This weekend I saw An Inconvenient Truth on DVD and it immediately made an impact on me. I found myself going out the next day to buy some compact fluorescent light bulbs. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend renting it, buying it, or borrowing it. If even just half the stuff - heck, a quarter of the stuff - in the movie is true, then it is scary. It is easier to believe the dire warnings of global warming when you look around and see the crazy weather we've had in the last year. 50 degrees on Christmas day in New England; snow in Southern California; flooding and killer heat throughout Europe.
I guess you could chalk it up to the fact that in the long history of the earth, humans are but a blip of time, so how could we affect it so severely and so rapidly, or know that this hasn't happened before but all indications seem to point that way. I put faith in the scientific community that they haven't found reliable ways to measure the past using technology and that our current trends are far worse than they have been historically.
Then this morning, this article hit the news wires regarding the release of a new study about global warming. More interesting - nay, shocking - however, is this one about how 13 percent of Americans haven't heard of global warming. After watching An Inconvenient Truth and the suggestions on how to help the situation, the Pop Culture Gangsteress commented that this is pretty common-sense stuff - doesn't everyone know this? I referred her to the ugliness that we were shocked to see in Borat.
When you consider some of the boorish values of people in the United States, it isn't hard to imagine that people don't understand that global warming is a problem or that we're responsible for it. We have vast numbers of people who don't know who the President is or take the time to vote - why should they care about recycling or know about the environment? Apathy is the worst enemy of taking care of our environment.
In the name of full disclosure, those of you who know me well might know that I drive an SUV. It doesn't get the worst gas mileage out there (it isn't a Hummer!) but it certainly doesn't get the best either. Since it is quickly approaching the 8-year-old mark (but still runs great, knock on wood), I have been considering what my next vehicle might be, and I was finding myself struggling with getting another SUV, mainly due to gas prices, but also because of pollution. Now, the only way I would get another SUV or truck is if it was a hybrid or one with extremely good gas mileage.
Maybe me changing a few light bulbs and getting a more efficient car and recycling a bit more won't make a huge difference, but I hope it contributes a little bit, and maybe blogging about it will inspire someone else to do the same.