We got out copy of An Inconvenient Truth this week. We sat down and watched it yesterday evening and didn’t get around to fixing dinner until almost seven thirty. And since the cats take their cue from us, they ate dinner late too. Basically fifteen minutes or so after the silver ware quits clattering they start showing up and starting the “I’m hungry, feed me, dance.”
I found the film interesting and compelling. But, then I read Earth in the Balance when it came out several years ago. And it scared the heck out of me then. And that was about ten years ago.
I get a kick out of reading about this DVD and this one. I had even more fun researching the backgrounds of the folks who made them. I’m not quite sure what qualifies Phyllis Schlafly as an expert on climate change. And two of the scientists named in the description are on the faculty of the same Alabama university. And while I might understand their fears about America losing some of it’s sovereignty to help fight global warming, I question how they don’t seem to be worried about threats to our sovereignty from multi national corporations. Oh, I forgot, most of the big multinationals are headquartered in the US and it’s the rest of the world that needs to be worried.
I can hear the complaints fifty years from now if the ice sheet on Greenland don’t fully melt and the oceans don’t rise up to twenty feet, “he was wrong, neener, neener, neener.” What at least some of these folks don’t realize is that a five foot rise would devastate most coastal areas. Most of Oregon’s beaches would be gone. And I’m not sure what would happen to our coastal artery, Highway 101. Some of the highway runs right along the coast, no further than fifty yards from the ocean in some places. Other parts of the road run along the cliffs. Undercut the cliff and bye bye highway.
And the CO2 doesn’t have to warm the climate to play havoc with the planet. The increased CO2 being absorbed the oceans is slowly increasing their acidity. Increased acidity may interfere with the life cycles of animals that need to form shells to survive. And many of those animals are a big part of the ocean food chain. An already stressed food chain.
We’re already facing water shortages from depleted aquifers here in Oregon, and two thirds of the state is high plateau and desert. He didn’t name the islands that have been evacuated already since they were only a few yards above sea level in the first place. Some critics fasten on studies that indicate that the glaciers on Kilimanjaro are disappearing more from lack of precipitation that warming. But why have the snows gone away? And they ignore the other glaciers that are disappearing too. In a few decades a certain national park will be the park Formerly Known as Glacier. It’s happening in Europe and South America too. And almost forty percent of the people on the planet are at least partially dependent on water melting from glaciers feeding the rivers they live on.
I’m one of those who tend to be err on the side of caution. I’d rather find out that we’d been too cautios and can ease up, rather than the other way around. And I believe that we have the ingenuity to come up with ways to solve the problem. The most fascinating graph is actually the one where he shows how we can lower CO2 levels using technology we already have. Trouble is, I think some of that technology isn’t in the hands of the folks who stand to lose the most money in the short run. Of course if it turns out that ol’ Al is even half right we all stand to lose in the short run and the long run.
So, I’d say, get the DVD, see it for yourself and make up your own mind. Nice thing about the net,it makes the research easier.