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AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH

Posted By Jill Fehrenbacher On May 31, 2006 @ 6:11 am In Announcements,Green Lighting,Renewable Energy | 17 Comments

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If you are looking to see a good thriller this summer, forget about The Omen remake, and go see An Inconvenient Truth [1].

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 [2] 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 [1]. 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 [3].

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 (CFL [4]s – 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 [5]” 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 [6] 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 [7] has been widely agreed upon as a good one. BP’s [8] 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 [3] on opening day.


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/an-inconvenient-truth/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://movies.aol.com/movie/an-inconvenient-truth/24916/main

[2] there is no more doubt: http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/004469.html

[3] here for local theaters and times: http://www.climatecrisis.net/findatheater/

[4] CFL: http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/004126.html

[5] vampire power: http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/004379.html

[6] Energy Star: http://www.energystar.gov/

[7] SafeClimate: http://safeclimate.net/calculator/>carbon footprint to get a calculation of how much CO2 your lifestyle generates.

[8] BP’s: http://www.bp.com/extendedsectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9008204&contentId=7015209

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