Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Buy A Plant. Now.

In fact, buy two - and then go buy an acre of rainforest, and throw away the keys to your car. Yesterday I saw Al Gore's documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" and was utterly blown away. Gore crunches the data in all sorts of different ways and again and again comes up with one conclusion: the planet is headed for disaster, and it's one of our own making. C02 levels are at astronomical heights, tornadoes and hurricanes are increasing in frequency and intensity, and chunks of land-based ice sheets are breaking off into the ocean, swelling the waters massively - and dangerously (where will you be when sea level rises 20 feet? You'd better hope not in L.A. or Manhattan) (actually, you'd be almost lucky; you wouldn't be in coastal India). Those snows of Kilimanjaro? Virtually gone. Like us, if we don't do something drastic, now.

"Oh, reeeaaaaally?" says the skeptic as he guns his Hummer, tosses his cigarette butt out the window and gleefully plots how he'll throw out his recyclable beer can with the trash. Yes, actually. Really. Per New York magazine film critic David Edelstein:
Perhaps the most amazing statistic in An Inconvenient Truth is that of 900-plus peer-reviewed studies in recognized journals, not one has challenged the idea of global warming, whereas more than 53 percent of articles in the mainstream media have presented it as a theory or been careful to include the demurrals of a tiny handful of bought-and-paid-for scientists or politicians. In the course of Gore’s lecture tour comes the unsurprising news that Bush aide Philip Cooney routinely red-penciled the conclusions of impartial government scientists; when exposed, he resigned and took a job with ExxonMobil.
Did you catch that? Over nine HUNDRED scientists assessed the data and agreed that the planet was on the brink of man-made calamity. Who doesn't agree: the oil stooge hired by the White House to doctor environmental reports in favor of...oil companies. As Edelstein says of the film: "Watch closely to see who attacks it and on what grounds."

The mosquito line in Africa, rising. Polar bears swimming in search of receding ice, drowning. People sweltering through record heat waves last summer, dying. Hurricanes whipping into a frenzy over warm waters. Those waters, ever-warming. Moment after chilling, terrifying moment, the very real doom of the planet is laid out clearly (think "Ice Age." Right. Now, think of the reverse. Hot enough for ya?). As the trailer says bluntly: "Nothing is scarier than the truth." I'll go one step further: It's fucking terrifying.

See this movie. And seriously, buy that plant.