I Was Hopeful, Then I Was Pissed
I saw An Inconvenient Truth this weekend and I have to say, for a movie that is basically a lecture complete with graphs and charts, it’s interesting, entertaining and the time went by surprisingly fast. I highly recommend that everyone go see this film. Not only is it a good movie, by supporting it we can all make sure that it secures wider release and the more people that see it, the better off we will all be.
I was a little afraid that I would walk out of the theater depressed and frightened, but instead, I walked out feeling motivated to reduce my carbon footprint and encouraged that something can be done to change the destructive course we are now on. But the next morning when I woke up, I was pissed. It reawakened my anger at how Bush came to, and has held onto, his power and re-ignited my rage at the media that not only allowed it to happen, but that has done everything in their power to ensure it.
One of the statistics from the movie that I found most striking was that there is zero disagreement about the cause of global warming in the scientific community, yet over half of the stories on global warming from our lapdog press suggest that there is. That really is shocking, and it reaffirms my belief that THE biggest problem we are facing as a nation is the leash around the neck of the press that is being held tight by corporate owners. Everything can be traced back to that. The truth of the 2000 election that was covered up by our media, the stolen 2004 election that is still being covered up, the NSA domestic spying that is being rationalized away and the Iraq war that was sold to us with the help of a compliant American media establishment. If Americans were allowed to know the truth, we wouldn’t be in this mess.
For me, the most emotional moment of the film came with the image of Bush taking to the stage after being handed the Presidency, courtesy of the Supreme Court. I remember that moment in December 2000 so vividly. I was pregnant and on bed rest, so I had been watching the whole drama unfold over those many crazy days with little or no interruption. I remember the heartbreak, disgust and frustration that I felt at that moment, but watching it in the film, with the full knowledge of what has occurred since, I could only cover my face with my hands in despair for what we have lost at the hands of this President.
On the positive side, the film ends with very specific things that each of us can do to stop contributing to the problem. My husband and I had already decided to trade in our mini-van for a car that we can run on biodeisel, but after seeing the movie, we have decided to do that immediately rather than wait. We had already switched all our light bulbs to compact fluorescents, lowered our thermostat, replaced our old appliances with more energy efficient ones and weatherproofed our house, but now we are looking at every aspect of how we live and targeting the things we can change right away and planning for bigger changes that we can implement over time. Just imagine what can happen if people take the initiative and show that we are willing to learn and to change our behavior. We are ahead of the politicians on this one and if they won’t bring the business community into line, then we’ll just have to do it ourselves, by changing the marketplace that they must compete in. We can consume less overall and chose to consume only those products that fit into a larger vision of what we want our world to be.
Political activism is important to ensure that our representatives do what is necessary to protect our planet, but personal action is just as critical. With a compliant media that is willing to manipulate the truth and protect the interests of their corporate masters, political activism in the form of demonstrations and public pressure on politicians is less effective than it once was, but we can change the world through personal action and responsible living. As I’ve said before, a movement is nothing more than a bunch of people all moving in the same direction toward a common goal. We can each stop contributing to the problem and begin bringing about solutions, first in our homes, then in our neighborhoods, towns, cities, states and finally our country and the world. We owe it to our children to at least give it our best shot.