An Inconvenient Truth

February 27, 2007 at 10:09 pm (Education, Environment, General)

So, Heather and I finally saw An Inconvenient Truth. I know, I know, we’re about two years too late to the party, but I swear I had a good reason. I mean, I’m already something of an environmentalist. I walk a mile to and from the bus stop five days a week and take a bus to and from UCLA. The only time I get a ride is if someone is already going that way. Frankly, I like the walk. It’s valuable “me time.” I also try to keep unnecessary lights off. I’m thinking pretty hard right now, and I can’t think of any other major environmental “charges” that I run up. And Heather never seemed too worried about the environment, but for the sake of our marriage, I didn’t want to push her, so I figured we didn’t need to see it. Anyway, it was a documentary. I mean, how good could it really be?

Wow. Double Wow. Lebron James Wow. Okay, (a) yes, I knew that we’re heading towards disaster. But even knowing that, I felt kind of comfortable. I mean, I was doing my part, California is a pretty green state, go team. Well, not any more. There were so many different things in that movie that blew my mind. Most of all, the fact that polar bears are now drowning. Not Hurricane Katrina, not the pieces of ice the size of Rhode Island falling off of Antarctica. Perhaps it’s because that’s “old news” to me, but I was most floored by the fact that, for the first time in recorded history, polar bears are drowning because they can’t find ice on which to rest during part of the year. How is this not already widespread public knowledge? Polar bears are cute, people!!!!! This alone will motivate everyone under 8 (and those of us with a mental age of under 8) to save the environment!

I wish I had it in me to be eloquent right now, but when I was watching the extras on the DVD, and watch Melissa Etheridge’s music video, I was filled with this… energy, the same goosebumpy feeling I occasionally get from the most powerful film scores or religious hymns, that make me feel as if I myself could indeed save the world (hopefully, you know the ones I’m talking about), and, sitting there on the couch, I just felt words and ideas and need to make a difference bubbling out of me, and I just have to get it written down while I still have the words. So, perhaps I’ll clean this up soon (there’s nothing I love better than wreaking havoc on potential researchers by changing what I’ve written and published online). But, in the meantime, I’ll just be frank:

I’ve deplored the depletion of the Amazon rain forest over the last few years. After all, that’s however much percent of the earth’s oxygen being produced right there, and they’re chopping and burning it down at a truly incredible rate to get crappy farmland. One of the responses that I remember the various South American countries giving to our entreaties and orders that they stop said process is, “It’s our forest, we can do what we want with it, na na na na naaaa naaaa.” Which always struck me as a rather shortsighted, if understandable, response. Well, watching that music video, the following thought struck me: Why the f*** are we ordering South America what to do, when we have acres and acres of former forest land here in the good ol’ USA that we could be replanting and protecting?  I want to convince my landlords to install solar panels on this house, here, to charge everything.  Then, if I even ever buy a car, I want to get a hybrid and convert it to run on electricity only, and then I can plug it in at night and charge it up using the solar energy that I accumulated during the day.  I want the city of LA to install city-wide bike freeways, so that I can bike from Hollywood to San Pedro to visit my family.  I want a change!!!!

I guess that’s the point of the film.  I guess they were preaching to the choir with me, but hopefully, it moved Heather a lot, too.  If I could get her to cut back on her driving, that would be pretty cool.  As it is, she’s afraid or otherwise resistant to using the bus system, even though there’s a bus that leaves half a mile from our house and goes straight to her work.  I’d even walk her to the bus stop!  I’ve personally been so moved by this film that it’s pushed me to add a whole new category to my blog, environment (ooh, that’s crazy talk, John!). Watch that category over the new few months and years as I try to find new ways to make an environmental difference in my wife’s and my life, and make the world a better place than I found it.

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1 Comment

  1. marystan said,

    I haven’t seen it either, but ask me about Joanna Macy.

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