Thursday, July 20, 2006

Global Warming and Public Humiliation

I just saw the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" and realized how colossally uninformed I am. And I realized that at least half of the people I know must be as in the dark as I am. So I did the most embarassing thing I can think of. I sent out a mass email asking them all to either see the documentary or - at the very least - visit the website (

Ironically this is embarassing for two completely different reasons. Half the people who get the email DO NOT WANT TO KNOW. They are really going to be unimpressed that they recieved an email about the environment from me. The other half may not have seen the documentary yet but THEY will be shocked when they read the email admitting that I knew so little.

This is how much the documentary impacted me. I am willing to subject myself to the public humiliation required to get their (or your!) attention. The shortened version of my feelings about it are basically that I didn't really want to think about Global Warming. My significant other wanted to see the documentary and I felt like I should... and I was embarrassed to tell him that I was really perfectly happy not thinking about it. It's not somthing to be proud of but that's how I really felt. I think of myself as being fairly intelligent and relatively well informed. And I felt like that was good enough. I really didn't understand how serious the problem is. The film had a real impact on me. I want to make changes. It made me accept that Global Warming is real (which, while I guess I did accept - it did not actually mean anything to me in practical terms before now. How sad is that?!?)

I sat there thinking, "By the time I reach retirement, our climate may have changed enough that our way of life will have significantly changed... and it may change a great deal for the worse. Do I want to be around to see that? If I have children, by the time my children reach adulthood, the part of Florida that I grew up in could be underwater." Really. It's that serious. Even if you don't care about what future generations have to deal with (and let's face it - those consequences are, sadly, easy to ignore) what about ignoring a problem that will change the face of the earth during your lifetime?

The website has a "Take Action" section explaining things you can do around the house, etc. The guy and I are going to do everything we are able to... and there are a lot of things that take very little effort, they just require making a concious choice. If you are willing to learn more, the site has a lot of information on it. I do STRONGLY recommend the documentary. No matter what your politics are, the issue goes far beyond that. The documentary was well done and most importantly - it did something that none of the articles I've read or conversations I've had about it could do - it made me see what the effect of Global Warming in PRACTICAL TERMS. It made me understand the way in which it can and already is effecting us.

Hopefully sending the email was worthwhile (Seriously. I sent it to my uncles. I sent it to a variety of people who will think I am a complete dweeb.) - which I will consider it to be if even a few people take it seriously or pass it along.

Because I've decided the alternative for me - if there isn't a change in our conciousness as a whole and Global Warming continues to escalate - is saving my pennies and buying as much land as I can at a high elevation and investing in solar energy panels and a heckuva lot of sunblock. And that option just seems reeeeally creepy and depressing.

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