Saturday, May 27, 2006

Another Green World...


So we saw Al Gore's movie last night like good little Move On-ners. It's great. Go see it. He should probably be our next president. I'm very hard on Gore, but only because he is so frustratingly close to being "the one." But I'll say this: he adapts. People criticize him for being ingenuous or a changeling, but that's inaccurate. In the course of this movie you see that this is a man in possession of a great tempered intelligence and humility who is able to learn from his flaws and grow out of them as best as he can. A friend of mind claimed that Al lacks charisma, but I think that's wrong too. He lacks sex appeal and the robust media-cut ego we've come to expect, but not charisma. His wisdom, his gentle professorial method of communication, his religious yearning for a good earth, it glows (at least in this context. No saying how four years in the Oval Office might grind a man down).

He is a talker. For a movie that 's all about CO2 pollution, I'd like to know exactly how much carbondioxide Al himself spits into the atmosphere in the course of one of his "slideshows." There are moments where the graphs and the factoids make you feel as if there will be a test down the line, but actually I like that. He's sampling college the way a musician might sample some disco track from he 70s. It works.

Sarah was bothered by the lack of psychological rigor in Gore's presentation, or the lack of discussion about the real causes of our environment's troubles. In particular she sees the recent and upcoming human population explosion (12 Billion by 2050) as the real culprit. The CO2 is a by-product of the increasing demands our increasing numbers place on the planet. Even if you get rid of all the CO2 emissions and avert ecological disaster, how the hell are we going to sustain all of these people? Problem is, you can't talk about birth control without setting off all sorts of global, political alarms. Population scares me. So does the sense of entitlement to and destruction of resources that "freedom" (as it's coming to be defined) brings in tow.

But thinking about it, I feel that Al and the Environmentalists have the right strategy. Instead of pointing a finger at humanity, and going, "Tsk, tsk, bad humanity," Al et al are appealing to a fundamental aspect of human behavior that has a proven track record of getting us off our asses: GET THE BAD GUY! In other words, make CO2 the bad guy, hang the wanted posters, empower us as deputies of Mother Earth, and watch us go get 'em. Activated, we will come to discover many things ourselves. We will do the math, we will figure out other problems, other leaders will emerge. Gore knows that all of these problems are inter-related. Like a spider web, if you will. Touch one part of the web and the whole thing reverberates. No need to hit a bull's eye. Just a gentle nudge will set those silk strands a fluttering.

(photo by Michael Kenna)

7 Comments:

Blogger pigatschmo said...

The man is impressively multi-facetted. He was on SNL recently, and his skits were biting and hilarious... Especially the report he gives from the White House "as if" he had been elected.

11:45 PM  
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