Poor Al Gore. He’s been running around the country like Chicken Little for years now, shouting that the sky is falling, and nobody listens. Well, they listen—but they don’t do much else. After viewing An Inconvenient Truth, I’ve come to the conclusion that within fifty to a hundred years the planet will be uninhabitable. Were I in a position of power, I’d immediately begin passing legislation banning substances and behavior that’s contributing to global warming. As it is, I did what ordinary citizens do—wrote letters to my Congresspeople, who, since I live in the great progressive state of California, are already among the converted.
There’s an old Twilight Zone episode in which people stay holed up indoors, unable to venture outside because it’s too hot. People are burning up like moths. Those still alive tiptoe about with the shades drawn and the lights out, wiping sweat from their terrified faces. If Rod Serling knew back in the fifties that global warming was on the way, how come the powers-that-be haven’t figured it out by now?
Gore’s alarming statiistics, and his even more alarming then-and-now photographs of lakes, mountains and glaciers, are so frightening it’s inconceivable that people are still denying the evidence—and yet they are. The usual suspect, greed, doesn’t even make sense: cleaning up our act would inevitably generate new forms of productive money-making labor, and where there’s labor there’s always a boss to cash in on it. Could it be that Bush et al haven’t bothered to study the issue?
But I don’t want to waste more time pondering or reiterating the ignorance and incompetence of this administration; I just want everyone to see this documentary, and then take whatever small or big action they can in the direction of rapid change. As Gore points out, change is possible: as a society we’ve managed to engineer major changes before. Remember the holes in the ozone? We don’t use those spray cans with the chemicals that create those holes anymore. Remember when every theater, restaurant and even hospital room was filled with billowing clouds of cigarette smoke—or am I giving away my age here? The point is, when a majority of people decide a change in behavior is in their best interest, it happens. Let’s get cracking.
Addendum: Al Gore is ready to build on the success of “An Inconvenient Truth” and start organizing to solve the climate crisis. He’s working to get hundreds of thousands of messages to Congress demanding real action to stop global warming. You can help out by signing the petition at the link below. If you do, Al Gore will personally deliver our comments to Congress.
Note–This link is now obsolete.–MS, 5/14/07