Jill Fehrenbacher

AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH

by , 05/31/06

If you are looking to see a good thriller this summer, forget about The Omen remake, and go see An Inconvenient Truth.

Billed as “The Most terrifying movie you will ever see,” An Inconvenient Truth is truly astounding. It’s a moving portrait of Al Gore, the man who [should have] won the presidential election — but much more importantly, its a rousing call-to-arms to reverse our course towards a potentially horrifying future. We aren’t talking horrifying in the spawn-of-Satan or axe-wielding-maniacs sense, we’re talking about the devastating reality that humanity stands poised on the brink of total destruction on a Book-of-Revelation scale: massive hurricanes, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves. The most frightening thing about all this is the fact that we’ve known about it for the past 20 years, and nothing has been done to successfully turn things around.

While people once debated the plausibility of global warming, today we know absolutely that there is no more doubt about this issue. The planet is heating up. And we have less than a decade before we pass a point of no return, and face catastrophes that could send the planet, and all of humanity into a tail-spin of epic destruction beyond anything we have ever experienced. Al Gore makes a fantastically compelling case that our number is up; this is our LAST CHANCE to help save the planet and ourselves from an apocalypse of our own making.

So this summer, forego the escapist fantasy apocalypse of Damian, and concentrate on the real one that is unfolding before our very eyes. It’s crucial to fill the theaters on opening weekend, which in most cities is THIS COMING WEEKEND. So get thee to a theatre as soon as possible to see An Inconvenient Truth. Show your support and ensure that it will keep running long enough for everyone to see it. The Earth is counting on you.

+ Click here for local theaters and times.

If you’ve already seen the movie and are feeling a sense of despair (especially after witnessing the tragic polar bear scene), remember, we can stop this if we just DO SOMETHING NOW.

Here are 10 things you can do yourself to help avert disaster and create a better future for our children:

1. CUT THE CAR
Not everyone lives where public transportation is uber-convenient, but for many of us, the obstacle is more psychological than anything. If you live in a city with good transit, use it! And while the weather’s fine, try to bike and walk as much as possible. If you must drive, consider investing in a more fuel-efficient car, or a hybrid or a biodiesel vehicle. For every mile you don’t drive, you’ll save a pound of carbon dioxide!

2. SEE THE LIGHT
By replacing your regular old-school incandescent bulbs with compact flourescent lightbulbs (CFLs – the spiral ones you’re starting to see more widely), you can save 150 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. This is such an easy one – next time your bulb burns out, screw in a CFL.

3. TURN OFF YOUR ELECTRONIC DEVICES
This is a great one to be conscious of. It can be a hard one to get used to, but it’s a simple thing that can make a big difference: Unplug your cellphone chargers and kitchen appliances, and turn off computers when you are not using them. Even devices that are off suck “vampire power” through a plugged-in cord (and suck money out of your wallet).

4. REFUSE or REUSE PACKAGING
Do you really need two plastic bags around your single-item grocery purchase? If you do, don’t you have a couple stashed in a drawer in your kitchen? Try to reuse or refuse bags and excess packaging. Buy in bulk and carry a few spare bags with you. Try a reusable coffee cup, too.

5. EAT A LITTLE LESS MEAT

We don’t want to sound preachy, but this isn’t just about animal rights. Livestock and factory farming take an astonishing toll on the environment, including topsoil degradation, deforestation, contaminated water supplies, and greenhouse gas emissions from manure (no joke!). If you can’t cut back, at least choose meat from animals that were raised in sustainable conditions.

6. BUY GREEN POWER or GREEN POWER CREDITS
In many places now, you can opt for your power to come from renewable sources, such as wind, solar and hydrokinetic. If your power company doesn’t currently employ renewable energy generation, they may still offer an arrangement in which your payment acts as credit towards pursuing green alternatives and getting closer to making sustainable power more widely available.

7. INVEST IN ENERGY EFFICIENT APPLIANCES
A challenging aspect of choosing a sustainable lifestyle is understanding that with certain choices, the financial payoff may be delayed, but it will come eventually. The case can be made clearly when talking about appliances. By replacing an old fridge, oven/range, wash machine or dishwasher with an Energy Star or otherwise certified efficient model, you will ultimately save a pretty penny, while dramatically reducing the amount of CO2 emissions pouring out of your house (which account for nearly as much greenhouse gas as auto emissions).

8. TRAVEL CARBON NEUTRAL
Planes are greenhouse gas guzzlers. No doubt crossing the Atlantic by sea or the U.S. by train don’t offer comparable transportation alternatives, but aviation is contributing drastic amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere. You can now purchase carbon mitigation credits that offset your air travel emissions. These types of carbon mitigation programs can also be arranged for auto travel, and in your business.

9. CONTROL YOUR TEMPERATURE

By turning down your thermostat or programming the heat to kick in only when needed, you’ll save money, energy, and CO2. If you want to take it a step further, you can invest in a water heater that warms the water on demand, rather than keeping a tank constantly hot. Proper insulation and glazed windows will also keep heat where you want it so you don’t have to keep generating it.

10. CALCULATE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
Test your SafeClimate has been widely agreed upon as a good one. BP’s got one, too, and there are numerous others.

There are dozens of things you can do. If you’re daunted, pick one or two and see how you feel. A bike ride rarely feels bad on a sunny summer day. And if you think that’s delightful, imagine turning the key in the ignition of a car that runs on french fry grease. Every effort is scalable. Start where you’re comfortable and move on from there.

Step #1: Round up your friends and family and see An Inconvenient Truth on opening day.

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17 Comments

  1. Sol Cinema: The World's... November 10, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    [...] An Inconvenient Truth may have opened our eyes to the perils of global warming, most of us still saw it in a cinema [...]

  2. Inhabitat » AL GO... October 12, 2007 at 10:31 am

    [...] are pleased to announce that Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for [...]

  3. Inhabitat » THE 1... August 28, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    [...] of a companion piece to last year’s academy award winner, An Inconvenient Truth, the 11th Hour is a call to arms for all of us to stop climate change. The 11th hour is based on [...]

  4. Inhabitat » TOP 1... December 31, 2006 at 4:48 pm

    [...] 1. AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH Al Gore’s documentary may prove to be one of the most influential films of our generation. A true call-to-arms, An Incovenient Truth brought to light some terrifying realities about global warming and the future of our planet, while inspiring the masses to take action. [...]

  5. Kris July 17, 2006 at 5:10 pm

    The bottom line is: Consume Less. It will be good for your health, good for your pocketbook, and good for the environment. And, once our lives are less tied to consumption and more tied to the incredible and interesting world around us, we’ll want to save the world even more!

  6. James July 5, 2006 at 6:41 pm

    10 things you can do. Number 5… “eat a little less meat”
    Why just a little? how about “eat less or little meat”

    http://www.earthsave.org/environment/foodchoices.htm
    http://www.earthsave.org/globalwarming.htm

    Peace,
    James.

  7. dug June 1, 2006 at 2:59 pm

    it was a compelling movie and did it’s job in giving climate change theories the importance they need.

    however, claiming it was apolitical is wrong. his closing sermon made it very clear that the solution is undeniably a political one. he said that straight up. not once did he mention how the free market is working toward the same ends (interface, walmart, whole foods, terra pass, etc) because preserving the free market is part of the conservative agenda, not the democratic one. the only practical information for ‘what can i do now’ (ie. personal responsibility) was tagged on at the end mixed in with the credits. i would agree that politics must play a major role in change, but i can also admit that the film was plainly political. and successful.

  8. commenter June 1, 2006 at 3:48 am

    It’s the Book of Revelation. In the singular.

    Looking forward to the film – thanks for the advance notice. Love the blog.

  9. Jill Fehrenbacher Jill June 1, 2006 at 3:08 am

    I would personally like to hear what you guys think AFTER you have seen the movie.

    Once you have seen it, you will realize its not at all political and it is definitely not another Fahrenheit 911. Its all based on hard scientific evidence – in fact – the “science” of the movie may be its biggest detriment – there are so many graphs, charts and statistics thrown around that it feels like math class.

    Anyways, whether you like Al Gore (as we clearly do) or do not – you will still find this movie compelling.
    Go see it this weekend and let us know what you think after you have seen it!

    -Jill

  10. Sarah Rich Sarah June 1, 2006 at 1:54 am

    It’s true, indeed, Patrick. CEI is an Exxon-funded entity. I want to emphasize two things here:

    First, it’s not about Al Gore being a savior; indeed, he hasn’t saved anyone or anything. But he is a model of having overcome an earthshattering blow and risen to a new challenge. He’s always been passionate about environmental issues, and now, *because of* the fact that he was left in the dust after the election, he has taken the time to do something constructive with his passion and his knowledge. And it is for everyone’s benefit – not just environmentalists or liberals.

    Which leads to the second point: how many ways can we say it? Global Warming is NOT A POLITICAL ISSUE! It’s simply not. From some of the comments here, I realize that so many people remain totally unaware or in denial of the magnitude of the crises we face. As Andrew says, one of the greatest is the loss of biodiversity. On the surface, a few less animal and plant species may not sound like a huge loss, but the repercussions are practically unfathomable. If you’ve never heard about the idea of “ecosystem services,” or the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment report, read these:

    http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/002447.html
    http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/002464.html
    http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/003814.html

    When we do harm to all the free services the earth offers us by way of the abundant diversity of life, we essentially put our own lives at stake, we guarantee continued poverty, starvation, and economic decline. This is a BIG deal, and we have a moral obligation, regardless of our party affiliations, to do what we can to stop global warming.

  11. Patrick June 1, 2006 at 1:33 am

    Andy, do you realize that the Competitive Enterprise Institute is a front for a big oil company, I beleive it’s Exxon Mobil. It’s rather hard to beleive anything that Exxon Mobil would have to say about global warming.

  12. Travis May 31, 2006 at 8:59 pm

    Thank you for correcting my post. It appears you struck accord with your readers with your Al Gore Statement. “huh” I really enjoy your site and visit it daily. But just as the others that responded don’t believe Al Gore is our savior…. I hope this film is not another “Micael Moore” Liberal assault on our intelligence…aka Fahrenheit 911

  13. andy May 31, 2006 at 7:40 pm

    Love the site, always an interesting read and good to see you encouraging responsibility… it’s very important that we take care of the world around us. My problem is with Al Gore’s own hypocrisy regarding this issue which he seems to be so ‘concerned’ about. The link below has a video on it that you should see. I will listen to what you have to say, inhabitat, but it takes slightly more for me to listen to Al Gore.. ;-)

    “Al Gore: An Inconvenient Story”
    http://streams.cei.org

  14. Michael May 31, 2006 at 7:01 pm

    Jill & Sarah,

    I don’t agree with your Gore in the Whitehouse opinion or that we necessarily face extinction. I do however, like your website very much and appreciate your opinions. I do think that even though we may not face extinction, we can make life on our planet suck if we don’t change a lot of our habits. Blog away! We Conservatives need to hear what you have to say. You may find that you change some minds and some lives.

  15. Jill Fehrenbacher Jill May 31, 2006 at 4:49 pm

    Hi Travis-

    Didn’t you mean to say “Don’t push your politcal agenda on readers?” ;)

    First of all – no one is pushing a political agenda here – unless you consider trying to save our planet before we all die a “political agenda”. We are indeed making our politics known, but the very important point we – and the movie and Al Gore – are making is that trying to save the earth is NOT political. Gore makes it very clear that this is a moral issue. If that doesn’t make sense to you, go see the movie. His stance makes a tremendous amount of sense from an objective, non-political point of view.

    Secondly – Inhabitat is not a publication that claims to published “unbiased news coverage.” This is our blog, not NBC news. No one is paying us to do this. What makes blogs unique is precisely that they are unfiltered, subjective opinions from outspoken individuals.

    We are happy to engage in thoughtful debate with smart people over real issues, but you seem to be missing the most important point. We may think Al Gore should be in the White House today, but that is a separate issue from the fact that science no longer has a shadow of a doubt that the planet is heating up and we face grave disasters and mass extinction because of it. If that is a political issue, well, then the future looks bleak for us all.

    We hope most readers don’t feel this way…

    Jill & Sarah

  16. Travis May 31, 2006 at 3:04 pm

    Al Gore would be president if he won the election. but he didn’t so push your political agenda on your readers..

  17. Andrew Knott May 31, 2006 at 6:36 am

    While the prospect of more violent weather sure is scary, the bigger worry is the threat to biodiversity… Our agriculture relies on a multitude os species that are very much at risk of extinction with even a 1 degree increase in average temperature. (it’s precdicted that there could be an up to 6 degree increase in the next century).

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