I’m writing this as I fly from Toronto to Las Vegas to attend a meeting. I purchased Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” today. Let me first say that I’m not a tree hugger, but I do love nature. I believe important decisions must be made based on reliable credible data and scientific method. I’ve felt a hesitance in buying and watching this film because I have a nagging suspicion that this is just Al Gore grasping on to a populist and controversial subject for political reasons. I was a guy who way back in 2000 thought that GWB was a better choice. When I get it wrong, I really get it wrong. I apologize profusely.

The film is extremely thought provoking. I think I have read as much as the average person about Global Warming, and am honestly confused about how much of an effect humanity is having on the globe. There’s so much data. And much of it seems to be contradictory.

The cinematography is incredible. The scenes of Antarctica had me seriously wanting to find a way to see it. But as I thought that, I felt some concern about actually spending the resources environmentally required to get there. Is that the point? My wife just bought a DVD set of BBC’s “Planet Earth“, narrated by Sir David Attenborough. Wow, if you haven’t seen this, then buy it or rent it for a week, and watch it with your kids. It’s phenomenal. And I’ve only seen a couple of the DVDs.

Gore’s presentation is very compelling. I do want to do some fact checking, but his data demonstrates a clear relationship between CO2 and temperature. The loss of our solar “mirrors” at the poles due to the massive calving of the ice shelves is very worrisome. I found the scenes showing photos of glaciers from all over the planet from the past and comparing them to current pictures very troublesome. The relationship between atmosphere, ocean currents, and temperature isn’t something that you can easily explain. The Earth is big, and complex, and beautiful. But it’s also fragile.

Some data from the film:

– Stronger hurricanes are directly linked to higher ocean temperatures
– As atmospheric temperatures increase, ocean temperatures increase
– 2300 daily temperature records were set in the US in 2006
– Coral reefs are begin bleached by increased ocean temperatures

I have 2 beautiful children, and I owe it to them, as do all adults, to ensure that we pass on a planet that is at least as good as the one we were given. But I am internally very conflicted by this. I enjoy the benefits of an advanced society. I love technology, and I love fast cars. Driving a big engined car and limiting CO2 emissions aren’t compatible. But I don’t want to drive a Prius, and I love Formula 1. But I think as responsible citizens, we are capable of dealing with this moral issue.

Al Gore was in Canada recently, and called our Government’s Global Warming strategy “a fraud designed to mislead Canadians”. The silly Minister of the Environment tried to “out green” Al Gore. Dumb strategy.

I have friends who work in the Petroleum industry. I’ve been assured by them that this is paranoid non-science fostered by tree huggers who don’t have a clue. How does one reconcile the concerns with these opinions?

Perhaps Upton Sinclair put it best: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” I find that overly simplistic though, because they are great people, who love their kids as much as I do mine.

This film gives me serious pause for thought. I’m a busy guy, and it’s easy to just punt on this issue, but what happens to the world my children will live in if I do that.

Al Gore asked “Are we capable of rising above ourselves and above history?” I hope so.
What do you think? I’m looking forward to getting home, and watching this with my wife and getting her opinion.

mJm

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