turned down my A/C, made sure only the necessary lights and appliances were on, turned off the water while I brushed my teeth, recycled some stuff, began looking into joining a food coop.

I was at dinner with friends last night, two of whom had seen the movie, and they had the same reaction as me. We discussed for quite a while if this would make a difference in the way the world is moving or if it's just speaking to those of us who were already inclined to believe it. Can the left leaning segments of the United States who have readily accessible art theatres, or later readily accessible Netflix, do enough to change the course of the world climate?

With the insanity of current weather patterns--floods on one coast, fires on another--it seems, in my all too logical mind, that people might stop and take notice. Park their SUVs on the side of whatever super-highway they're speeding down and walk to the next bicycle shop. But then I was shaken from my dream by some disturbing forwards I received this week. I really should stop reading them. They have about the same affect on me as does the television news. The first one stated somewhere in its rambling "If you can read this, thank a teacher." I'm okay with this. "If you're reading this in English, thank a soldier." I was enraged. I do support the troops and appreciate the sacrifices they have made for what they believe to be the country's best interest, but this is (a) just ridiculous. The reason we speak English in the United States is because some British people came and settled land that didn't belong to them 400 years ago, bringing with them pox blankets (as per Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States). And (b) that statement is just a little bit on the bigoted side, don't you think. The second e-mail basically said that in 1986 Oliver North tried to warn Al Gore about terrorists and Al just laughed at him because he couldn't pronounce the supposed terrorists' names. Now my conservative cousins are going to read this (in English, of course) as it's passed around the family and say, "Well, look here. That Al Gore is responsible for 9/11 and he's just trying to cover it up with this Global Warming hullabaloo." Woe is me.

2 comments:

RM said...

Very interesting post. I've been thinking about seeing the movie, myself, but will probably have the same anxiety reaction I had after viewing Fahrenheit 911. I guess it's a good thing we don't have a car. As far as the forwards you receive, just hard to believe...

Jennifer said...

What about malaria? If you blog about that, we could have a great online debate about the affects of malaria on global warming. And then I would lose.