This evening I indulged in one of my favorite “sunset celebrations”: just sitting on the patio looking at the thick grove of cedars and maples that separate me from my neighbors. I never noticed it any other place I lived, but here the setting sun hits a spot where it illuminates the underside of the leaves. Shafts of light angle up and turn the usually shadowed sides of alder leaves and pine needles golden; they glow like something out of Lothlorien. It’s magical; there’s no other word for it. Tonight it felt a bit different, because I had just come back from seeing “An Inconvenient Truth”, the very powerful documentary on global warming. And so tonight I could picture this treasured copse of trees browning, struggling for life as the climate gradually became too hostile. I thought of my other treasured spots in Nature. I’m not a hiker, with rare exceptions, so I tend to hang out at lakes or in groves not far from roads, but even there I can find the kind of deep quiet and peace that heals me when I get “fried” in the city. And all of those spots, even the ones that are “protected” by being designated National Park or Forest, are in danger, as the effects of global warming make crazy changes in the climate.
If you haven’t seen the movie, I urge you to do so. You might say, as I did, “I already know those facts”, and yet the information is presented in a form that sears it in your mind. Between the charts of precise measurement and the before/after photographs, you will be sobered. But it’s not an unhopeful movie; almost-President Gore did not run all over the globe bringing this message because he felt there was no hope. He lists many things that can be done to reverse the trend and avoid the worst effects, if not all of them. As he mentioned, it’s not really a choice between economy and ecology… if we lose our planet or even much of our planet, to the catastrophes of an unbalanced climate, we end up losing both! I don’t expect much of an administration that talks about selective nuking, but I can’t believe that the average American is so blind and arrogant as to believe it’s “someone else’s problem”… even if it doesn’t happen in our lifetime, it is not morally defensible to leave it to our children, or grandchildren (or grand nieces and nephews, in my case)… it seems that recently, every time I see a toddler or infant, I wonder what kind of world they will be living in… it frightens me. Until I saw the film, I was like many and felt I couldn’t do much. But I have renewed energy after seeing the possibilities… check it out. I’m putting a link on my site to make it easier for you.
Sadly, even those who have the info staring them in the face are sometimes blind. As I waited for the movie to start, one of the two ushers cleaning said she’d heard it was a powerful movie. The other usher said, “Which one?” “This one -- the one on global warming.” “I didn’t even know we had a movie on global warming”… at that point I couldn’t resist; I said, “You’d better stay and watch it -- it’s your generation that will have to deal with it.” But I’m hoping that my generation -- that I -- can find a few more things to do before we pass this crisis on.