GLOBAL WARMING: A FACT NOT TO BE IGNORED
All right ... I have just spent the last seven days indoors because of rain. Where I live we got about four inches of rain, not terrible, but a lot considering before last week we were about five inches short on rain so far in 2006. Now, about an hour and a half northeast of where I live they got 15-plus inches of rain!!! There was widespread flooding, sewage backup into people's basements and hundreds of people had to be evacuated from their homes for days.
Now, it's Wednesday (the rain started last Tuesday) and the sun is shining and it's expected to reach 70 degrees. I know what they say about New England weather - "If you don't like it, just wait a minute," - but this is a little ridiculous. Can you say extremes? January through April we're practically suffering a drought. There was a brush fire up the street from my house that scorched over 100 acres of land just three weeks ago. Now people are losing their homes to floods? Something is most definitely wrong here.
So, I started thinking. A very close friend of mine (I won't mention her name because I think she might find it unsettling to see her name on a blog, even mine) is responsible for sparking my recent interest in all things "environmental." I have been on a tear reading everything I can - magazines, books (even novels with environmental themes thanks to that very same friend) and now I have found the movie I hope we all see. "An Inconvenient Truth" is a documentary to be released on May 24th featuring Al Gore and what his research regarding global warming has revealed to him.
Even though it is painfully obvious how I feel about republicans and the current (criminal) administration in Washington, I am not a big Al Gore fan. But I've seen the trailer for this movie and it looks incredible. I mean, if this doesn't get people thinking ... I don't know what will. The devastation this Earth has already suffered (Hurricane Katrina, the melting of the polar ice caps, the hottest year ever recorded in 2005) and what is expected to come if we don't change the way we live our lives is absolutely frightening. And no matter what Michael Crighton or Dubyah wants you to believe - Global warming is already happening.
"An Inconvenient Truth" appears to be a movie not only about scaring the human species, but showing us there is another way to live, a way that is helpful and even beneficial to the great Mother Earth. Do we really want to leave such a mess for our children? Will there even be anything to clean up if we leave it up to the next generation? It doesn't look good. And once you know the facts, once you know what to do and what not to do, here's the rub - You can't pretend you don't know. In fact, that's the biggest problem we face. People don't like change. People like living there disposable, gas guzzling, oil addicted lives. It's easy. But what won't be easy is living in a world with 100 million displaced persons whose coastal cities were swallowed up by the oceans because too many glaciers melted. That number doesn't include the number of people who will die during such a catastrophe.
There's a line from the trailer that says "It will shake you to your core ..." and if it doesn't, you're not alive. We should be scared - really scared. In the decades to come, if things don't begin to change, it won't be "us" sending "them" money for recovery after a devastating storm or fire - it will be happening to us and there won't be any them to give us assistance.
So see the film. At least the trailer (which I have conveniently linked at the bottom of this post). And let your outrage work for you. Change your life. Be the example you wish the world to follow. I certainly can't afford a Hybrid vehicle at this point in my life, but I can certainly write my congressmen and tell them that I think it's important we adopt higher fuel efficient standards for our automobiles. I can certainly demand that the U.S. make a real commitment to research in finding more efficient energy sources that won't destroy the Earth with its emissions while we strip her minerals from the ground. I can certainly make sure that I'm recycling everything possible and reusing whatever I can and reusing it until I can reuse it any more.
Every little bit counts and everyone doing a little bit - that's how change happens.