Wednesday, March 7, 2007

An Inconvenient Blog Entry

Now, maybe its because I just finished watching An Inconvenient Truth (otherwise known as "the Al Gore movie"), but has anyone else begun to wonder whether or not we'll ever see snow on the ground again? I mean, it's practically January, and I actually found myself rejoicing at the fact that I looked out my window (at 1:30 in the morning, no less) and could see a paltry dusting of the white stuff dancing quietly in the streetlight's glow. This really shouldn't be a normal reaction for someone living in Toronto, but the way things have been going with the weather lately, I'd actually welcome the task of cleaning a foot or two off my windshield.

My parents moved north this year, to a picturesque little hamlet somewhere on the outskirts of Dornoch, and all anyone could ever tell them was, 'just wait for the winter', implying with a disdainful and meritocratic sneer that they would be hit with a snowfall and ensuing six-month deep-freeze the likes of which they could have never before fathomed, and which would subsuquently have them scurrying back to the safety of the suburbs before you could say "what the fuck's a dornoch??". Two years ago I spent a frigid February night in the neighbouring town of
Markdale, and there must have been four feet of packed powder on the ground. So what can I say? They believed the hype.

They did all of the requesite things one does when one moves to a remote part of the country where there exists the possibility for a massive snow -in: they put snowtires on their cars, they bought a shit-load of candles, they made sure they had an adequate back-up power source... Christ, my old man even went out and bought himself a tractor with a giant snow blowing attachment to clear their winding gravel driveway (it should be noted that the closest he'd been to a tractor previously was the Farmers' Daughters edition of Playboy back in '86). I found myself believing all of the ice age cometh talk as well, and even went so far as to buy them each a pair of snowshoes for Christmas. But come Hay-Zeus' big B-day, in this part of the country that was supposed to be balls deep in snow by mid-November at the latest, we found oursleves arising to fields of emerald green and temperatures reminiscent of an April afternoon.

Someone mentioned to me the other day that their spring flowers were blooming because the warm weather has the flowers tricked into believing that the winter has already come and gone. Now, I don't know a great deal about horticulture, nor have I ever claimed to be an expert in the cyclical nature of flowering herbaceous perennials; but won't having spring flowers blooming in December fuck everything else up for the rest of the growing season? Maybe it's just me, but all of those times on Thanksgiving when I, believing myself to be witty, proclaimed, in reference to the October temperatures hovering somewhere around 22 oC: "Hey, this global warming thing ain't so bad, eh?"; suddenly don't seem so funny anymore.

So what does all of this mean? Well, for starters, I think that the whole 'being in denial of this global warming thing' can be put to rest. Because it's tough to argue against it at this point. And seriously: I can't imagine being a kid and going through an entire winter without the existence of that faint glimmer of hope somewhere in the back of my mind that a snow day might still bail me out of school for one glorious day, rendering it a moot point that I fucked off and watched another episode of 90210 instead of doing my algebra homework. Because a childhood wouldn't even be a childhood without that distant dream. So for the kids. We have to do something for the kids.

And I don't claim to be an expert on global warming. But do I have a vested interest in the consequences of totally fucked up planet? I would say so.

I won't try to explain how an increase in the earth's temperature (due entirely to what we're pumping into the atmosphere on a daily basis) will incontrovertibly lead to more powerfully devestating storms (as we're beginning to see), more scorching hot summers (as we're beginning to see), which will in turn lead to a drier soil base (as we're beginning to see) which will lead to more widespread drought and forest fires, which will only further increase the earth's temperature which will speed the melting of the ice caps (which we've been seeing for awhile), which will eventually cause most of the existing coast lines to be submerged and the possibility for an alteration in the existing global ocean circulation system, which essentially keeps the earth's temperatures moderate and at a level in which we can survive as a species.

Abrubpt climate changes, massive storms, water sources drying up, a sudden ice age in
Europe, computer-annimated Polar bears drowning in the arctic, the entire state of Florida dissapearing before your very eyes... It's all interconnected, it's all very Biblical, and it's all heavy, heavy stuff. If you can stomach Al's constant refernces to 'the scientists' and 'global warming pollution', this is one of the most eye-opening movies you'll probably ever see, which is why I believed it important enough to make it the subject of this first entry. So try to get yourself a copy of it by any means necessary. I might even burn a couple of illegal copies myself, believing that Al, if he truly is the environmental philanthropist that his doc makes him out to be, would want his message spread as quickly and effectively as possible, even if it means foregoing his portion of the $19.99 purchase price.

So go out and save the planet. Walk to the corner store. Don't buy any worhtless shit that won't last or can't be recycled. Buy yourself a Prius. Put a green roof on your shed. And have a happy new year.


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