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2006.06.07

[Maise_Goes_to_the_Movies: An_Inconvenient_Truth]

So one of my very best friends, Sam (who occasionally drops by here), suggested seeing An Inconvenient Truth, and I thought, "Oh goody, now I can take Trent up on his advice and avoid the veritable maelstrom that is my unpacked and messy apartment." I was a little apprehensive that this film would leave me feeling very dire and phobic, but that wasn't the case at all. In fact, I'm glad that we have so many readers here because there's one thing that I want to say about this movie to a larger audience:

Everyone must see this movie.

Okay, "must" probably sounds a little bossy. But, trust me, when Al Gore lays it all out for you during his presentation, you will not be able to escape the realization that something must be done. Or we, the entire planet, are soooooooo fucked. Seriously. From drowning polar bears to disappearing glaciers to intense hurricanes and tornadoes to the very real prospect of a part of Greenland melting and raising sea levels 20 feet, global warming is here, and it is seriously threatening each and every one of us. And, if you're in the United States, like me, you're one of the worst offenders. As I recall from the various charts and graphs, the United States contributes around 30 percent of greenhouse gases released every year (but don't quote me on that).

The best thing about Al in this movie is that he is very passionate and educated on this topic, and he's got more than enough scientific evidence on hand to refute the naysayers, and he very firmly conveys the fact that we don't have time to screw around on this issue any longer, but he's not overwhelming or full of despair. He points out that we currently have every tool we need to solve the climate crisis...we just need the political will. And in the best line of the film, he states, "And political will is a renewable resource." The film itself is very interesting, there's some humor thrown in, and I feel fairly sure that you will not leave the theater unmotivated.

There's an air of sorrow about An Inconvenient Truth, not just because of the urgent nature of this crisis and for what we have already lost, but because it makes you really miss having a President who thinks and speaks in complete sentences and who cares about science as opposed to thwarting or manipulating it. Talk about And All That Could Have Been.

I supported Al Gore in 2000, but I did feel a little angry at him for having lost (allegedly). But I'm really feeling the Gore love right now because this is a man who is trying to get the word out about this problem all around the world in a positive and "can do" way. Shit, if he wanted to give it another go in 2008, I wouldn't be opposed. Throw in a little Obama as VP, and I'm sold.

So yes, Chains boys and girls, please, please, please go see this movie. Go see this movie and then help do something about the problem. Not only are there things that you can do right now to reduce your carbon dioxide emissions, but we really need to get on our elected leaders about this issue. As Gore says in the movie, and I'm paraphrasing here, "If an issue isn't on the tips of the tongues of constituents, lawmakers tend to put things off until tomorrow." Folks, there aren't very many more tomorrows for us procrastinators. We're brewing some climate changes that will make Hurricane Katrina look like a gentle April rain.

I know we've been taking Trent to task lately for some aspects of the presentation of his political ideas (although never the message behind the presentation), but in recommending An Inconvenient Truth, the guy is spot-on.

And remember, American Chainsters, it's 2006, which means that we can start to take back our fucking country now.

Posted by maise in maise_bites | Permalink

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Comments

Good work going to see this, Maise, and thank you so much for the review! I am HATING it that it's not playing at a theater near me. I really can't wait to see it. Every single thing I've heard about it has me chomping at the bit.

Posted by: Dierdre | Jun 7, 2006 4:56:10 AM

Another thing to keep in mind is that when the hole in the ozone was going to destroy us all, everyone got together and actually *did* something about it, and it looks like we are making some progress on that.

It's also worth noting that a lot of people don't believe in global warming or call it "cyclical." Gore addresses that pretty convincingly in the movie. But you know, even if *all* the scientific studies were wrong, wouldn't it be safer to err on the side of caution and lessen some of the crap we put into the air? I don't really get why Republicans don't want to breathe clean air.

Posted by: maise | Jun 7, 2006 6:59:38 AM

Did you ever see this little tidbit, Maise? Yeah. Here's a snippet from the statement:

When scientific knowledge has been found to be in conflict with its political goals, the administration has often manipulated the process through which science enters into its decisions. This has been done by placing people who are professionally unqualified or who have clear conflicts of interest in official posts and on scientific advisory committees; by disbanding existing advisory committees; by censoring and suppressing reports by the government’s own scientists; and by simply not seeking independent scientific advice.

I don't know why George W. Bush and every key member of his administration aren't on trial for crimes against humanity. Trent's totally right about one thing: there's a time for keeping silent, and there's a time for speaking up. Even if he does drop political anvils over everyone's heads for awhile, there's a big part of me that can really get behind it.

I just hope that he does it in an intellectually viable fashion, and without the kind of coercive rhetoric that is so often employed by people like Michael Moore. His low-key way of suggesting articles and films sits pretty well with me, and I thought the photographs on nin.com of New Orleans last October, presented without any comment, were some of the best reporting on that actual situation I have seen to date.

So, yeah -- despite the taking to task, I'm totally behind that guy, even if his whole paramilitary angle stumps me. As you say, there's no question of disagreement with what he's actually saying. And, you know, maybe I don't need him to draw me a map of the problem, but I'm sure there are some kids looking up to him who do.

Posted by: Dierdre | Jun 7, 2006 7:25:01 AM

I don't think that there's a single aspect of American life that the Bush administration hasn't succeeded in totally fucking up. I used to think that they were scheming and devious with a million evil master plans behind the scenes. But if they were evil Machiavellian geniuses, one would think they'd be able to get *something* productive done. In the end, I've come to the conclusion that they are anti-intellectual incompetents, proud of their own ignorance, and believers in their own lies.

The time won't come soon enough to kick every single one of them out of office.

But yes, the pictures of New Orleans on nin.com were really eye-opening, and that is an *excellent* example of getting a message across in a really powerful, meaningful way without even offering paragraphs and paragraphs of commentary.

Posted by: maise | Jun 7, 2006 8:30:30 AM

Well, I just went on the website and pledged to see it. I'm not looking forward to it, all that doom and gloom crap makes me hate the human race. I'm going anyways.

Posted by: Lavender | Jun 7, 2006 9:22:37 AM

Good for you, Lavender! You know, I'm a total worrywart type, constantly plagued by anxiety about the most trivial things, but I found that this movie was more a motivator than a stressor. I was kind of dreading seeing it, but it's not super-painful (it helps if you go in kind of knowing what he's about to say), and you'll be glad that you saw it. It's a big problem that has shockingly been ignored by the U.S. government in particular.

The good news is that when the government does take action, the improvements are tangible: the Clean Air Act, efforts to reduce the ozone hole, etc.

I wish that Gore could have done more about it while actually in office, but I'm glad he's speaking up about it now.

Also, there's some criticism that he's presenting the "worst-case scenarios," but even so--why screw around? No one in the scientific community is claiming that climate change isn't occuring as a result of human action.

I think political pressure is the most important thing. There are lots of choices you can make as a consumer to individually help the problem, but most industries will not change unless forced to.

Posted by: maise | Jun 7, 2006 9:56:14 AM

Of course he's showing "worse case scenarios." If he was showing "sorta bad scenarios" nobody would care. And the "worst case scenario" will happen sooner or later.

I want to see this movie, but I am currently stuck in a cowtown in the midwest who worships the ground that Dubya shits on, so we don't have none of that "liberal hokey pokey" around here. Alas, I'll either have to drive to Kansas City, or wait until it comes to video.

Posted by: Layla | Jun 7, 2006 11:12:58 AM

Good review of the film here, just FYI.

Posted by: Dierdre | Jun 7, 2006 11:50:01 AM

Christ, some of the comments below the review indicate how badly this film needs to be seen.

I don't claim to have all the answers, especially the scientific ones, but when it comes to the only planet we know we can live on, I like to err on the side of caution. And it's not as though scientists all over the world aren't in agreement about the existence of this phenomenon.

Posted by: maise | Jun 7, 2006 12:11:39 PM

The only knowledge more disturbing than all of this global warming data is the fact that I found out today that Paul Rubens (that's Pee Wee Herman for you young'uns who may not remember) is 53 years old. Whaaaa? How?

Posted by: maise | Jun 7, 2006 1:26:46 PM

I'm smack in the middle of republican redneck bible thumper country, so unfortunately, it's not, nor will it be, playing anywhere near me. But the trailer itself was enough for me! I already believe it and know it, so the trailer's all I need to hear. Some people need more convincing though.

Course, I can see if it's playing in Charlotte... hmm. Nope, not until the 16th, and Cody and I are only going to be there the 10th and 11th.

Oh well. :(

It's going to be playing in Columbia and Greenville here, but it's still too much of a drive just to see a movie.

Posted by: Kim | Jun 7, 2006 5:34:43 PM

Here's the thing: you can believe it all day long, and be as convinced as it is humanly possible to be, with or without having seen the film. The questions is, what are you going to do about it? What CAN you do about it?

For all that to mean a goddamned thing, you have to do something about your own contribution, and put pressure on your representatives to care. I don't know how many fucking dire political documentaries it takes for people to see that things are fucked, and that talking about it, commiserating about the fucked-ness, does not amount to a hill of beans.

Posted by: Jane | Jun 7, 2006 9:07:28 PM

That wasn't directed at you, Kim; it was a question for all of us.

Posted by: Jane | Jun 7, 2006 9:08:55 PM

Well, I think what's important about this documentary is that even people who know that global warming is a problem probably don't know how much of a problem it is, or have never really seen detailed statistics about it. I think that it still has the ability to shock a person who is pretty well-informed on the topic.

But yes, action is definitely needed. And again, I point to the ozone hole situation. It took a lot of shouting for people to think, "Whaaaa? This is a big problem!" And that's how international cooperation was born.

I think the problem definitely goes beyond just saying to yourself, "Okay, I'm going to turn the kitchen light off now." There have to be laws for any real progress to be made.

Posted by: maise | Jun 8, 2006 7:01:14 AM

I can't do anything about it at the moment! Too busy trying to make sure I have everything I need for the upcoming concert, as well as a billion other things.

And I'm being totally random, but those Glade oil candles suck, they only last up to 3 hours total... though, I admit, while they last, they do smell up the room. Huh.

I doubt that even if I were in a state to write a brilliant, convincing letter to one of my Representatives, that they'd actually do anything. My state sucks arse.

Posted by: Kim | Jun 8, 2006 1:22:48 PM

That's the spirit.

Posted by: Jane | Jun 8, 2006 1:27:26 PM

Every Glade oil candle lit ends the life of Mother Earth by 90 seconds.

Posted by: Gabriel | Jun 8, 2006 1:35:00 PM

Don't you have some fasting to do, Gabriel?

Posted by: maise | Jun 8, 2006 1:40:18 PM

Also keep in mind…

Posted by: Iris | Jun 8, 2006 2:24:48 PM

Well damn, I've taken part in the murder of about five thousand kittens by now.

Gabe, like I care. It's not like I'm ever going to get married and have kids and grandkids (and so on and so forth) one day that'll be stuck with 5 less minutes of living on Earth.

Jane, yeah, that is the spirit! When you deal with Republican idiots who only care about themselves, you can't expect much of a reaction from them about anything you might say, especially regarding the wellbeing of millions of people who haven't even been born yet.

Posted by: Kim | Jun 9, 2006 8:11:55 AM

I genuinely hate to always get after you, Kim, and I know that nothing I say will crack the shell of your disaffected teen apathy, but...

"All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing." ~Edmund Burke

Posted by: Jane | Jun 9, 2006 8:59:12 AM

You still know absolutely shit about me, and I aim to keep it that way.

Unfortunately this is true! It's obvious, since a hell of a lot of "good men" are doing absolutely shit... and just LOOK at how the world is these days.

Posted by: Kim | Jun 10, 2006 4:18:40 AM

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