stageright…stageleft


choice
June 21, 2006, 7:47 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
about a two weeks ago i saw the new documentary an inconvenient truth which is essentially former vice president (and personal hero of mine) al gore’s speech on global warming (with amazing graphics) he’s given over 1000 times all over the world. it was one of the most riveting, thought-provoking and disturbing films i’ve ever seen.
i’ve been struggling with my feelings about the movie since i saw it. i immediately wanted to blog about it, but what to blog? the topic is so enormous, where can i begin? i’m only one person, could i make any difference? so i’ve been sitting on my thoughts of the movie, but at the end of the day it’s really now, or never.
so firstly, if your one of the people that believes that global warming is still a theory, rather than fact – nothing i’m going to say is going to make you change your mind. with that said, i urge you to do your own personal research on the topic. don’t just believe what you read in the press or hear from industry. global warming is well documented and researched by the scientific community. still believe what you hear about it being a theory? go see the movie, then we can have intelligent debate – until then, don’t bother me.
ignorance is not bliss
there are so many thoughts swirling in my mind about this topic, the enormity of it can certainly weigh you down. this movie will only serve to put more questions in your head. it doesn’t answer the big question, as much as it forces you to take a long, hard look at your choices and actions, and asks you to ask yourself “how does what i do/choose affect the planet around me?” (tho’ it does give you some great ideas on what to do in your own world).
or at least, i hope those in the very packed audience i saw the film with, walked out asking themselves that very big question.
but i’m afraid they probably didn’t.
for me, even as eloquent a mr. gore was (and he was bloody brilliant), this move was more about my relationship with the planet. i walked out trying to understand that even those of us with the best intentions are, ultimately causing harm to the planet (and of course, this is the only planet we have). after all, i drive a v6 car (arguably, larger than i need), i spent a great portion of my time in airplanes, i drive more than 20 miles one way to work, i frequently drive the half mile from my office to the local shopping center for lunch (or drive the two blocks to the local wallgreens), etc.
ultimately, it all comes down to choice. the car’s we drive, the way we drive, the energy we expend.
it’s all simple choice.
as an example, for as long as i can remember, i’ve wanted a jeep wrangler. so much so, i’m convinced the reason i hate every car i drive soley for the fact it’s not a jeep. a few months ago, i decided this was the year i was finally going to get a jeep – if only to get it out of my system. now, i work for a company that has a major environmental mission, and i consider myself to be fairly educated on the topic at hand, and i certainly knew the wrangler is not an environmentally friendly vehicle. 21 mpg does not make the planet happy. if i were to get a jeep, that would be a choice, and if i’m a responsible person, i would need to make that choice with all the facts. i’d have to weigh the good agains the bad and figure out what’s right for me. right?
wrong. when i walked out of this movie, the message was clear – my choices intimately affect the planet. i can’t – in good conscience – believe that i’m a good steward of the planet and it’s just my neighbor’s contributing to global warming. its’ not about making choices that make me happy, it’s about making the right choice for the greater good (funny how that also happens to be a very buddhist concept – i’m just not a quick learner apparently). plain and simple, my buying a jeep would contribute to global warming. it’s a choice i can no longer make – no matter how much i may want one.

this is just one example, one way my personal choices can hopefully do something that works for the betterment of the earth, not just for my pleasure. yes, i know i’m not perfect, and i’m sure that i will do many many more things that ultimately are not right, but i can start with this one choice – this one small step – and find an another car that won’t cause more harm than necessary.

some would say the simple answer is to get a hybrid. well again, do some research (don’t just listen to the media). hybrids are great for city driving. i spend most of my time on freeways. it’s not a good option for me. for me it’s about finding a car that i can be comfortable in and one that i can be assured gets the best mpg available. i’m going to look into the new toyota yaris. sure it’s small (how much room do i really need), but it’s kinda cute and for fuck sake, it gets 40mpg! can’t go wrong with that.

mpg… hmmm interesting how every industrialized country in the world has stronger mpg laws than the u.s., and we wonder why we are not competing on a global level.

and those suv’s everywhere – wow, those are just a nightmare waiting to happen (oh wait, we’re living the nightmare). can someone please explain why anyone would need a hummer (the gm kind, not the blow job kind – everyone needs those). talk about compensating.

– only 5% of suv’s are ever taken offroad – (newsweek, july 2, 2001)

– fed reg’s consider suv’s light trucks (really? the ford excursion or hummer are light trucks? hmmm) and as such, only subject to 20.7 mpg ratings (vs the 27.5 cars have to have) – www.suv.org

– the intergovernmental panel on climate change (ipcc), formed by the world meteorological organization and the un environment programme, found that 3/4 of the anthropogenic (caused by humans) emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere during the past 20 years is due to fossil fuel burning. the ipcc anticipates higher temperatures and heatwaves over the next 100 years, as well as more intense and dangerous storms – (http://www.ipcc.ch/ via www.suv.org)

– 1 gallon of gasoline your vehicle burns puts 20 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. choosing a vehicle that gets 25 rather than 20 mpgs will prevent 10 tons of carbon dioxide from being released over the lifetime of your vehicle.

it’s all about choice.

do me a favor, click on this link: an inconvenient truth . do me another favor, read the information on the site and then – if your so inclined – go see the movie, and tell everyone you know about the movie.

so tomorrow night i will be seeing a special advance screening of another new documentary on essentially the same topic, the film is called who killed the electric car. i’m very excited about this one as there is a q&a with the filmmakers after the showing. the trailer for electric car was featured before the an inconvenient truth, it looks very interesting.

music heard during the writing of this post:

you take me up / the thompson twins
no man’s woman / sinead o’connor
love has no name / babble
holier than thou / lloyd cole
mama i’m strange / melissa etheridge
body movin’ / the beastie boys
tamborine / prince & the revolution
let me entertain you – live / robbie williams
turn it on (bound and gagged mix) / the creatures
three hits / indigo girls
slow emotion replay / the the
blister in the sun / violent femmes
violent / steller
irrestible bitch / prince
believe / the chemical brothers
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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Awww- get the fucking jeep. Our planet is past the tipping point right now; so what if the jeep hastens our decent into hell by a few years?

Go on. Do it. you know you wanna….

Comment by cb

I need to go see this movie.

Comment by Brian




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