Name:
Location: St. Vincent & Grenadines

You were driving home in the dark on one glass-slippered heel, window sliced open and bathing in the snowliquor of the night air. We heard you singing, and couldn't bear to wake you.

08 June 2006

It starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes and aeroplanes.

There are some people I know and love who probably would not go to see An Inconvenient Truth unless they were hamstrung and straitjacketed to a theater seat with their eyelids forced open à la Anthony Burgess (or was it only Stanley Kubrick?). Since I'm not really into the whole enlightenment-by-force V For Vendetta thing, that's an unlikely scenario. Alas, I'll have to rely on my winning personality to convince the wary to overcome their wariness. That, and bribery.

So here goes.

Please go see An Inconvenient Truth. Find the nearest theater, find some time in your busy schedule, and go see it. Bring whatever skepticism you've got, and bring as open a mind as you can muster. After you've seen the movie and it's had a little while to sink in, decide for yourself whether or not it was worth the time and money you spent on it. If the answer is no, write to me and I will refund the cost of your ticket.

Seriously.

It's a hugely important film, and it's also really interesting to watch. Not what you'd call fun, but not really a downer either. Scary, yeah. Terrifying. But the situation is only dire, not hopeless. If it were hopeless, there'd be no point in seeing the movie. The urgency I feel after having seen it concerns how much there is to be done, and how little time is left to do it in.

I've always been rather "enh" about Al Gore. I have a lot more respect for him after seeing AIT; he's intelligent, well-informed, and able to explain complex realities without being incomprehensible or condescending. Of course it takes someone with his name recognition to get a movie of this kind watched by lots of people, and of course a lot of people are just as curious about the man as they are about the subject at hand; nevertheless, I wish the informative segments hadn't been interrupted by slo-mo photo-montages of childhood pictures with voiceovers by Gore talking about the milestones in his life. It's not that I think any of it is insincere or forced, it's just that it's not necessary. For me. I'd much rather focus entirely on the science. Gore's delivery of that is compelling enough.

After (or before) you've seen it, check out the carbon calculator at climatecrisis.net. I'm running just a little over half of the 15,000 pounds of carbon dioxide that the average American produces; not bad, but there's a lot I can do to improve my status.

Although Gore gets in a few well-placed, well-deserved critical remarks about the (frequently Republican) powers that be, this is not a political issue, and he knows that and emphasizes it. It's not about taking sides in any ideological battle. There are simply the facts, which can be denied -- as anything can if you try hard enough -- but which cannot be refuted. We will either summon the will to solve the problem we have created, or we will not. If we do not, we will die on a scale unprecedented in human history, and we will take most of the living things on this planet with us. And it will happen within our lifetimes. We have ten years -- maybe a little more, maybe a little less -- to turn things around; after that, we start circling the drain. I wish this was wild-eyed enviro-hippie paranoid exaggeration. It's not. It's real, and it's happening right now.

See the movie. Do your own research. Get informed, find out what you can do, and start doing it.

3 Comments:

Anonymous frederika said...

I can't go! I'd love to, but it's not showing here. I think it's only showing in "select cities" and we have not been selected.

1:17 PM  
Blogger Felix Helix said...

That sucks! I checked it out myself, and you're right -- it's not showing within 40 miles of your zip code. That may change as momentum builds; right now it's only showing in 77 theaters, but the per-theater average gross was higher than any other movie this weekend.

If you're up to it, I'd recommend contacting the theaters in your vicinity and asking them to pick it up. It'll be even more effective if you contact a local environmental activism group and start a letter-writing or phone-calling campaign. Word of mouth is a big deal. Not that it has anything in common with the subject matter of AIT, but Napoleon Dynamite started out as a low-budget indie that wasn't expected to do much more than break even; word of mouth turned it into a huge hit.

The easiest step is to call local theaters and write letters to a nearby big-circulation daily paper. I hope you have the time. It's worth the effort.

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Frederika said...

I saw a preview of it at one of the theaters, so I assume it will be here soon! Maybe they only have a limited number of copies. Who knows?

10:28 AM  

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