Wednesday, May 24, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth is opening over the next few weeks. This film (and Gore) are being attacked by Fox News (now that's an oxymoron).
Sterling Burnett, senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, compares Al Gore to Nazi Propoganda Director Joseph Goebbels, and the film to Nazi propoganda films. Of course, The National Center for Policy Analysis has received $390,000 from ExxonMobil since 1989, but hey, what's a few hundred thousand dollars among friends? I'm just sayin.

In August 2000, I was part of a 1500 person fundraising bicycle ride from Fairbanks to Anchorage -- the Alaska Aids Vaccine Ride. There were 1500 riders, and a lot of support people -- the people who fed us and provided the shower trucks do this for major events, and disaster relief. They set up temporary camps after Hurricane Andrew, in Florida, years ago. Anyway, it was a complex event, in ALASKA, and so off I went, me, my bicycle, and 1500 of my best friends.

One night we camped on boulders. There wasn't a patch of dirt anywhere.

Gulkana Glacier was nearby -- looked to be about a football field away (more on that in a minute) and what we were camping on is the debris left when glaciers retreat. Now, at our campsites, we had local Native Alaskans who would set up sweat lodges, and would smudge us as we'd ride out. I was speaking to this one man, who told me that the glacier I thought was so close was actually two miles away from us. It had retreated two miles in less than 20 years. He said that it takes 200 years of constant snow to compress to create one inch of glacier, but less than 20 years to cause that much melt.

On day five, a lot of the conversations with local people was about the glaciers. The word is that within 50 years, all the Alaska glaciers will be gone. Global warming is causing them to retreat, to melt, at an alarming rate.

Mr. Gore's film is essential viewing, but action is more essential. A friend said to me she thought we needed to drill in the Artic Wildlife Refuge so we could end our dependence on foreign oil. I said not at all -- we need to end our dependence on any fossil fuel, and develop sustainable sources of energy -- wind, water, ethanol, for example. But we may have passed the tipping point.

I recently purchased a Civic Hybrid -- it is fuel efficient, and it's cute. It's not perfect but it beats the pants off those obnoxious 2 MPG Hummers I see. Tell me this: why did I have to pay OVER sticker for something that's fuel efficient?


robin andrea said...

I am struck by Gore's passion about this. He is an articulate and thoughtful spokesperson. I don't know how the right can continue to insist that there is an actual debate about global warming. There isn't. Soon the polar bears will have lost their habitat. Already they have lost places to find food. This is the world we have created.

Good for you for buying a Honda Civic. I don't know how they can get away with asking for more than the sticker price. There is something so wrong with our money-obsessed culture.

DivaJood said...

Robin Andrea, it kills me that the polar bears habitat is disappearing at so fast a rate. They are magnificent bears. And acid rain which destroys forests in Europe. And toxic waste dumps that bubble up into housing developments.

The thing about the Civic costing more is all based on supply and demand. I do make up the difference because I rarely see gas stations (oh, once in a while, to clean my windows) but greed is a powerful motivator for big business.