Yesterday several groups on campus came together for a "campus sustainability day", and one of their events was to show the Al Gore documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. I went to see it, because I have been mildly interested in it since it was first released, and I was quite impressed. Yes, the movie is essentially Al Gore's slide presentation in the form of a theater movie. I have heard several people complain about this, but I think it is exactly the format that should be used. Enough of all the Hollywood glamour, jumpy edits, and energetic soundtracks- I truly believe that he is just a man who wants to get his message out. And plenty of people will pay up to $10 to see a movie whose premise is beer, or sawing one's legs off. Why not something that is informative and timely, if not exactly entertaining?
I tried to be as objective and critical as I could, because I tend to be easily persuaded. But it comes down to this: even if global warming, which seems to be a real and true problem that is being down-played in the same way that tobacco was, will not have any one of the effects that Gore warns of, or even if those effects are simply a part of the natural order (even when so much of our world today is "unnatural"), I still fully believe that we, especially as Americans, are called to be more responsible and respecful with the luxuries that we have. And that, my friends, was the longest sentence I have ever written in my entire life. But the fact that Americans consume more materials than many countries combined, makes me cringe. It makes us weak and scared, and unable to cope when we are faced with real, raw life. That may seem like a jump in logic, but just think about it a little bit. I know from my own experiences- I am chastising myself as much as anyone.
I, for one, want to change my habits. I have begun to do that in many ways, and I see how positive it can be, for myself and for others. I recommend the movie to anyone who is ready to be kicked in the butt and to think about something beyond the world of consumerism and terrorism. Wow, I have become such a hippie, but I think it's important to recognize how unnatural it sounds to us anymore to talk about being moderate or conservative (and I don't mean in the political sense).
Advancements are coming exponentially these days when it comes to technology, but we need to think twice about how we use the technology that is brought before us. I think it all comes back to humility, and a sense of respect for what we have been given.