HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
February 12, 2007, Herald Journal

Eyes open to an inconvenient truth


As a reporter and a columnist, I feel it is my moral obligation to reach as many people as possible and encourage them to see “An Inconvenient Truth: A Global Warning” about global warming.

I know . . . people get sick of hearing about it so they put it in the back of their minds and only think about it when crazy things happen, like Hurricane Katrina.

The documentary is narrated by Al Gore (the former would-be President) whose passion for the cause is admirable.

Before the film was made, he said he had done this presentation more than 1,000 times world-wide. He hopes to reach as many people as he can.

The diagrams and statistics used in this film makes it hard to believe global warming isn’t occurring.

Gore talks about how Congress has ignored the facts and put the subject on the back burner, especially if it’s not on the tongues of their constituents. To him, that is not only morally wrong, but unethical.

He gave a quote from Upton Sinclair, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” It’s like the movie, “Thank You For Not Smoking,” which was about a top marketing consultant for a tobacco company. Even though he knew the harm in cigarettes, he continued to promote them. This seems no different.

The film claims that the 10 hottest years on record have been in the last 14 years. The hottest year was 2005, and what happened that year? Hurricane Katrina.

Gore had this passion for quite some time. In college, one of his professors sent up weather balloons daily, detecting carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. Each year, there was a steady climb in CO2 levels.

CO2 levels are linked to an increase in the earth’s temperatures.

Why do people ignore these facts or fail to step up and make a difference? Probably because the outcome is unforeseeable.

People like to see results. When a person recycles or buys a fuel-efficient car, the results are not tangible.

In fact, it could take decades for results to be seen, but they will be seen and enjoyed by someone nonetheless.

What I found most interesting was the depiction of the corruption of our own government trying to protect the oil companies.

The figures showed mileage standards for Japan, China, Europe, and even Canada that were significantly higher than the US.

Japan’s average is 47 miles per gallon. Wow! I would only have to go to the pump once a month. Europe hopes to exceed Japan, Australia’s at 34 mpg, Canada’s at 32 mpg, and the US is at 24 mpg.

Honda and Toyota profits are skyrocketing, while Ford’s and Chevy’s are lagging behind. “We can’t sell our cars in China because we don’t meet its environmental standards,” Gore said.

California tried to pass a law increasing its mileage standards, but was being sued by the North American car companies.

The film showed a diagram of a balance, with bars of gold on one side, and the world on the other. How will we favor?