Wednesday, May 9, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

I'm a bit behind the times, because I only just got around to seeing An Inconvenient Truth. It's definitely a "must see." Not like "must see TV," more like "must see or we'll all die."

The picture Gore paints is pretty grim, but it comes off as informational rather than sensational. The film works very well for raising awareness, but not so well as a call to action, leaving you with this "now what?" feeling. But that's probably a smart decision. By choosing to concentrate on presenting the non-debatable facts the film doesn't give people much room to question whether we have a serious problem on our hands. But what to do about is mostly left as an exercise for the reader.

The one firm call to action is to visit the web site, which in general focuses on small things you can do, not large lifestyle changes. That's cool, I guess, but that's kinda like trying to lose weight by switching to low fat cookies instead of, you know, diet and exercise. Now I'm not saying the solution has to be unnatural liposuction (Which I guess in this context would be what? Stop driving cars altogether? "Reducing" the world's population by half?). There has to be some achievable middle ground. But to think that we can fix this problem by switching to a different kind of light bulb is pretty naïve. We should do those little things, but they're not going to be enough.

The title of the film is perfect: there's a clear truth here and it is pretty damn inconvenient. The facts presented to us demand that we change. What worries me most is that I don't think people are naturally good at change or compromise... especially Americans. Our whole culture is founded on stubborn individualism. Our days of driving huge cars everywhere to eat heavily packaged fast food have to come to an end. And I don't trust the average American to let that go. Which I guess means we're all gonna die... which is also pretty darn inconvenient. Drat.

No comments:

Post a Comment