According to Al Gore and a lot of really smart people, we have just ten years to make the changes required for us to turn global warming around. If we don’t, our world is going to change drastically – not within a hundred or thousand years, but within our lifetime.
The Saturday after returning from Alaska, I went to see the movie, “An Inconvenient Truth”, as I had promised Kathie. Essentially, the movie consists of snippets from Al Gore’s lectures about global warming with some scenes from his life and personal anecdotes thrown in here and there. I won’t critique the movie or Gore’s motivation, but I think he presents the information in an understandable format, and it’s downright alarming. The following quotes from the related website provide the gist of it.
The situation: “The vast majority of scientists agree that global warming is real, it’s already happening and that it is the result of our activities and not a natural occurrence. The evidence is overwhelming and undeniable. We have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced. ”
The cause: “Carbon dioxide and other gases warm the surface of the planet naturally by trapping solar heat in the atmosphere. This is a good thing because it keeps our planet habitable. However, by burning fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil and clearing forests we have dramatically increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere and temperatures are rising."
“The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years.
Malaria has spread to higher altitudes in places like the Colombian Andes, 7,000 feet above sea level.
The flow of ice from glaciers in Greenland has more than doubled over the past decade.
At least 279 species of plants and animals are already responding to global warming, moving closer to the poles.
The Arctic Ocean could be ice free in summer by 2050.
More than a million species worldwide could be driven to extinction by 2050.”
The website includes six pages of things that we as individuals can do to lessen our contribution to global warming, and two pages of ways to take action. I’ve started on my list. It’s not going to be easy.