Friday, December 01, 2006

'An Inconvenient Truth' ...

I meant to see this movie when it was in the theaters.

As with most releases, I didn't get around to it. But maybe that's for the best. I would have had to drive to the theater, and the energy used to heat and cool and light a megaplex is far less than I used tonight.

It is a staggering film. Jaw-dropping. Infuriating.

I blogged about the gist of the film before, but now that I've seen the movie, I have more to say.

First of all: Watch it. Rent it. Buy it. Borrow it from a friend. But see this movie.

Afraid of being preached to? It's not preachy. It's informative. And it's information everyone needs.

There are statistics that astonish. For example, in one lifetime, the population of the planet will explode from 2 billion to 9 billion people. And all those people will require more energy resources for heating, cooling, and transportation. And they will require more food resources. And animals contribute to global warming from methane emissions. This isn't a plug for veganism, but if we all cut back on meat consumption, even just a bit, we'd spare a lot of methane, and spare a lot of animals' lives in the process.

Too attached to your steak? OK, there are other things you can do. You can recycle. You can turn your thermostat down a few degrees in the winter or up a few in the summer. You can unplug things you're not using. I don't use my blower dryer every day, but even if I did, 20 minutes a day, six days a week, that's only two hours a week. But I used to keep it plugged in all the time. Drawing energy 168 hours a week, even though I only needed it for a few minutes a week. So now, I keep it unplugged and put away. I get it out when I need it. I don't make coffee every morning (baffling, I know), so I keep my coffee pot unplugged and simply plug it in when I use it, unplugging it when I'm done. If I'm going to run errands and be out of the house for a couple hours, I shut down my computer instead of just letting it go to sleep.

You don't have to unplug things you use every day, like lamps. But you can replace the incandescent bulbs with compact flourescent bulbs. (They're on my list of things to pick up on the next trip to Home Depot.)

But you get the idea. Solving the global warming crisis doesn't demand that we give up our cars (though I try to walk my shorter errands; better for the planet, better for my butt) or grow our own vegetables (though buying organic from local growers is a good idea for all involved). It's the little things we can all do every day that will barely cause a blip on our collective effort radar that will save the planet.

Of course, there are people who won't do their share. These are the same people who run stop signs and cut in lines. So those of us who care can do a little extra. But then, we'd do a little extra anyway.

But see the movie. Understand, fully, what's at stake. And understand, fully, how we can arrest this crisis before the planet is doomed.

Don't wait for your neighbor to do something. It's not just up to them. It's up to you. It's up to all of us.

We all live under the same sky.


Anonymous Pat said...

Don't forget the fact that feeding a cow takes a lot more energy and land than feeding a person. You can feed a lot more people on an acre of soybeans than you can cows.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Well put, Pat.

But our meaty society is a tough sell on soy, sadly.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Jake said...

it's definitely an uphill battle, but it's also an unusually urgent one. the livestock industry produces almost 1/5 of all human-induced greenhouse gases (more than cars!), so the single biggest thing someone can do to fight global warming is to go vegetarian (vegan is better of course). plus the meat industry has a devastating effect on waterways, sucks up huge land and water resources, and features some of the worst worker exploitation in the country. finally, the way these animals are treated is absolutely unconscionable.

it's important to not be preachy or self-righteous when we talk to people about this. but it is important to talk to them. every person who makes the switch not only reduces the amount of pollution, global warming, and cruelty in the world, but also helps build a vegetarian market and culture that will make it easier for more people to switch.

also, go bears!

2:22 AM  

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