An Inconvenient Truth in an ambivalent world

June 17, 2006 by barbara

by barbara

Saw Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth" yesterday. Took a couple of my grands. Got turned down by a third. Three to go.

The movie. It was good. Gore was good. I brought extra socks in case the movie blew mine away. Didn't happen. Did it need to?

I saw the bulk of this material when Gore brought his road show to St. Paul last year. Didn't have extra socks then, and wished I'd brought them. It was just Al and his slides and us. Even though "us" numbered hundreds of folks in a large auditorium, there was still something intimate about the experience. Gore stuck around for a long, long time afterwards, schmoozing, answering questions, posing for photos. Yeah, I have one. Al and Barbara, together at last.

So my response to the flick was lukewarm. That got better, though, in the post-mortem with my grands. They were impressed. Especially by the graph that showed how certain concrete steps can help reverse the damage. And there were great action steps outlined with the closing credits. Some of the people in the theater left before they rolled.

One thing keeps surfacing about the world's problems: power struggles, economic woes, and much of global warming seems linked to greed (individual, collective and most of all, the insatiable greed of the Bushies). Big aha, right? That greed manifests itself primarily in our national addiction to oil, making appalling tradeoffs to feed that addiction.

You see signs of it every day. Humongous vehicles lumbering up to gas pumps, one after the other, sucking oil like giant piglets nursing at their mothers' teats. Auto makers just now pondering the notion of producing more and better energy efficient vehicles for which they've subsumed the technology for decades. The shameful failure of the United States of America to get on board with the Kyoto Treaty.

You already know this stuff. I'm just blowing smoke (limited amount of carbon dioxide, I'm hoping).

Back to the movie. In spite of the fact that it wasn't a media extravaganza, my grands paid close attention. I was amazed at how many stats, one-liners and over-arching concepts they could play back in our movie post-mortem.

They came to the movie thinking endless summer wouldn't be such a bad thing, really. By the time we left, it was clear that their awareness had ratcheted up significantly. It even led to a conversation about God and omnipotence and the failure of people to do the right thing.

Like so many of us, my grands find the global warming prospect depressing. It's huge, that's for sure. And how the hell do kids persuade the people in their personal universe that it's time to pull together instead of protecting vested interests? That it's their future that's on the line? Would I have paid attention to all of that when I was a teen? When I believed I was invulnerable, that I would live forever? Probably not. So I give them an A for the day.

They're thinking about this, my grands are. They'll speak of it other places. And given that they have this pesky grandmother, they'll revisit it from time to time. That much is certain.

I'm proud of my grands. I want them to live long and prosper in a healthy world. Is that asking so much?

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