Sunday, February 04, 2007

A Convenient Showing of An Inconvenient Truth

Jews are the first to step up when it comes to social and environmental action. Temple Micah is right there leading multiple efforts to save the world. My husband has agreed to organize an hour of protest in support of “Save Darfur” in front of the Sudanese Embassy each month. The Green Team at TM has emerged to raise public awareness of environmental issues.

We were treated to a free showing of “An Inconvenient Truth” last night as part of the Green Team’s efforts. Not only was there a movie to see, but there were HANDOUTS and a SPEAKER to answer questions afterwards. And of course, there was FOOD – no TM event would be complete without food.

The movie only served to confirm the grim truths I had already begun to process by providing pictures and facts, lots of facts. But it was extremely well done, despite the serious message it carried.

As I watched Al Gore enthusiastically take his cause to the world, I could only wonder how much better the entire human race would be today if he had been given the office he earned. The movie portrayed Al Gore not as a politician, but as a citizen concerned about the future for his family and the rest of the world. The plastic smile was gone, leaving just a guy with a message that needed desperately to be conveyed.

What also became evident was that although we in the US deserve the blame for about 30% of the problem, there are many countries, including China, which are far ahead of us in terms of doing something about it. We are sorely lagging in terms of manufacturing fuel-efficient cars, an important component in this country of single-driver SUVs.

Al Gore not only presented the problem, but he also offered some concrete things that we could do to start to fix it. Just as we successfully addressed the hole in the ozone layer, we have the power to make a difference in global warming.

This movie should be required viewing for anyone graduating from high school in the US today. If this country doesn’t wake up to the problem, future generations are going to pay the price for our ignorance and greed.

Can you name one thing that you will do in the coming year to address global warming?


Blogger Kate said...

I plan to outfit my new home in AZ with solar energy. There is no reason to live in that state without it. If I find a house that is not outfitted with it, I will incorporate it. When I bought my car, I so wanted a hybrid, but really could not afford it at the time. That will be my next investment, definitely, although not this year.

Gore's film had a huge impact on me. I only wish he would reconsider and run again.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

You've said exactly what we said when we saw that movie! Al Gore should have been put in office! man, was that an unfortunate screw-up! Our schools here have been viewing it.
He is so genuinely caring of our world.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I saw "An Inconvenient Truth" followed by a Q&A session with Al Gore himself. Definitely a dynamic speaker with a powerful message. I'm glad to see that the US is starting to take global warming seriously. The crazy start to winter helped, whether or not it was attributable.

I've already pretty much given up driving and now rely on public transportation as much as possible. I use low energy bulbs. I've written on the topic (which got a link from Wonkette) and will write again in an attempt to spread the news. I'm doing what I can.

3:54 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Giviing up my car three years ago was kind of a big effort I think.

I would love to vote for Al Gore for president. I wonder if we can get him to run?

9:23 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kate -- Solar power and a hybrid car are definitely good ideas.

MOI -- I wonder if US schools are viewing it?...

Reya -- You were far ahead of the rest of us when you gave up your car. If we could just get a few more people to go that route, we'd be a lot better off!

1:27 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- I remember your post on this and how impressed you and your brother were with Al Gore's sincerity. I'm just sorry we didn't get to experience him as our President.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

I popped over to the website about the movie and clicked on the "what you can do at home" button. I'm glad to see that most of those suggestions are things I'm alread doing. I do my laundry in cold water, line dry everything, have energy saving lightbulbs in every lamp, turn off all my electrical appliances (including my computer) when I'm at work and turn the heat down as well, when I'm not here. I wear a sweater and warm slippers instead of turning it up when it gets really cold out. I live a mile in all directions from my three places of work so I often walk instead of using my car. I plant a garden every summer and jar my produce. I recycle paper, glass and metal. I turn the water off while I brush my teeth and waste as little as possible. None of these things are a great hardship - just think what we could do if we all pulled together to reduce our consumption and lower dangerous emissions.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Pauline -- Impressive! You're making up for the rest of us who are still just getting around to buying light bulbs!

9:39 PM  
Blogger Old Lady said...

As I replace light bulbs I use the gas ones. Only have one vehicle. I save rain water to water plants. I keep gardens.

I want to recycle.

10:34 PM  
Blogger steve said...

I hear Al is up for a Nobel prize... his best days may be ahead of him... he certainly found his voice and the last 6 years his audience....the dabacle in Florida in 2000 may be what saves the Planet as Al has really been able to do his homework.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve -- Al truly is a smart man. When I hear him speak, I long for more. When I hear someone else speak, I change the channel.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

I haven't seen the movie and have little interest in seeing it.

Aside from driving less, I don't realy know what I can do to significantly reduce my environmental foot print (work on my wife is the first thing that comes to mind).

I was raised by two parents who grew up in post war Poland and knew scarcity all too well. Reduce and reuse was always evident. Even to this day, I cannot be profligate and wasteful in my use of resource. Scarcity is deeply ingrained in me.

Aside from driving too much, how much garbage do I produce? About 1/2 a plastic shopping bag per week. If I have the wife and kids around, make it two plastic shopping bags - significantly less than 1 black garbage bag. The only time we were throwing out about 1-1/2 garbage bags was when we had a kid in diapers.

Despite increases in prices, my electricity and natural gas bills have not gone up much because I work hard to reduce consumption.

I try to reduce the amount of plastics recycled (since plastics really can't be recycled). Of course, convincing Sofia to do away with bottled water is not succeeding (I oppose bottled water for two reasons: (1) it commodifies a resource that should be freely available to all, (2) plastic bottles are an environmental disaster).

6:29 PM  

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