Two Items on the Environment
I hate it when I have a logjam of things to write about; usually the result is that nothing at all comes out. I'm in the process of trying to clear the jam and let a couple logs through at a time. To whit:
We spent Christmas weekend with my parents, and on Christmas Eve Al and I had a grand plan to put The Beaner to bed early and then dash out to the 8:00 showing of The Good Shepherd while my parents kept an ear out for any cries from the crib. The Beaner cooperated by going down at the unheard-of hour of 7:05pm, but alas, our plan was wrecked when we discovered that moviefone.com was wrong: there was no 8:00 showing of The Good Shepherd at the local mall (the one with a Bible store but no Gap) on Christmas Eve. On our way back from the theater we stopped at the still-open Blockbuster and, after scanning the racks and considering both Scoop (me) and My Super Ex-Girlfriend (Al), finally rented The Al Gore Movie (actual title: An Inconvenient Truth).
SCARIEST DAMN MOVIE I'VE SEEN IN YEARS.
I used to be all concerned about the environment and global warming and such in my 20s, but after protesting and writing letters to leaders and giving money to Greenpeace and all that, nothing seemed to come of it. Everyone seemed confused about whether global warming was even real... even though evidence of it mounted on an almost-daily basis. And, honestly, inertia overtook me. When nothing happened right away (either in the environment or in the fight against global warming), it became an easy issue to ignore. I know I should be using less energy, and what we do use should be from renewable sources—I go around turning off lights after Aura and Al all the time, I pay the extra $7.50 or so a month to get some of our electricity from wind farms, and I prefer to walk or use public transit instead of driving—but I also know I could be doing so much more.
I think that's partly why I didn't want to see this movie: I didn't want to face the fact that I wasn't doing all that I could... and I didn't really want to know how bad things were. They're bad, but the situation is not entirely hopeless. Everyone should see this movie, especially Americans. It's time we woke up and faced what we're doing to our planet—what we're doing to our OWN future, not just our children's—and to learn what we can do to reverse the trend, if not all of the effects. At the very least, we need to be talking about global warming—because as Gore says in the movie, nothing much happens in Congress unless an issue is on the tip of every constituent's tongue. This movie will get you talking, I guarantee.
The other environmental item I wanted to mention was this article in today's New York Times: Farmers and Conservationists Form a Rare Alliance. We need more partnerships like this one, where everyone benefits. We as Americans and citizens of the world need to value a clean and healthy environment—not just give it lip service, but attach an actual monetary value to it. It's a short article, and worth reading all the way through for the details about how the deal is structured and what benefits both the shorebirds and the farmers can expect to reap.