Grown up thoughts on global warming

I don’t mind admitting that I always choose fiction for reading and movie-watching and whilst I do attend documentary/true story movies and watch the same on DVD when cajoled, I always do so not expecting to either understand or enjoy them. Then I saw Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. As many reviews and synopses of the documentary state, it is basically just a movie of his presentation about what global warming is and what it means for the planet i.e. he stands in a lecture hall and clicks through Powerpoint (or whatever the Mac presentation equivalent is) slides.

I have to say, I was totally affected. By the end of the movie I was wanting to shout at the screen and say “What can I do?” I was also very troubled by my selfish thoughts – not being spiritual or religious at all, and having lived through the death of my best friend, I believe that once you’re dead you’re dead. So whatever state the planet is in, is not going to bother me anymore – as long as I get my lifetime’s worth of a decent place to live. I really should not be admitting this, what will you all think of me? Also, I won’t have any children left behind and as parents tell me, the strongest bond you can have is with your child, so this also goes towards having no motivation to do anything for the next generation’s sake. However, my bond to the next generation is our urban family and I do care what happens to the planet and I don’t want our nieces and children of our friends to have to live in a world where countries are disappearing under water, where there are constant weather and temperature extremes and where the every day comforts of life are put in jeopardy. I’ve also come to realise that the actions of generations before me have made my lifetime on this planet what it is today – the good, and bad of it all.

Needless to say I have done a bit of soul searching and thought a bit about what my beliefs are – I usually sit on the fence with this kind of stuff but I have been so distracted and a little bit rocked after seeing the movie that I’ve been thinking a lot about what I can do to prevent the earth heating up any more. As a New Zealander, I think I’m doing pretty well (car’s tuned, energy efficient appliances, walk lots, only run the dishwasher when it’s full, use fresh food) but there are opportunities to do more (energy efficient light bulbs (but can’t in our current place), wrap the hot water cylinder, unplug  appliances and gadgets when we’re not using them, recycle, plant trees (although I think my parents have planted enough to cover our quota!), buy organic (if it wasn’t so expensive). It’s been a distracting week.


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