Sunday, June 11, 2006

"An Inconvenient Truth"

Okay, I swore I wasn't going to join the crowd, and write about Al Gore's latest tour de force, but it brought back memories of my own youth, especially the time, in junior high, when I had trouble differentiating between a continent and a country. As Gore points out, if global warming persists, and accelerates, as it is predicted to do over the coming decades, the difficulty in distinguishing between the two, alas, will be a shared experience as continents shrink to the size of large states.

While, for me, geology was a big yawn, in high school, the charts, and photos of Antarctica jolted me like a bolt of electricity, unexpected, and urgently as did the thought of the planned World Trade Center memorial, and lower Manhattan, under water. Images of Florida reduced, proportionately, to the size of a prune, and San Francisco looking like Indonesia during the tsunami challenge us to understand that vision is a concrete thing, and not the stuff of mystics. After all, the philosopher's stone, in alchemy, is matter, something that Mr. Gore not only fully comprehends, but conveys masterfully.

Still, more important than the science, and the graphics of how carbon dioxide has exacerbated anomalous warming of the earth, over the past 65,000 years, is this: how refreshing it is to listen to a politician use a phrase like "moral imperative," talk about ethics, and really mean it, not in the context of an election campaign, or as a means of self-aggrandizement, but solely as a vehicle of education, and letting the truth out, like a genie out of a broken bottle, a truth that has been twisted, warped, and eviscerated for as long as the corporate empire that is currently ruling this country has had its toxic hands on it.

So it is then that if there is a lesson to be learned from "An Inconvenient Truth," it is that there is no separating the intellectual, spiritual, and moral environment from the physical environment, and that when we force our mindset, and our will, on nature, she will revolt like any renegade middle school girl, thus divesting us of the space, and the place, we have come to call home.

Oh what a different world we'd have today if Gore, and not Bush, had been our president for the past 6 years. Above all else, "An Inconvenient Truth" shows that it's not too late to make progressive, effective, and constructive change in this country in terms of our political, moral, and natural environment, a change that will be positive for us, and the planet, too.