Inconvenient . . Or Just Plain Stupid?

After taping it off one of our cable movie channels a few weeks ago, last night was the first time I got around to watching 'An Inconvenient Truth'. Now I realise that this movie was released a couple of years ago and I semi-consciously listened to all of the talk about it, and listened to the controversy surrounding it. But after watching that movie last night? Damn. We have some serious explaining to do. And I'm left feeling pretty darned ignorant.

I had no idea just how little I knew about the problems going on with our planet. I had no idea that Australia was one of only two developed countries that have not signed the Kyoto Protocol, along with the USA. (Well, gee, I wonder why that would be, it's not as though our politicians have their lips firmly pressed up against a certain other leader's arse or anything.) Heck, I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I had no idea that the problem with global warming was due to a thickening atmosphere; I still assumed we had problems with our atmosphere becoming too thin to withstand the sun's rays. There is so much that I didn't know, and yet I'm responsible for teaching this knowledge to young people? It's pretty humbling, and not something I'm particularly proud of. And I'm just one person. Think of all the people out there who aren't even aware of the urgency.

What I want to know is this: Regardless of any political reasons behind this film's creation, why is it that people aren't taking the problems brought up seriously? Seeing the images of the glaciers disappearing, of the lakes simply drying up, of the Arctic and Antarctic ice shelves just crumbling into nothing; why isn't this striking fear in people? Seeing the scientific evidence, the graphs, the studies that depict the huge increases of pollutants and the huge decreases in natural resources; why aren't we fixing that now? Why are we waiting? Why aren't people seeing this as a problem? Why have we let it get this bad, when the studies have been around for years?

I don't understand why America as a nation, even after the horrifying events that occurred when Hurricane Katrina hit, hasn't made the effort to do something. And I'm definitely not placing blame on one nation only, of course not. We're all involved. I don't understand why Australia as a nation, my own country, the place where I have grown up and I want to raise my children, a land that is completely isolated from the rest of the world and surrounded by water, isn't taking control of things. If the poles continue to crumble and the water temperature continues to rise, if the global water levels increase, crap, Australia is girt by sea. What do they think is going to happen? Are we just meant to magically raise ourselves out of harm's way?

Yes, figuring out ways to solve this problem might cost us money in the short term. I'm not completely stupid, I realise it's not an easy task. Yes, companies might be shut down. Yes, new advances will be needed and this will take time and efforts. Yes, there are risks involved. But surely those risks outweigh the notion of not having a planet to live on at all?

We can all make changes individually, but without the support of the goverments that run our counties, of the businesses who are having the biggest impacts, and most importantly, without the knowledge? We aren't going to get very far. And it's going to be damn scary for those of us who are around in fifty years time, and for our children. I can't even begin to imagine what this planet is going to be like for them. We should all be doing something, anything, now.

If you haven't actually seen the movie for yourself, I really recommend you go and find yourself a copy. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic, because since last night I cannot stop thinking about what I've learned. I have been so caught up in the 'me, me, me' aspect of my future, that I haven't once really stopped to contemplate the idea of what the future might turn out like on a global scale. How can we know all of these things and not be doing something about it?

12 Comments • Labels:  


Julz* said...

I couldn't be bothered reading the entire post....cos I'm lazy like that :P but that is EXACTLY why the world is in the state it's in, and why no one is doing enough to make a change. People are just too lazy, and would rather continue to think that the problem can hold out a little while longer (until someone else can fix it) than get off their arse and do something now. It sucks, and it's not a good excuse, but it's the truth.... :(

Lara said...

people - and especially americans - have a bad habit of looking at the short-term and the small pictures. are things still okay now? will they be tomorrow? then that's good enough for me. (well, not actually for me, but for the hypothetical american.) the government, even more than anyone else, looks at the immediate future only, and how to please the people right now. sad, but true. they just don't realize that "someday" is coming a lot sooner than they think.

kirby said...

I haven't really paid that much attention to it because of the controversy. There's way too much conflicting information out there. I was watching something that said most of the documentary was absolutly bollocks, and it said that some important scientist man had proved half of it to be wrong.
Now I'm just going on hearsay, I have absolutley no proof that any of this is right or wrong... but I can't be bothered with it, sure it's a problem, but until someone can tell us exactly what is happening, without any conflict from experts on the subject, then I refuse to buy into it too much.

Melanie Harris said...

This is a serious subject that is terrifing me too. What will the world be like in 20 years time or even 10.
I haven't seen the movie but I will track down a copy.

Aurelius said...

It's a mixture of self-interest, denial, and powerlessness.
People don't want to know, or think that hiding their heads in the sand will make it go away. Or they think someone else will solve it. Or they think the jury's still out on the science. Or they simply don't want to listen.
Bad stuff's easier to ignore rather than examine it and find solutions.

heike said...

I'm so with you on this. A very appropriate title indeed: An INCONVENIENT truth!

Ashley said...

I absolutely agree that people like to convince themselves that "the evidence isn't conclusive" because it's freaking inconvenient to change our lavish (according to global standards) lifestyle. So, let's just wait for more evidence. Mmm kay?

And then there's the corporations and the money and...I am getting depressed now :(

Lindsey said...

I haven't seen the film yet, but I'd really like to. What a good, thoughtful post. I feel so ignorant to so many's so hard to keep up with everything and so much news is bad...but that is no excuse not to be informed I guess.

Operation Pink Herring said...

I am afraid to watch the movie because I am already known as a tree-hugging hippie recycling nazi around here. The whole situation and the ignornce of the vast majority of people (myself included) makes me depressed!

heidikins said...

I loved that movie, I actually watched it twice in one week... and startned overhauling my green-ness. I love that you found it interesting and frightening all at the same time; I did too and I am trying to find ways to decrease my own ecological footprint.


Teacher A said...

I think many people feel that we're looking at it from a overly narrow perspective. The conditions on the earth change in a cyclical fashion on a timescale that is almost incomprehensible to human minds. Not only that, swings away from the median tend to be self-correcting (i.e. hotter earth leads to more evaporation leads to more cloud formation which blocks out more light and cools the earth).

Of course, that being said, regardless of whether or not one believes in global warming, many of the actions people want to take to decrease greenhouse gas emmisions save money, improve one's quality of life, and make the earth a more pleasant place to live. Compact fluorescent lightbulbs, better insulated houses, fans instead of AC? They all save money. Nuclear power, solar, wind, and geothermal power instead of coal or oil? Less nasty smog to breathe and nicer looking views (plus then we won't be giving all our money to OPEC [grumble]). Telecommuting and planning neighborhoods so you don't have to commute for hours to get to work? You gain hours of your life back!

So, um, yeah. Those are my thoughts on the matter. [gets off soap box]

The movie itself, though, I didn't think was very good (but I've written about this before, when I had to teach it to my class).

Another viewpoint said...

Seeing the images of the glaciers disappearing, of the lakes simply drying up, of the Arctic and Antarctic ice shelves just crumbling into nothing; why isn't this striking fear in people?

---> Because at some subconsious level, everybody, even the people who are taken in by all this "Global Warming" nonsense, realizes that melting icecaps is a good thing. Discoveries of tropical fauna and animal carcasses at the North Pole indicate that the entire earth was once warmer. Imagine 100,000 years ago when there was no such thing as glaciers and politicians telling you that unless you lived in fear, mile high blocks of ice would cover parts of the earth. Now, THAT would be something to fear. Nonetheless, the melting of the ice now is as inevitable as the forming of them was back then.

"Inconventient Truth" is filled with double peak and illogical conclusions... such as... global warming is going to organize all of the random ocean currents into one that will cause an ice age. Huh? So now global warming is going to cause freezing. Sheesh these politicians will use fear to believe them no matter how illogical.

All content (C) Breathe Gently 2006-2023
Blog Design by Splendid Sparrow